Official Marathoner In Training

Posted on December 4, 2012




The original title of this post was going to be “Sad and Doughy goes shopping,” but I decided to wait a few days until my piss-poor attitude turned around.  I did acquire some new winter running pants, as my official marathon training is now in full swing. It was a mortifying experience, had a significant price tag (even at the discount Nordstrom rack) but truth be told, I do feel pretty foxy in my new gear. One pair of tights has such an amazing support compression system that I swear it was picking me up for the whole first mile before my feet actually hit the ground.

I’ve changed my fashion sense as well, since the slick running jackets usually reserved for an outdoor workout have now been incorporated into my sporty day look.  I am aware that I look like all the other middle aged housewives out there dragging their kids to gymnastics, karate, Whole Foods and Target, but just give me the delusion in my mind that I look a lot more like a fitness model.  I even got some extremely pink new kicks (not my color choice, but I’ve decided to love them, and they make me fly) at my number one favorite running store of all time, Bull City Running. Please go there and give them all of your money, they are an awesome local business.

This weekend, new shoes making their debut, I ran my first official distance run.  8 miles, and I felt like a superhero.  The weather has been so agreeable that I feel as if the universe is really on my side in this venture.  If the weather gets hairy a little further down the road, I’ll already be so addicted to my runner’s high it won’t phase me. I ran further down the Tobacco Trail toward downtown than I ever had before, and it made me feel excited for this coming Saturday, when I’ll go for ten.

I am a bit of a data junkie, so I was constantly monitoring my pace to make sure I reached the “steady” speed for the entire 8 miles as set forth by my training plan on my Runkeeper.  If you love running, data, or apps, you really need this on your phone, I honestly don’t know how anyone is out there running without it. (You can track my run data by checking out my Runkeeper stats posted via twitter  . We can even friend eachother and check out eachother’s workouts. I’m pretty sure it’s free, I’ve never spent more than 1.99 on an app.)

I chose a plan that goes right into the app and coaches you through all your workouts.  I started the training on day one with a “slow” four miles, “no need to push it,” the training advised.  What does “slow” mean? I pondered pretty much throughout my entire run.  Once I figured out that “steady” was between a 9:20 to 9:40 pace, as my plan for the eight suggested, I realized I could actually slow down a bit.  Which of course, went straight to my head, and made me feel like I was obviously training for the Olympics. I maintained that feeling on my eight mile run, as I held a 9:16 pace throughout, while chanting to myself, “steady, steady, steady” because I am a total weirdo who likes to talk to herself during runs.

Today, I really turned my weirdo volume up, as I began to compose a song to sing to test the advice that my “slow” runs should maintain a conversational pace.  No one to talk to, so surely fellow trail runners won’t mind that I lowly sing to myself a ditty fit for a five year old about “How’s my pace? Is it hard to breathe? Can I sing with too much ease?” Great stuff. Clearly, I am the coolest marathon trainer alive.

While I am on the topic of geeking out on data and on the trail, I’ll talk about the most fun part of today’s run. The intervals at the end of the slow four; 20 second sprints at 95% effort, divided by 2 minutes “slow.”  Especially since I have lost my headphones (to my 53 lb. puppy’s chewing habit) and my training app gives a loud chirping beep between intervals.  It seemed to time out perfectly that my phone would chirp and I would go from “slow” to “supah-sprint” as soon as I got right on top of a runner or walker on the trail.  Like I was seriously just trying to show off on purpose.  I am glad that doing such embarrassing things entertains me so well, because honestly, I would have rolled my eyes at me with a teenaged “seriously?” thrown in for dramatic emphasis.  To be perfectly honest, it is more likely that no one else even notices me on my runs and I am, just as the beloved Don Quixote, a legend in my own mind.  But if you’ll just entertain me with that until the scale starts being a little less stubborn, that would be really polite of you.

How is winter going for the rest of you out there?  I hope you find a little motivation in my insanity, if I can get out there and regularly make a fool out of myself, what is stopping you?

Happy Running!