Spring Training Begins in the Winter, Arctic Tundra Previously Known as NW Ohio

This side of 2018 is cold. Like coming-at-you-from-a-nonnegotiable-treadmill-situation-because-it-feels-like-negative-fifteen cold. I felt I ought to explain the title if you’re reading this from somewhere you can feel your face when you walk outside. Winter wanted us to build our resilience fast this year.

It’s been three months since the Chicago Marathon, and I’ve been sleeping more, running less, and brainstorming how I’d like to train for a spring half marathon.

A couple things cleared up the latter quite nicely. First, I was selected as a 2018 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador. As you might remember from last year’s spring training, the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon is my hometown race, and I finished with a huge PR at their Owens Corning Half Marathon event. As I wrote in my application, I love the city of Toledo, and I love running and racing; the combination of the two makes up just about my favorite day in this city.

Both events run by my parents’ home, but I spent my childhood happily sleeping through the opportunity to cheer on the runners. By the time I became a runner, life never lined up with the ability to come home and run it until I moved back to the city after graduate school. After running the half marathon event last year, I knew I wanted to run it again, and the new ambassadorship just cemented it as my goal race.

Second, after the persuasion of neighbors, fellow Pure Barre-rs, and other convincing testimonials, I signed-up for the Dave’s Spring Marathon In-Training (MIT). The 16-week long program appropriately began on the first day of the 2018, and I’m really excited to push my comfort zone and train with a group. This year’s Owens Corning Half Marathon will be half #6, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build on my best running year yet. It’s only been three days in, and my husband (who has also signed up for his first Dave’s MIT) can attest to how ridiculously excited I’ already am to be a part of a local group who loves running as much as I do. If you’re interested, you can still sign-up for Dave’s MIT through January 31st. We meet at least once a week at an indoor track and on the weekend for the long run in rotating metroparks.

I waited until 2-3 days before the start of the new year to commit because I was battling my con list excuses (I don’t know that many people, what if I can’t keep up with my group, is it worth the weekly drive to the track, I usually run alone). Ultimately, I finally decided that I couldn’t determine it wasn’t for me until I tried. Honestly, that’s what I would tell you if you’re also considering trying something new this year. If you’re thinking about training for your first half marathon (or 5k or whatever), register for one and give it a try before writing it off. Most importantly, don’t give yourself an easy out. I can guarantee you training might not be very fun in the beginning when the alarm clock rings earlier than usual and your lungs are burning, but you might just discover you love it anyway.

I was reading Lauren Fleshman’s blog post on the art of goal setting, and one line in particular jumped out at me. I’d been mulling over my half marathon race goal before committing to a pace group at Dave’s MIT, and I caught myself doubting my ability to run that fast.

An appropriate goal stretches you but still assumes some sh#t will go down in the pursuit of it.  -Lauren Fleshman

I laughed out loud when I read that because it seemed so obvious. I didn’t expect my new goal would be achieved easily.  It’ll stretch me (because I’m trying to do hard things), sh#t will go down in the pursuit of making it happen, and I’ll come out the other end.

Anyway, I’m very excited to represent the Glass City Marathon and continue to share why it’s a race I’ll continue to return to and you should try (if you don’t already know about this speedy, hometown gem). I hope you had a happy new year, and I’ll be sharing my first week of training on Monday.

My favorite running training partners: Alex and our pup Schezney.

Thinking Out Loud: What’s Next?

I’m linking up with Running with Spoons again for Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for hosting, Amanda!

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 3.34.21 PM

Even before I finished training for the Navy Air Force Half Marathon, I was pondering what next? Next fall, next spring, next month?

Up first, of course, was/is recovering properly from the longest distance I’ve run, and I feel pretty good two and a half weeks out. I was itching to race another 13.1 miles four weeks out from the NAF Half, but ultimately, I’m glad I chose against it. For one, $110 is a lot of money to cough up for another race, and my grad-student-wallet was whimpering. I could do it, but I probably shouldn’t… Second, I’m not sure how far I want to push my luck. Chances are I’d be fine, but the risk of an overuse injury kind of cemented the decision for me. 

So again I ask…what next? I was hoping to declare the Marine Corps Marathon 10K! But guess what sold out before I was ready to press the “register” button?! Oof. I was trying to be fiscally responsible! And register when I could! But obviously, I dropped the ball anyway. I kicked myself enough, and then searched for a plan B. I scoured the internet for upcoming races in the DC area and fell on one I’d ruled out because I was planning on being out of town before plans changed: the Women’s Health RUN 10 FEED 10.

RUN 10 FEED 10 Route
RUN 10 FEED 10 Route

The 60-70 minute run I already had planned into my schedule, plus the $35 registration fee, made this race a solid choice. I’d like to see how close I get to my June PR, but ultimately, I think this will just tame the fall race bug after missing out on Clarendon Day + the Dirty Damsel. 

I also have to remind myself that with the exception of one 10K and a fun run, I spent the entirety or 2015 running without racing before my first half. It’s okay to run for the joy of running before my next big training cycle.

…and what might that be? The Glass City MarathonAs I’ve written before, this is my hometown marathon in Toledo, Ohio. Runners actually pass right by my parent’s lawn. (It’s also very flat and forgiving.) I can’t think of a better place to finish my first marathon. Thus, these next three months are prime time to keep working on strength and getting that mileage up.

Ultimately, I’m just soaking in the fact that I get to run. And that feels really, really good.

Am I the only one already plotting 2016 races? Also, someone talk me down from a fall marathon with my October wedding…