This has been the quickest summer of my life: Here we are, already back to school. I feel like I just started my Baystate training, but there’s only Eight more Sundays until Race morning!
This training season has been pretty special for me. I know that sounds corny. Every run has been executed with efficiency. My stride has improved, and so has my pace. It’s like the Gods of Run (are you picturing them in their sneakers like me?)are smiling down upon me and for once, have taken pity on me for my countless training seasons that left me without a BQ. But I know that’s not it…It’s the hard work I’ve been putting in that’s paying off.. finally. It’s the track sessions, the tempos, and the long runs. I haven’t made a single excuse to avoid the Hard Stuff-no heat or humidity has held me back. I’ve dug my heels in deep and said “LETS FREAKING DO THIS.”
I’ve said it before and its working so well that it bears repeating: One of the things I’ve been really focusing on this training season is trying to finish all of my long runs “faster” than the first half. I break the workout into “thirds” and start at a slow, comfortable pace for the first section. The second section is run a little bit faster. I really dislike the second section of my long run because I feel like I’m still so far away from finishing—so kicking it up a notch is great since it tricks my legs/brain into thinking “yay we are nearly done, we’re going faster!” The third section is where I bust out my strength so I’m running “fast” but still “comfortably fast.” This is actually the very first training season that I’ve done this, and I firmly believe this has helped my speed improve. I keep comparing my long runs from my last marathon training (Boston) to this one and I can’t believe how much I’ve improved. It’s fun to see your own hard work paying off, isn’t it?
The first picture is my most recent long run, the second picture is my first Baystate 20 miler a few weeks ago, the third is my last long run for Boston back in March. Quite the difference in the three. Thank you speedwork, fast-ending long runs, and tempos!
I am so looking forward to “Marathon Sunday” because I absolutely love to race. This summer, I did two half marathons, my first 5k, and my first 5 miler. I’ve set PR’s in my half marathon, and I’m looking to smashing my 5k time too. It’s been an amazing summer of running for me as I work towards my BQ at Baystate.
I wish the marathon was next week because I’m getting way too excited for it. Okay, maybe TWO weeks because I’d need a good taper) My whole heart is invested in this training. You would think I’m the most excited to finally get to the finish line and celebrate – but the truth is-the starting line is where it’s at for me. I mean sure, I get a little sick thinking about the fact that I’m about to run 26.2 miles at a high velocity, and YES, I’m nervous with “can I really do this and good LORD can it just START already” energy/doubts. But the starting line is so much more than the
heart attacks jitters that myself and my fellow marathoners are having. Simply put-it’s one piece of the story along “my journey” that got me there.
Every runner has their own unique tale of the quest that led them to that point. You can see the motivation in their eyes: Maybe they’re running this marathon to BQ, or maybe it’s in memory of a loved one. Maybe it’s simply to show to themselves that THEY CAN DO IT. Whatever their own personal reason-the starting line is magic.
It’s our “party”, if you will be so kind to oblige me in that. It’s my moment where I can celebrate my training. Our moment in time-Before any real “pain” hits- may it be injuries or stomach ..ahem… “situations”…
This fleeting, beautiful, twinkling moment is my party…
It’s the way I savor my hard work
This moment is for ME.
The quick flash of time at the start is my own personal hope-to-be-greatness hanging on a precipice: I am letting myself fall head first on my journey to the finish line. And I know that ANYTHING can happen in between now and then. I’m about to see months and months of training put to the ultimate test.
THIS moment in time-This is why I love to race; why I continue to race. So as you continue to prepare yourself for The Big Day, don’t forget to stop and reflect on the fact that you too are doing something magical. This is YOUR race…find your own motivation that led to that starting line and let it push you through your training!