I'm kind of afraid to even write about how good I feel because I don't want to jinx it. We are half way through the training plan for the Sugarloaf marathon, and for the first time, I feel like I'm actually training for this marathon. In the past, I was gunning for mere survival and completion, and I frankly did not even run all of the mileage in my previous 2 training plans. I did all of the long runs but blew off some of the mid-week runs. This time around I've only missed 2 three-mile runs so far, and I have to say, I feel a real difference.
Each week I look at the training plan and figure I'm going to have to miss at least one of the runs, or that I can't possibly run 8 miles on a weekday, but so far anyway, I've been able to get them done. I know that running and training has ups and downs; some weeks I just feel like I'm running tired and dragging along, and other weeks I feel like I'm having solid runs every time, that I'm getting in some quality miles, and most exciting, that the hills just aren't killing me anymore.
My goal for this next marathon is pretty simple: finish the thing strong, without letting my mental demons undermine what I know my body can do. To the extent that it is possible, I want to let my legs run this marathon, not my brain. And right now, I feel confident I can do that. (right, legs?)
Susan and I ran 8 miles after school yesterday; most of the snow is gone and the sun was shining and even though I have a cold, the run felt strong and, well, pretty easy. I had to step back and think about the first time I ran 8 miles as a long run, and how much energy I put into psyching myself up for it and how hard it was just to finish it. Now it's just a midweek run that ended with us powering up the Broadway hill back to the high school. Pretty cool.
I might eat my words about feeling strong when this weekend we are running 17 miles. Eeek. We are using a different training plan this time so we are getting into higher mileage weeks earlier. I already have the feeling in my leg muscles that I usually don't get until the very end of the training; that is to say, I really feeeeeel my leg muscles. I love that.
After my runs, I've been refueling with smoothies, and after yesterday's run, I went back to my old standby, the green monster: 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 2 cups baby spinach, 1 banana, handful of ice, and one spoonful of honey. Mmmmmm. So satisfying.
I have done the Danskin twice before, in 2007 and 2008.
Danskin puts on a totally fun, festive, supportive, wonderful all-women's event. I had actually considered doing a longer triathlon, but this will serve to get me back on my bike and into the water and then we'll see about another one later.
Besides registering for this race, I have also been mapping out our summer calender, choosing dates to go camping, to go to Michigan, and other fun side trips. Summer planning has just put me in the best mood. There is just so much to look forward to right now, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Hope everyone else is in a good place, too. If not, try a green monster!