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Reassessing Running Goals

October 9, 2013

Morning, morning!  We’ve had a great start to the week here.  I went on a nice run yesterday after taking Monday off, and just returned from another run this morning as well.  I ran into this sweet face at the end of my run this morning:

photo (13)

(No, Mom, I don’t want to kiss you right now.  You’re real sweaty.)

…which is always a fun treat.  Smile 

My long run on Sunday was…not great.  I had fourteen miles on the schedule…I made it 13.6.  But those 13.6 miles were pretty fucking awful, because of, I think, a few different factors.  I was running in the afternoon (I definitely prefer morning), after a 4.5 hour car ride home from Asheville on which I did NOT do a lot of hydrating (gotta avoid those unnecessary stops!), after a weekend of food, wine, and little (okay, zero) running.  Also, my garmin conked out, so I was using my i-phone to track my miles.  You know what starts to feel heavy after 10 miles or so of running?  An i-phone.

And yeah, yeah—I know.  Excuses are like assholes, right?  I obviously have a LOT of excuses for why this run felt so difficult.  But you know what I really think it is?  Running is hard.  Running 13.6 miles is hard.  Running 26 miles is going to be REALLY hard.  And if I have ANY chance of making it through it on the other side, I’m going to have to plan ahead, and run smarter. 

One things I’ve realized?  A sub two-hour half might not be in the cards for me this year.  In order to adjust my training schedule for the marathon, I’m going to be turning at least one, but probably both, of my half-marathons into training runs.  Which means that after running 13 miles in the race, I’ll be tacking on anywhere from an additional 4-6 miles.  Which means that I probably should be running them at a much, much slower pace. 

When I signed up for what I thought was going to be just one half in October, I was thinking in terms of speed—I wanted to be FAST for that half-marathon.  But, now that I have the ultimate goal of the marathon in December, I’m having to readjust my race goals from ones of speed, to ones of distance.  Because really, at the point I’m at now in my running, it’s not going to be both.  And while it would feel great to run a sub two hour half, I know it will feel even better to complete a marathon. 

So.  Speed is out.  Distance is in.  Long runs are going to be more focused on pace, hydration, and fuel—two things I haven’t had to give *that* much thought to in the past.  I think one reason why I felt like DEATH after Sunday’s run was because I started the run dehydrated, and it only went downhill (ha!) from there.  I bought a handheld water bottle to take with me on my longer runs, and will be making more of an effort to really hydrate beforehand as well.

I’m still basically terrified at the thought of all the training that is ahead of me, and I think to myself at least twenty times a day, “What makes you think you can run a marathon?!?”  Who knows—maybe I can, maybe I can’t.  But I can at least try. 

Also, on an unrelated note, this happened yesterday:

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…and it was fucking adorable.  Seriously.  That is one cute fall fairy, if I do say so myself.  She also had her 18 month check-up yesterday (?!?!), and was OFF THE CHARTS for her height percentage.  Girlfriend is going to be one tall drink of water. Winking smile 

Happy Wednesday!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2013 7:05 pm

    She’s such a doll. And I think it’s ok to semi-dwell on the hard run b/c you can sort of pick it apart and figure out what went wrong. Sounds like you had the deck stacked against you from the start of that one. I think changing your focus to the distance is smart. You can still incorporate some speed into the runs though for endurance.

  2. October 9, 2013 7:28 pm

    Could she GET any CUTER?!?!?! Fucking adorable 😉

  3. October 9, 2013 8:13 pm

    Wow, kudos to you, Anna! I knew you were training for a half, but not a full. That’s more than I can take (at least for now!). I had a similar experience running my first half a week or so ago…had to readjust my goals to focus on FINISHING, rather than being FAST. Granted, it was my doctor telling me this (“Don’t get out of breath! That baby needs your good breathing and you gotta stay hydrated!”), but still…the day of, a part of me felt ashamed of my 10-minute mile finishing time. Now I just tell myself that’s the time to beat in the future. 🙂

    Are you running with a friend? That always helps. Also, finding your magical pre-running meal (mine is a small bowl of steel-cut oats with brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries and walnuts).

    In any case, keep up the good fight! Don’t let a few dreadful runs keep you down.

    • October 10, 2013 12:04 pm

      I am SO impressed that you ran that half, pregnant! Finishing at a 10 minute mile pace is freakin’ awesome, Ruth. Seriously.

      No, I’m running alone– I always have, and I don’t mind it too much. I think it would be nice to have a friend along for the long runs especially, but right now, I’m doing it solo. Well, me and Terri Gross, that is. 🙂 I consider her my virtual friend because I listen to so many Fresh Air interviews while I run. 🙂

      • October 16, 2013 4:59 pm

        Terri Gross *would* make a lovely running companion…

  4. October 9, 2013 10:56 pm

    Good grief that girl is adorable! She has got the attitude to go with it. Boys are going to be all over your house Anna! You and Ryan seriously have to secure that place down. As for the run, I ran 13 two weekends ago and it felt amazing. I ran 7 Saturday and I thought I was going to die! This is what I love about running. The scary part for me is the commitment to an actual run since I don’t know that I have complete control over how I will feel that day. Ya know? Tony ran his first half this past weekend and he ran it in 2 hours 1 minute. It was hilly too. I don’t know how he did it. I think I would have died with the hills. I know a lot of it is mental, but I am with you too that you have to put in some prep too for the physical. I need to find a half that isn’t so hilly! Freaks me out!

    • October 10, 2013 12:02 pm

      You should run the Huntsville half!!! November, and TOTALLY flat (so I’ve heard)! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to that half, because I’m pretty sure the Chattanooga one I’m running in a few weeks is going to be SUPER hilly, and yeah, that’s freaking me out! I”m running a 15k this weekend that is supposed to be super-hilly too. I know I’m going to be slow doing it, but I guess that’s kind of the point.

      • Ruth permalink
        October 16, 2013 5:00 pm

        Terri Gross *would* make a lovely running companion. Best of luck, Anna…

  5. October 10, 2013 12:23 am

    She is so cute! What an awesome costume!! You’ll make that marathon, I know it! I’ve totally had one of those runs…..the worst part is within the first mile or so you already know its going to be terrible hahah

    • October 10, 2013 12:00 pm

      Ha, YES! I knew even before I started running that it was going to be bad, haha.

  6. October 18, 2013 7:28 pm

    Well she has tall beautiful parents…what did you expect? 🙂

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