The months seem short but the (training) days seem long – it is very hard to believe that I am at the halfway point of training for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon. I have learned so much already and still have a ways to go, but taking stock, here is where I am today and where I hope to be in two short months:
- I have gained confidence. I have now made it through 13, 14 and 15 mile training runs. With each length, I have felt stronger and more convinced that I can do 26.2 and make it to the finish line smiling as opposed to grimacing. While I know the shorter weekday training runs are preparing me as well, it is those longer distance runs, the ones people raise their eyebrows at when I tell them my weekend plans, that mentally boost my confidence as in, “I just ran 15 miles and I feel OK – I can do this.”
- I have become even more grateful. The importance of my support team was something I went into this believing I would need, and that prophecy has rang more than true. Running with my coach while I pepper her with questions – what will I feel like at this part of the race? what do I do about water? fuel? etc., has given me the tools I need. My family has given me the ability, time and again, to get out and get running. They have also put up with my grouchiness (see below) which is no easy task!
- I have been humbled. One painful, yet valuable lesson I learned just this week is that I need to be mindful of my training regimen. For years now, probably my entire career, I have not concerned myself with what time I eat lunch. I have a lot of phone calls, appointments and tasks that fill up most of the hours I am at the office. I grab something on the go and eat it at whatever time I can squeeze in between those obligations. I tend to grab healthy stuff, salads and sandwiches the majority of the time. I learned this week that is not enough – I need to think ahead in terms of what time I am running and ensure I am not eating at 1:30 on a day I have an 8-mile pace run at 4:30. I did that this week and paid the corresponding price.
Here’s what I am hoping to gain/learn going forward:
- I have learned I have more to learn. For several days each week, I feel out of sorts, fatigued and low-energy and CONSTANTLY hungry. I need to figure this problem out before this cycle devours me (and those around me!).
- My nutrition planning and knowledge for this undertaking is clearly lacking. My goal for the next two months is to work on that and get my training days to be good days, ones that I maintain a regimented meal plan in hopes of finding what works best for me.
- I will be researching the nutritional side of my training through and trial and error and hope to report back positive results in a month.
- I’m hoping to get it through my evidently thick head, that regardless of the weather conditions a little Body Glide is always good insurance.
- And obviously I hope my endurance and confidence continue to grow. This week’s long run is a 17-miler. I will be departing from the Waterfront by ECHO at 8:00 a.m. Saturday with a small group. The more the merrier, so if anyone wants to join us, please do!