My love affair with running is still going strong. So strong, on fact, that I went ahead and did something crazy.
At least, crazy for the girl who insisted she was never running a marathon again after the first one. That the first one was “something she had to do once.” That she “values her weekends too much” to cycle through continuous long run/recover from said long run.
I signed up for another marathon.
In case you lost count, my third marathon. Third. I’ve become someone who “runs marathons.”
I have my coach Steph to thank for that, in large part. I feel completely different about training this time around and I am LOVING it. All I want to do is run and talk about running and read about running and be friends with runners and think about running and admire my running schedule.
I guess you can say I’ve caught the bug. And the bug can make one do impulsive things. Like register for the 2014 Eugene Marathon.
WHAT. I explain:
This race usually takes place in April, and this year they moved it to July to coincide with the junior track and field championships.
People are pissed.
I understand being upset and frustrated. After all, the race was practically iconic in its April spot. It’s fast and flat (not to mention gorgeous). It’s a goal spring marathon for a ton of people. Those wanting to break a PR or qualify for Boston seek this race out. I get that people don’t like change (especially when it isn’t explained, which is happening here) and some won’t do this race anymore. . . but the level of outrage I’m seeing is over the top. (I mean, July at 7 am in Oregon is nothing like July at 7 am in most other places. Believe me, it is cold… and do so many people really enjoy training in the dead of winter?). And the race begins at 6 am!
There’s a lot that the Eugene Marathon can do to change customer perception, starting with being more transparent about the reasoning for the change and responsive to their fans on social media. There are a ton of ways to put a positive spin on this (especially since it IS a positive thing!) and I hope they do just that because this date change can be a really wonderful thing for many people, and open up a whole new world of spring marathon training.
But this post isn’t about that. This post is about me. The me who LOVES the July date. If it was still in April, I wouldn’t do it.
Spring training sounds incredibly appealing.
I’ve tried winter running. I trained for my first half marathon in the winter. There was one run, I believe it was 8 miles, on a 17 degree day. The run itself wasn’t even too terrible, but when I got home and removed my two pairs of gloves to open my front door… I couldn’t. I stood there in the vestibule of my building waiting for my hands to warm up enough to physically TURN the key. I was cold and I was miserable. And then I had to do two separate 10-mile runs on the treadmill because of icy, slushy weather.
Let me let that sink in. 10 MILES. On a TREADMILL. TWICE.
Not for me.
I’ve made futile attempts to run in cold weather since but it never sticks. While I might be a terrible winter runner, I happen to be a pretty spectacular springtime runner.
Last year, after my winter off running following the Richmond Marathon, I started running again in the spring – at surprisingly fast paces that felt natural to me. My easy 3 mile runs were at around 8:30 – 8:45 miles. Every time.
How was this possible?
With zero training, I set my 10k PR that spring at the first 10k I ran early in the season, at 53:55. Suddenly, I was fast.
My training runs are much slower now; they’re actually right where my training runs were the last time I started my marathon training in July’s humidity. But I know that after building my running fitness for my fall marathon, I can take the winter mostly off from running (keeping a short base on the treadmill, and focusing on strength and cardio endurance at Refine) and come back in March stronger and much faster once again.
The thought of starting marathon training at that same shiny new fastness I had last spring and building a solid base off that (and not mid July 11-minute humidity miles), well, I think that could really be my time to be awesome at the marathon.
Which makes a July 27 race – especially one with a low entry fee that can double as a trip to see my brother (for his birthday!), sister in law and baby nephew – practically impossible to resist.
And if for whatever reason I need to switch to the half marathon, I have the option. But I have to at least try for this 26.2.
Especially right now when the bug bite’s so fresh.
Back to the present… here is last week’s training:
Week 9: September 2 – September 8
- Monday – 15 min w.u. 10 x 400 @10k pace with 90 secs rest 15 min c.d. (6.2 mi)
- Tuesday – 50 mins + 4 x 100m strides (5 mi)
- Wednesday - 50 mins easy (5.1 mi)
- Thursday – Refine Method
- Friday – 40 mins easy (4.38 mi)
- Saturday - 18 miles (3:18)
- Sunday – OFF
Total: 39 miles
Five runs in a week! I believe this is the second time I’ve done this and I can’t believe I used to think (1) I couldn’t run more than three times a week and (2) I couldn’t run consecutive days. Knock on wood – I’m feeling great and loving all the running.
So… anyone else in for Eugene 2014? (Save $10 through 9/15 with code EMSUMMER14). I’ll need a long run buddy.Hint hint EVERYONE I KNOW.