Saturday, May 25, 2024

I think I might be training for a marathon

I can't seem to say it with conviction, but I'm pretty sure I'm marathon training.

Around mile 9 at Vancouver, I wrote off running completely. The next day, I acknowledged that was rash, but felt certain a marathon wasn't in my future, especially a hilly marathon. A few days after that, as my DOMS faded, I began to think that maybe Loch Ness wasn't out of the realm of possibilities.

To help me make this decision, I turned to the internet, where I read a few race recaps from runners of past Loch Ness Marathons. I discovered that, while Loch Ness may be net downhill, it's certainly not flat. In fact, it's rolling, and there's a pretty steady climb between miles 17 and 19.
According to the race recaps I read, that flat part in the middle is actually made up of rolling hills.
These days, I'm constantly of two minds. Part of me is fully aware that five miles of rolling hills in Vancouver destroyed me, and running 15 miles of rolling hills is probably impossible. The other part of me feels like, with proper training, I could manage a hilly 26.2 miles.

If I want to run Loch Ness, I need to start my training plan on May 27. In preparation for that, I've been doing my runs (and cross-training) with marathon training in mind. 
I've been going back to the gym at work to use the Peloton, so you know I'm serious.
I need to incorporate hills into every run. I need to actually commit to waking up early to get my long runs in, even on vacation and in the heat of summer.

If we're going to spend the money and time to travel to Scotland, I am determined to run a better-than-mediocre marathon.

Coming off half marathon training, I'm in fairly good shape to pick up the mileage, and I'm the youngest I'll ever be. Putting this race off to next year would mean 365 days for something to go terribly wrong. So I've been using the time since Vancouver to recover and get consistent. It feels good to have a training plan and to be checking off every workout. 

It feels good to have a purpose behind my runs again, and an actual plan to follow.
Mentally, I've been feeling so much better about my runs lately. Better than I've felt in months!
So, am I marathon training? At this point, kind of. Will I run Loch Ness in the fall? Well...that's another question, but I'm leaning toward yes. With only a couple weeks left to flip-flop on the decision, I'm relying on the first few weeks of training to solidify for me how I'm feeling about truly committing and signing up for this race.


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