26 Before 26, Running

Marathon Training, Week One

Have you ever run so far that you threw up? Me neither, but I sure came close today on mile 6 (I somehow knew that eating Denali mint fudge tracks ice cream minutes before we left was a bad idea).

I’ve never been a runner. When I was in my early teens, I developed a sudden and severe case of asthma that left me breathless (literally) every time I tried running more than a quarter mile. Although the asthma left as mysteriously as it came, I have always blamed it for my seemingly reduced lung capacity for aerobic activity. Up until about 13 days ago, I was perfectly content with thinking that I would just run 2.5 miles at a time for the rest of my life and be happy with it.

Then three things happened.

One: We got high performance spandex running gear from Matt’s parents for Christmas (everyone in Matt’s family is a runner, not surprisingly).

Two: I suddenly hit on a cute little idea: 26 miles before I turn 26 this year. How fun would that be, right?

Three: I gained a stubborn three pounds over Christmas that just are not being as agreeable as the three pounds that only briefly stayed for three days after Thanksgiving.

And that, my friends, is how it began.

This week, we’ve started on a 12-week marathon-training plan that will hopefully have us whipped into shape by the time we run our first real marathon on April 21st. Since the marathon is more than 12 weeks away, we’re debating whether we should just repeat week one of the program three times or whether we should just keep going with it and just repeat the last week three times. But we’ll see.

The training goes like this: run 25 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, run 50 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday, and then run an hour and ten minutes on Saturday.

What really happened?

On the days I was supposed to run 25 minutes, we chose a three-mile loop, which put me at 30 minutes on those days. On Tuesday, we guesstimated how long 5 miles was (what a joke!) and ended up coming home at 35 minutes and calling it good. Thursday, after mapping out a “real” 50-minute run, I ended up running 63 minutes because apparently I slow down the longer I run. And today I ran for an hour and twenty minutes (or so we think, because I beat Matt home due to him running for a longer distance today and him having the key).

Highs of the week? Running 7 miles today. I have never EVER run more than 4 miles at one time in my life, so this was a BIG accomplishment for me. And I did not stop once. In fact, the only walking I’ve done all week was on Tuesday, when on my guesstimated path, I chose to attempt to run up the steep hill right next to the temple. While I did, in fact, run all the way up the hill, I did not, however, continue to run when I crested the top. I only walked for about 30 feet though, so I’m happy. The other happy revelation? That the running gets a lot easier for me after mile 3. I don’t know exactly what “runner’s high” is, but since Matt told me it’s not what I think it is, I’ll call this happy phenomenon “runner’s numb”: when my body hits the third mile, my lungs start breathing easier, my sideache goes away, and my muscles are so warm that they don’t feel how much pain they’re in. It’s beautiful, really. Until the numb wears off, that is.

Low of the week? Yesterday’s run. Since Thursday was the first time I’d ever run 5.5 miles, my body rebelled something wicked yesterday, despite the fact that we were only doing a 3 mile run. My inner thighs hurt so bad that I was half-limping down Center Street as I jogged. I just keep telling myself though that in a couple weeks, 5.5 miles will be a total breeze as it will be about a daily occurrence. Boo-yah.

Number of Miles Run: 25
Avg. Time Per Mile: 10.1 minutes

Liked this post? Then you'll probably also like...