Marathon Training Week 3- Winning


Week 3 called for 22 miles with the longest run of 6 miles.

However, it was the first 5 mile run at marathon pacing.  For me, that means roughly 9:05 or lower pacing.  I want to run this marathon in 4 hours or less.

I’ve not run this far, at this pace- well, ever.

This run fell on a Monday- after I had a rest day.

I’ve run enough to know it wasn’t worth pushing myself at this point so much, where I’d risk an injury.  But I knew it would be good training to run at the pacing I want.  I thought it better to figure it out and work it out during training.  This was a reduced mileage week, so I knew this would be my hardest run this week.

I came home from work and fed my kids. I grilled them cheeseburgers, and I was SO hungry.  I wanted to eat like 2 cheeseburgers, but I knew I had to do this run.  I can’t run on a full stomach.  I took a few bites of a cheeseburger and decided I’d use it as motivation….when I finished running 5 miles at marathon pace, I’d enjoy my cheeseburger.

My boys are awesome. I told them I was training for a marathon, and that means I’m going to be running at night.  They are older now, and I don’t think they even notice I’m gone.  But they have been so supportive. They ask me how many miles I’m running each day, and they allow me to be gone, and they just handle things.  I come back from running and they have cleaned up, and are just relaxing, or playing together- in other words, just fine.  It allows me the mental space to know they are OK and I can run for that block of time, and then get back to being “Mom.”

It was hot.  And windy.  It was almost 90 degrees when I started out.  I knew I wasn’t going to kill myself, but I was going to run these 5 miles the best I could.

I felt like I was flying the first mile. When my Garmin beeped, alerting me one mile was done, I was surprised to see 8:44. Too fast, I thought- I was going to get too tired.  I made myself slow down, but I was happy I was so fast in that first mile.

Mile 2 was almost all down hill. I thought I was slowing down, but as I finished it, the Garmin said 8:20.

I really knew I was going to burn out, if I didn’t slow down. Since mile 1 and 2, were down hill, that meant mile 4 and 5 were going to be uphill.  But I felt so good- despite the heat. I told myself this is what training is for-to learn the pacing, learn what my body can do, and manage it.  You don’t go out and run a marathon and excel at it, without figuring these things out.  But it is about not giving up, and learning your pacing.

Mile 3, I started to get tired, and it was part of the uphill. I ran it in 9:18. I knew this was not my marathon pacing, but I had been so fast in the first two miles, I could afford this.

Mile 4, started really the uphill run home.  It didn’t help the wind picked up to what felt like about a 20 mile an hour wind. It was HOT, and I was running uphill, straight into the wind.  I didn’t want to risk an injury; I just wanted to spend the energy I had in this mile and then know I could slow down in the final mile with it all being uphill, in this hot wind.  I pushed myself.  Not to the point of injury, but the quote in this blog post came to mind.  If I want to do well, I need to run like I’m winning in training.  Somehow I found a way to run this hardest mile in 8:57.

Mile 5, I was tired. I was fading. I mentally noted, next time I just can’t start out as fast.  I really doubted I was going to have the energy to finish like I wanted- but I knew I’d be close.  And I was OK with that. For the first pacing run, I’ve ever done, in very hot weather, I knew I was going to be close. I wasn’t going to push myself to the max to make the time, in week 3.  It was a grueling mile. It was all up hill and I was tired.  When I finished, I ran it in 9:52.

I just stopped.  I looked at my view of Long’s Peak, and just felt so grateful I knew I had run my very best for the day, and realized where I could improve for next time.  I knew it was going to be close. I figured, I needed to run the 5 miles in 45 minutes.  When I checked my Garmin it said: 45:16.

I was disappointed.  I wanted to make 9 mile minutes on average.  But I knew my mistake was I just ran too fast at the beginning.  I couldn’t feel too bad, knowing I was just 16 seconds off, from my mark, in week 3, in the heat, and on a hill run.

This run was so exhausting, when I got home, I couldn’t eat.  The cheeseburger I wanted so much before, sounded disgusting now.  I just wanted a glass of chocolate milk, and water.

I spent the rest of the evening with my boys, being Mom.

Later, I downloaded my run, and what I saw was a wonderful surprise!  The actual pacing of my run average was 9:02.  That was actually 2 seconds FASTER than I needed to be for marathon pacing! So even initially when I thought I hadn’t done marathon pacing I had, and was 2 seconds faster!

That felt better than a cheeseburger.  🙂   It shows with hard work, and effort, like this quote, the race isn’t won on race day, but behind the scenes, with the training.

The next pace run I have is 6 miles. I definitely learned some things I want to implement in that run.  But for me to be able to run 5, hot, hard, miles in week three below marathon pacing…it shows me I’m on the right track.  This wasn’t a race, but I learned a lot about myself and where I’m at. I’m right where I need to be and then some.

15 weeks to go….

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