I see you Savannah, in November, off in the distance, with your cool mornings, moderately temperate day time highs, and flat ground. You are almost mocking me at this point, with our current heat and humidity, rolling hills, and lack of live musical entertainment along the run (Savannah is a Rock ‘n Roll Marathon/music party).
As I put the fingers to keyboard, I have completed 4 weeks of official marathon training. Four weeks of four runs/week. Four weeks of 4:50 am Monday wake up alarms. Four weeks of 5:45 am Saturday mornings – you get the idea. I think I can sum up the feeling of the first leg of training in one word: Optimistic. Aside of wake-up times and heat, I really have no significant complaints.
The worst part of the weekly shorter runs is the fact that I run them early in the morning and alone. It’s kind of a requirement due to work schedule/home schedule and weather schedule. The variety of types of runs (interval, pace changes, etc) has done a pretty good job of keeping intrigue along the way. I also run them in my neighborhood – which is not flat, at all. I have a school parking lot that is about 1/3 of a mile in a paperclip shape that is relatively flat so I have used it quite a bit for speed work. I can pretend I’m at Martinsville Speedway making laps (sarcasm, partly).
The long runs are MUCH BETTER this time around. Why? Three obvious reasons: the lawyer, the sportscaster, and the RunnerDude. Having them along for the run makes it so much easier. It is less boring that talking to myself. It’s also helpful, because during each long run, we all have segments of the run where we may have more trouble than the others. Motivational dialogs transpire. Bump in the road conquered. My current outlook on the marathon is really optimistic because these two will be there as motivation, aid, photographer, and hopefully inter-squad competition in the last 400 meters of the marathon (we all want to win, right?). We have worked our long runs from 10 miles up to 14 miles as of July 26 with good results. More to come (distance, stories, complaints, and hopefully success). Long runs are also much better with Thad’s route planning, water cooler set up, and impromptu photo shoots along the way.
So I see you Savannah, in November, off in the distance, with your cool mornings, moderately temperate day time highs, and flat ground. I’m preparing for you. My training in the heat and humidity will only make me run easier come cooler weather. My hill training and elevation gains mock your pancake flat terrain. I’ll be seeing you soon, and I won’t be apprehensive, I’ll be resolute – and prepared.
Those who know me personally have probably seen my plaid Brooks. They are the undisputed champion of the shoe market. They are so awesome, I just wear them normal. Aside from the obvious good looks, the structure of the shoe is amazing, so I decided to try a “normal” colored pair for running last year. Best running equipment idea since someone offered longer than 5-inch shorts. I got a new pair of Brooks GTS Adrenaline 17s for the marathon training and just recently surpassed the 100-mile mark on the shoes. They feel as awesome as the 1st day I wore them, are effective at expressing my Birdland pride (Orioles that is), and show no signs of slowing down. No blisters, no foot pains, nothing but cloud like support. While we all have different needs for shoe support, the running and the physical therapist in me is high on the Brooks train for recommendation.