As I pinned my Pittsburgh Half Marathon bib on my Runner’s Roost singlet on Saturday night as I was tossing together my race day essentials I had a tingle of remorse. I was supposed to be proudly rocking a Pittsburgh Marathon bib that flaunted my name while stashing road race snacks in my SPIBelt. Instead, I had backed down to the half marathon at the race expo. I kept telling myself it was the right choice…I was grossly under-trained for a full marathon + I had big plans that a race day injury would really kick in the face. Plus, I knew running 13 miles with Lynne would be more fun than running 26 miles alone. I refused to feel guilty for playing it smart!
Okay. We’re about to let the #realtalk roll. Phew. Tomorrow afternoon I’m head to Pittsburgh for a few days of harassing Lynne…and partaking in the Pittsburgh Marathon races. Initially I had high hopes for a crazy successful marathon. When I signed up I imagined a strong training cycle with speed work, confident miles, a PR + possibly a BQ. I was optimistic, and a little delusional. And then…reality happened.
More than once [all the times?] I opted for rocky trail runs over speedy road runs every. single. time. This lead to a fair bit of “oh crap” moments as the marathon date approached. Today I officially took a step back. My bib has officially been moved from the Pittsburgh Marathon to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
Cross training is essential for a successful, injury-free race…right?! I sure hope so, because that is currently my game plan for this upcoming marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running! But I’m not running nearly as much as I thought I would be considering how many times I threatened myself + my lack of training during the Steamboat Marathon last year. I’ve been active + playing outside a lot lately, more often than not with my running shoes on my feet; however, I’m not always doing the whole arms pumping + legs churning running thing while I’m out there. #GameOnPGH, right?!
So, running + marathon training. I’ve actually been doing it, lately. With varying levels of success…but considering everything else going on in my day-to-day life I’m feeling pretty good at where I’m at with running. I’ve been getting #GameOnPGH 4+ days of running in each week, I’ve sprinkled in a few days of snowboarding/hiking to spice things up and I feel pretty good about the amount of effort I have to put into my runs, physically + mentally. Not bad, right?!
I’ve only topped out at 12 miles, so far. And while I had a minor “gah, that’s not enough” spaz the other day I’ve done a little counting + scribbling and I feel pretty good about it. My upcoming weeks of training [only 10 left!] are going to look something like this, in terms of long run mileage…14, 10, 16, 18, 14, 20, 22, 16, 14, 12, race day. Seems like a solid #GameOnPGH plan, eh?
I’ve spent the last few weeks in a mental rut of sorts, but I’m not about to start complaining about that. Instead, let’s ponder the cause/solution for my rut. Since I started training for the Pittsburgh Marathon I had not made it past 7 miles in a continuous run. Heck, that one 7 miler I did get in was the longest 100% run/no hiking distance I’ve gone in…months? Considering a marathon is nearly 20 miles further than my current “longest run” I needed to get my act together! I needed to run…longer.
My story-worthy runs are very rarely the picture perfect, everything-went-as-planned, no-misery-could-be-found events. Nope. Those runs are boring. Or at least I think they are — it’s been a very long time since I’ve had one of those runs! Instead my runs usually come with random bouts of drama, excitement or whining. Either I’m squishing a run into a tiny window of time or I’m getting lost in random Denver neighborhoods or it’s just too damn cold…there’s always something keeping any given run from being spot on perfect.
The title of being a “runner” is an interesting beast…and it usually comes with a qualitative adjective of some sort. In a way that makes sense, there are a lot of aspects to running. In other ways I find this silly. If you run, you’re a runner. Period. Of course, everyone has their own perception of what is required to become a runner and therefore want to be identified accurately. Okay, fine. But what about those of us who are a little mash-up of everything? Do we really need the adjective to justify our pace, goals or endurance? Eh. I hope not.
Soo…last week I went on a tangent about who I am as a runner vs who I sometimes pretend to be. I’m still sticking with that “running for fun” mentality but in the name surviving the Pittsburgh Marathon I’ve decided to pull together something that resembles a training plan. Since this past weekend was the official kickoff of #GameOnPGH in Pittsburgh it only seems appropriate that I cobbled together my training with Monday being “Day 1” for me here in Colorado.
When it comes to running I like to float around this lazy river of denial, pretending I have the burning desire to become a type of runner I have never been…a dedicated run-nerd who loves speed work and is motivated by the numbers Strava spits out at me. Eventually I come to my senses, but not until I completely freak out, forget how to run and doubt my ability to walk. The fact I still think I could one day become that type of runner is sad, but at least I’m well versed in the feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness these ambitions breed so I can give up on my crazy wannabe runner notions and fall back in love with my lazy crazy before it’s too late!
There are some really awesome stories about Austria, Czech and Switzerland that I really need + want to share but let’s take a quick second to bounce back to one of the main topics of this blog — running. As you may have picked up from my most recent “currently” post I’ve signed myself up for a marathon. A road marathon. The Pittsburgh Marathon, to be exact. #GameOnPGh! I’m excited about it…and hating myself for it. Today marks Day One of my official unofficial scribble of a training plan. Instead of hopping out of bed when I woke to the sunrise at 6am I stuck headphones in and watched John Oliver between dozy naps for two hours.