26 Before 26, Running

Marathon Training, Week Fourteen

I found out something interesting about myself as a runner this last week–usually, I am the kind of person who likes to know everything there is to know about a subject, or at least as much as is feasibly possible, within a very short amount of time. I usually find that being well-informed about something makes me more confident about it.

Apparently this does not extend to running.

I got a couple free issues of Runner’s World in the mail this last weekend, which I have just devoured. I love reading about other crazies who understand what it’s like to run a 10-miler in pouring rain or who know what to eat before a run so you don’t feel like puking. However, while I’ve loved reading all about it, I have found that with each read article, my sense of anxiety about the marathon has steadily and significantly grown.

For example, in a Q&A section of the magazine, a reader asked if he should try out a small race (like an easy 5K) before attempting a bigger one (like a 10K or a half-marathon). The expert responded that the reader should definitely try out a smaller race before even thinking about biting off more than they can chew with a longer race. As my heart rate began to climb just thinking about how backwards I apparently have started out, I tried to use my super-human powers of reasoning to talk myself out of my anxiety:

“My body has handled the training just great, thankyouverymuch.”

“I have more discipline and/or willpower than the average human being.”

And my favorite,

“Go big or go home.”

And even though these little mind tricks sometimes work for short spurts of time, I find that the anxiety has a tendency of creeping back up on me when I’m feeling weak.

Like when I’m asleep.

But in the end, I figure that what’s done is done and that if I end up collapsing somewhere on the marathon because I didn’t attempt to tackle a smaller race first, then so be it–‘all these things shallΒ give [me] experience and be for [my] good,’ right?

But anxiety-inducing research aside, last week’s training was actually pretty awesome. I finally ran a 15-miler pretty close to my goal pace of 10 minutes/mile (including water stops, which meant that some miles needed to be faster). And the best part? The fact that I wasn’t sore pretty much at all after it. Isn’t that amazing? I certainly thought so. Of course, I’ve been down with a cold for the past 24 hours or so, so I’m feeling especially grateful that my legs don’t hurt like my head does…

High Point: I think I made that obvious enough above.

Low Point: The anxiety that’s really starting to settle in. And almost every short run. Why is it that my short runs have now become SOOO much harder than my long runs?

Avg. Time Per Mile: Still between 10 and 11 minutes, on long runs

# of Miles Run: 25