Monday, November 4, 2013

The Time Has Come.

Over the last few weeks, I've virtually cheered on at least a dozen internet & real-life friends as they slogged through marathon cycles & peak weeks, endured taper madness, and toed (or will soon toe) the line at Smuttynose, Wineglass, Chicago, Nike Womens, Marine Corps, NYC, Two Cities, Grand Rapids, & Santa Barbara. (Did I miss anyone?)

And to be honest, every time I liked a Facebook status or favorited a Tweet or commented on a blog post about some gnarly 18-20-22 miler a compatriot had just destroyed / survived, I felt a weird mix of gratitude ("Better you than me, dude!") and envy ("I remember when I used to run 18 miles...").

Flying back from Hawaii on Halloween, it hit me that my season of long run hiatus / envy is drawing to a close.

This past Sunday was November 3rd. On Sunday March 2nd 2014, I'm (apparently? I guess?) running Napa Valley Marathon, which gives me just about exactly four months / 17 weeks to prepare. And with the shape I'm in now, I'm going to need every day of it if I want to have a strong, happy race and not just finish. I am sick & tired of just finishing.

For all that Mountains 2 Beach was somewhat more downhill (700 ft vs 300), coming off of a full month of rest, simultaneously preparing for a black belt test, barely able to run at all in the month prior to the race, "running" running the last five miles with a torn hip flexor, & ultimately falling just 90 seconds (3:36:29) short of a BQ has made me feel pretty confident that if I can train consistently & stay healthy between now and then and not have to run through a freaking monsoon, there is just no reason why I shouldn't run under 3:35.

(Seriously. 90 seconds. I try not to think about it that often. But let's be honest. I think about it.)

Friends, the time for marathon training has arrived. I kicked it off Friday evening with a sweet six-miler that left me feeling fresh, strong, and totally pain-free.

(I also had plans to get in another six-miler on Saturday & try for my first post-injury double-digits on Sunday, but instead I came down with a wicked case of food poisoning Friday day night & could do nothing all weekend except lie on the couch & sip weak tea & try to keep myself from dying of starvation / dehydration. But that is neither here nor there.)

It's time to work back up to and through double digits (um, hello Berkeley Half in 3 weeks).

It's time to get back out on the track, consistently, no matter how long it takes me to park when I get home after.

It's time to attempt real, actual tempo / race pace runs, as opposed to the la-la-too-fast-for-maintenance-too-slow-for-threshold-work pace I've been keeping as of late.

it's time to stop being afraid of my leg and run more than 22 damn miles in a one-week period.

Seriously. I have seventeen weeks to get back to the top of my game, & this is week one. BRING IT, Napa Valley Marathon.

I freaking dare you.

**(p.s. not actually freaking daring you. let's be reasonable here.)



    You're going to rock Napa - the training and the race as well. 35 seconds is totally do-able and the fire in your belly will push you on!

    Don't forget - if you want 10 - 12 trail miles on Saturday morning, Jen and I are your girls.

    1. Gaaaaaaaah I would LOVE to but we'll be in Paso Robles!!

      Hawaii photos are......currently overwhelming me to the point of despair. Hoping to post a few later this week, once I have fought my way out from beneath them. :)

  2. I know just the feeling! Hearing all my friends training for their winter races has left me MISSING long runs. There's something about that exhausted but content feeling after 18 or 20 miles that I kind of miss!

  3. A few things stand out to me in this blog post. First of all, don't regret those 90 seconds. That's enough time that it isn't like my buddy who missed a BQ several years ago by 26 seconds (yep, one second per mile). Also, this year you would have needed those 90 seconds plus another 98 seconds, since only those with a BQ -1:38 got in. So you don't have to go through all the sadness and weird explanations of "Yeah, I qualified for Boston but no, I didn't get in and I have to re-qualify."
    Second, don't forget that you ran that 3:36 injured. Who does that?! A badass does, that's who.
    Third, hooray for marathon training! That's a sure sign that you're back to your uninjured self, and that you're ready to kick ass and take names. Here's to Boston 2015!

    1. Best cheerleader ever! :)

      (Also, 26 seconds--ouch. I agree, that sucks more.)

  4. Seems like I always agree with Layla's sentiments - I would forget about that 90 seconds. If you run a marathon healthy, I bet 3:30 is in your future. And yea, I feel you on having a tinge of jealousy or regret about seeing people running long training runs and races - I'm sort of in recovery mode, but sometimes I get tinges of where my body doesn't feel totally right (currently my right ankle seems to give some symptoms of pain occasionally - I wonder if my right ankle stress fracture from Dec 2011 might have some permanent problems. I remember that my sports doc said that my right ankle bones might have not healed totally correct when I met with him 2 years ago. So who knows. My hope is to run through whatever phantom or real pain I may have in my right ankle as long as the pain doesn't get to be unbearable.

  5. It is totally your turn! I'm excited for you. I hope the training is enjoyable and injury-free! Fingers crossed for you.