Sunday, July 8

Time on your feet and tackling 26.2

Yesterday I planned to run long.

I woke up at 5:45 to "beat the heat" (whatever that means when it's already 80 degrees and 90 percent humidity at 6am). Unfortunately I knew I was going to have a dragging-arse day before my feet even hit the floor.

Most mornings I look forward to my long runs. Yesterday neither my head nor my hydration were in the game. (Yes, I know long runs are 90% mental. Yes, I tried every motivation trick in the books. I was still dehydrated and unmotivated.)

Ultimately I got out the door by promising myself that I could walk some... as long as I got out the door. My planned "16 miles or bust!" turned into a somewhat underwhelming "16 miles or 2 hours and 45 minutes, whichever comes first."

Thrilling, no?
Surely the Olympic marathon trials are in my future...

But, in all honesty, sometimes time on your feet is as important as covering a set distance.

And I'm not just saying that to justify a lackluster run.

In my case, I'm working on base-building before marathon training begins in earnest. Hitting a goal pace is less important right now than just getting my body used to being on the move for 3+ hours. Also, I'd like to not hate running (or get injured) before marathon training starts. Forcing a certain pace and distance at this point in the training cycle would be foolish.

Oh wait...
I haven't told you about marathon training yet?

Until now, I've only mentioned this to a handful of people...
I've signed up to lead a pace group for marathon training. This means 16 weeks of 5am wakeup calls. Plus, I not only need to run, I need to run evenly, consistently, and strongly enough to lead others on each and every run.

No pressure.

To be honest, I'm both excited and (more than a little) nervous about this. I've trained for dozens of races before (from 5k to marathon to Olympic distance triathlon) but I've always trained alone. I was only responsible for getting myself across the finish line. If I had a great day, I could roll with it. If I had a bad day, only I would be affected.

I've also led running groups before, but for shorter distances, and with few specific time goals. If I had a fast day, I could lead the pack. If I needed a rest day, I could hang back and someone else would step in to lead.

This marathon training program is new territory.

I'm looking forward to the challenge!

Have you ever trained with a group before? Coached group runs?
What's the best running advice you've ever received?


  1. Wow - that's a big commitment. I don't think I could do that - run on someone else schedule/pace, but I will look forward to reading about YOU doing it!

  2. Yes, even I, who loves heat, was not into the long run this weekend in the soupy conditions. Anyhow--good for you for leading a group like that. It will be a really rewarding experience for you!

  3. That is some commitment! At least you will have no excuse to miss your runs even in this crazy weather.

  4. Wow! That's a big commitment- but I know you'll be well able for it. Great stuff, lady! :) x


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