Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Full Speed Ahead

Week seven starts today. 

We've upped the ante again and now Tuesday runs are 13k instead of 10.  They stay at 13k from now until the week before the race (except for easy weeks of course).  We are now officially full speed ahead - all engines at full throttle.  We've maxed out Tuesday nights, Thursdays are already in full swing with hills and intervals and Saturdays are just getting longer every week. 

When I was training for my first half marathon, my body got more and more tired every week.  By the time race day arrived, I was so worn out that I couldn't wait to run the race just so I could have a few weeks off running. 

That's what I expected marathon training to be like.  Eighteen weeks of progressive exhaustion.  So far though, I'm holding up quite well.  My body is getting better at the long runs and I don't even start thinking about how many kilometres are left until I get to about 15k.  That's a huge improvement from not so long ago when I would start counting from the first step out the door.  I think that running four days a week has made a huge difference - my body is so much more used to running now that it bounces back more quickly and is ready to go again by the next day.

The biggest challenge these days is deciding whether to get up at 5am to run before work or brave the heat after work.  Both options wear me out for different reasons.  Today, I did not get up before work because we got home very late last night from a lovely dinner party.  I knew that sleeping in would be a better option - plus I would have all day today to hydrate for the run since I neglected to do that very well last night.  Wine, apparently, does not count.

So I'm braving the heat this afternoon.

I have my coffee, my eload and my water ready to go.  I will be obsessively checking the humidex all day and working on my game plan.  For runs like this - where it's hot and tempting to throw in the towel - I do a circular route rather than an out and back. It keeps me moving forward and I am less inclined to argue with myself about turning back early. 

It's all about learning how to work with and, when necessary, push your body.  Run circular routes when it's tempting to quit.  Get up early so hard interval workouts seem easier because it's 'only' 30 degrees out.  Tell people what you have to run so that you're accountable.  Whatever it takes to get'er done. 

Happy August everyone.  Here's to fresh Niagara peaches and delicious corn on the cob, cooler evenings, a week's vacation, family and friends...and lots of time spent outside exploring this fabulous country of ours.


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