26.2 Miles = Daunting

A few days ago I started reading Hal Higdon's Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide (4th ed.). I needed to read something to give my mind a break from thesis work and to prep me for the marathon. To be honest, I've been pretty nervous about it lately. For the past week questions have been flying through my mind: Can my body even handle the impending beating it's sure to receive during training? How will I manage teaching, writing my thesis, and training for a marathon? Am I disciplined enough in my eating habits to prepare my body for averaging 30-40 miles a week?

It may seem shallow, but my biggest apprehension this week is swapping the speed I've gained over the past 6 months for stronger endurance. This weekend I logged ten miles--6 on Saturday and 4 today. And though my run Saturday sucked (a dizzy spell forced me to stop for a few minutes at mile 4 to gather my wits), my run today felt good, but I couldn't help being a bit disappointed at the 8:07/mile pace that showed up on my Garmin at the end of the run. Up until Thanksgiving I ran my 4-4.5 milers at 7:45/mile and earned a PR during the Turkey Trot 5k: 23:21. So, to see an 8:07 pace hurt the 'ole ego just a hair.

The more I read, the more I learn that a first-time marathoner's goal should be simply to finish. I think this will be difficult for me because I like running fast, and my ego likes seeing low times. But if I want to accomplish my goal of running 26.2 miles, my training will need to slow down due to the massive amount of miles I'll be logging. My ego will simply have to be set aside until after May 6th....

For now, I guess I'll focus more on miles than on speed. My training officially starts on December 27th...scary! Until then, I'll continue to run simply to enjoy myself. On another note...I am in the market for new running shoes to swap in with my winter training shoe (my current racing flat already has seen between 540-600 miles). Any suggestions for a durable marathon shoe?


Amy said...

If anyone can run a marathon, it would be you!!

Stu said...

My biggest complaint about running that much has been on its impact on my ability to concentrate. After a 10 mile run through the hills I'm beat (even at my typical SLOOOOOW pace). I find it hard to sit down and focus on work after that much running and I get frustrated when a whole day is lost without progress on research.

I can't help you with the psychological part of running slow; I've always been slow. Still, it might be 'ok' to leave the Garmin at home if you simply cannot bear the thought of slow runs being recorded for posterity. :-)