26 Before 26, Running

Marathon Training, Week Three

Oh, how I wish I could have brought my camera on our run today so that I could have captured the marshy brushes and the red berries waving in the rain this morning as we ran along the Legacy Highway trail in Bountiful.

Of course, such picture-taking was out of the question as grueling, long Saturday runs and nice, expensive photography equipment don’t exactly get along. And besides, I have a hard enough time hefting my own body weight for 8 miles while the rain freezes my hair and the puddles seep through my shoes and socks, so adding any accessory to my running outfit is just out of the question.

But maybe one of these days, when the rain has blessedly stopped and the snow far from our memory, I will pretend like we’re out on a really grueling, long Saturday run and take pictures of it for you.

Won’t that be exciting?

But as it is, you just get my word pictures today.

This week marked a couple important things for me: first, I started student teaching. Second, I decided at the spur of the moment to up my mileage on today’s run (and by “on the spur of the moment,” I really mean that I had no idea how far I’d gone and ended up running an extra mile as a result). So I now have run farther than I ever have before: 8.5 miles. I’m feeling pretty good about that.

Overall, this week was just so much better than last week as far as the training went–my body wasn’t nearly so stiff and sore, and it just responded so much better to the whole running process: I didn’t have so many sideaches to deal with, and our usual runs have started to become much easier overall. I was so encouraged after this week–my body really is responding to the training, and I can feel my legs getting stronger and my lungs becoming more able to provide me with the extra oxygen I need. It’s amazing really.

The only thing that was definitely harder this week was dealing with the weather–I ran through freezing, driving rain two of the days this week and then was forced to run into the gym on Wednesday night because the roads were so icy that I could barely make it from my car to my front door without slipping. But through it all, while my wet, smelly clothes clung to my skin and my brain grew numb from the icy wind, I just kept telling myself this: “I cannot afford to be a fair-weather runner. Fair-weather runners will never reach their goals.”

Simple, but it worked.

Highs of the Week: Finally getting a change of scenery–since we’re down in Bountiful this weekend, we ran an 8.5-mile course along the Legacy Highway trail, and it was just beautiful (even despite the rain). I simply love running outside: I love the ducks I pass at the pond every day in Logan, I love hearing the river gurgling beneath the ice, and I love it when the sun comes out and warms my face. There is nothing better.

Lows of the Week: My run at the gym on Wednesday. It is truly awful to be forced to run on a treadmill in a sweltering, sweaty gym when you have been used to running outside every day. It was without question the longest 3 miles of my life (I would rather have run double the amount I did today than deal with running at the gym again during training). It’s so weird how preferences change: two months ago, I had only known what it was like to run in a gym on a treadmill, and I didn’t mind it. Now you couldn’t pay me to do that. (Well, maybe you could. I wouldn’t mind a new lipstick). Anyway, it’s not something I want to repeat anytime soon. So all of you who are praying for precipitation…you’d better watch it.

Miles logged: 28.5

Time Per Mile: Somewhere between 10 and 11 minutes. I need to be better at keeping track. (That is the one thing a treadmill is good for).

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