Entries in marathon training (29)


Chills On The Run

I ran today. Thirteen miles. I was excited about the run. Only thirteen. In these marathon training days of 17, 18 and 20 mile runs, thirteen is a gift. An easy day. A run-and-done given. 

Except today. The humidity was brutal and I hit the wall just past mile ten. Drenched and exhausted, I paused my watch and walked for a bit. I'm a slave to the plan though, so I kept pushing, walk/running the final miles back to the car. At mile twelve, chills set in. Not the reaction you expect or want from your body in 90% humidity. Finishing up in Country Park, I found myself shivering and breaking out in goose bumps even as my skin was scorching to the touch. Diagnosis? Dehydration. 

I wasn't alone. There was lots of chatter on Facebook today about the brutal running conditions. It's one of those things runners just accept. It's August in North Carolina and we're running in it. It's going to suck. 

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Running Diaries: Missing My Stride

No one ever said running was easy. I not only get that, I embrace it. It's one of the many things I love about running--that dig-deep-gut-it-out-get-it-done feeling that comes with pushing myself through a really hard workout. 

But something's wrong. I've been struggling with my runs lately, even the easy recovery runs. Where normally I loosen up and hit my stride within the first mile, lately my legs stay weighted throughout the entire run. My lungs are fine but my ankles, of all odd things, are killing me. Both of them. They're stiff and inflexible and ache with each step. 

There are a few different things that could be affecting my running: 

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Who's The Real Runner?

There's a disturbance of the FORCE within the Harris household. While it's taken for granted that I am the "runner" in the family, anyone paying attention these days would have to question whether my spot as "all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips" is being usurped by one laid-back CPA-type named Blair Harris. 

Blair started running last year as a way to maintain his weight loss and stay healthy. He doesn't get the same joy out of running I do--which makes me sad--but he sticks with it. He's been running 3 days a week consistently for months and has recently increased his mileage and (though he refuses to admit to it) his speed. 

What's embarrassing to face is that while I'm a faster runner than Blair, he's actually a better runner than me.

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Savannah Marathon: The (Meltdown?) Countdown Begins

It's a funny thing, training for a marathon. During the long summer months of intervals, tempo runs, and long runs, you kind of lose sight that at some point it's all going to culminate into you having to stand at a start line and face down 26.2 miles. You know in the back of your mind that, "Yeah, I'm doing this training run so someday I can run really fast and be in a lot of pain for a long time while I do it," but the reality of what you're attempting doesn't really sink in until about a week before your race.

It is a week before my race. 

Next Saturday I'll join 22,999 other runners at the start line for the Savannah Rock'N'Roll Marathon/Half-Marathon. As usual, I'm equal parts excited and freaked out. 


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Running When You Don't Feel Like It

I don't want to run today. Not "I don't want to run now," or "I'm tired," or even, "I'm too busy to run." I just quite simply don't want to run. The very thought of even putting on my shoes is crushing. I've told myself that the rain has stopped and the cool temperatures and overcast sky make for ideal running conditions. I've also considered that today's tempo run--while a long one at 8 miles--is only at race pace, so it's not like I have to head out the door and kill myself, trying to hold some God awful 7 minute something pace. 

I'm not having it. I have made up my mind. I. Don't. Want. To. Run. 

Of course, I'll run anyway. It's too late in the week to give myself the day off. I've got 20 miles this Saturday (the LAST 20-miler of the training--WHOO HOO!!) and so I need to take Friday as a rest day. That means that, like it or not, the tempo run is happening today. 

I think of it as a mental toughening. There are some race days where, regardless of the countless hours spent on the road, you line up at the start line and think, "I am not feeling it today." Guess what? Too bad. Run anyway. You may not have a great run, but you will run. 

That's what I'm facing today. I'm not feeling it. It's probably not going to be a good run. I may not make it the entire 8 miles or hold pace but guess what? Today I am running. 

The hardest step is always the first one. Time to go lace up those shoes.