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.

Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Week 16

Here is my final week of training leading up to the Chicago Marathon!

After two weeks of failed Tuesday workouts (week 14: egregiously hot, week 15: strapped for time), I knew I wanted to nail this Tuesday’s workout. It was only 24 minutes at marathon pace, but it was a good mental reminder of what I needed to run on Sunday and a way to get out a little nervous energy.

Saturday’s shakeout was meant to be run in Chicago, but after I woke up at 5a to learn that our train would be delayed at least an hour and a half, my husband convinced me to run it before we left. It was early, and I was tired, but it felt good to cross off that essential to-do item from a busy day.

Spoiler: I didn’t get my A goal on Sunday, but I did get B goal. Regardless, it’s hard to feel anything but proud when I PR’d by an hour and ten minutes, bringing my marathon time from 5:44:XX to 4:34:XX. Belated congratulations to the other Chicago Marathon finishers! It was a tough day to race, but Chicago showed up.

• Monday: Rest day

• Tuesday: 2 mile warm-up, 8 x 3 minutes @ marathon pace w/4 minute rest, 2 mile cool-down

• Wednesday: 4 easy miles

• Thursday: Rest day

• Friday: Rest day

• Saturday: 20 minute shake-out, 1.7 miles

• Sunday: Chicago Marathon (!) 26.2 miles

• Weekly mileage = 40

Thank you for following along these past couple months! The full marathon recap should be up tomorrow 🙂