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."
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.
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.
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?