Saturday, January 7, 2012

Headed for the Eugene Marathon

I just signed up to run the Eugene marathon on April 29th.  I've only run two marathons and both times, after I finished, I swore I would never run another one again.  A marathon is too far.  Too draining.  Too challenging.

Last summer my running partner-in-crime, Carissa, asked me if I wanted to train with her to run the Portland marathon in the fall.  My quick response was, "No way."  On race day I showed up at the 20 mile marker and screamed my head off as Carissa ran past.
waiting at the 20 mile marker for Carissa to appear

I screamed my head off again at mile 26.1.  By that point, she looked totally and completely miserable but she was on pace to reach her goal of qualifying to run the Boston marathon.  I could hardly stand the suspense and the excitement.  As she ran past on sheer determination alone, I found myself thinking, "Why am I standing on the sidelines?  I want to be running this with her."
Carissa and I after the finish

I gave Carissa a few weeks to recover from her epically fast race and then I broached the subject of running the Eugene marathon together.  We schemed up some grand plans and then left to ask our husbands to endorse them since they both know how to ground us in reality.  Curt and I ran through the list of spring events and what my training schedule would look like, and then he wholeheartedly gave me his blessing.  Tass and Carissa did the same and we high-fived each other when we knew it was definite yes.

Carissa followed a horrid training program for Portland.  She was so successful following this plan that she is strongly recommending we follow this program together.  It requires running six days a week with the mileage building each week.  The runs are broken down into speed work, hill work, tempo runs, long runs, and pace runs.  It also has three training weeks where 50 miles of running is required!  If I actually stick to this program, I'll be in the best shape of my life by the time all is said and done.

I have never followed a training program for a race.  The closest I've come is researching the suggested distances for the long runs on the weekends, putting those on the calendar as a non-negotiable and making sure I run two more times at some point during the week.  I kind of like being a running rebel.

Keeping track of pace, running hills, doing speed work, and "tempo runs" give me a headache.  It took me an hour just to enter the schedule into my calendar. I wrote on many occasions "whatever that means" as I copied in the training program, but Carissa assures me that if I just read the directions, I'll understand what to do.

Call me crazy but I am stoked to train for this race.  I figure if Carissa can run six days a week, so can I.  And maybe if I match her stride for stride in training, I'll actually be able to keep up with her on race day.  Maybe that's why I'm saying it out loud - so you guys can hold me accountable to not quit in two weeks when I'm sick of running so much.

sun breaking through the morning fog

My first long run was today.  I couldn't help but think as I begrudgingly shoved off to run for an hour and a half, "It's only going to get worse."  Surprisingly I felt completely equipped for the required mileage.  There just might be value in following the coach's instructions...

country road on my run today

Newberg is so beautiful, especially as seen from the side of the road on a run.  I got a new phone for Christmas and have thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures of the beauty that God sends my way when I run.  I decided to post these photos on my blog so you can see a huge part of the reason why I run.  It will be like bringing you with me on a run.  I know I'll need the company.

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