This week training has gone really well. I am excited and starting to feel more confident about my marathon cycle! I recently committed to running Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN on June 19, so my training is finally starting to have some direction. While I am not currently doing any marathon specific training yet, I am working on increasing my ability to adapt to the added intensity in my schedule along with a small bump in mileage.
My coach usually sends me workouts in one or two week increments--when he starts sending two week increments I know that he is starting to have confidence in my ability to handle whatever he throws at me. So, this past week I finally got the first two week schedule in months . While I was glad to know that he was starting to have a little bit of faith in my body handling the work, I can't help but look ahead at the workouts I have coming up and feel nervous. I have 5 marathons on my feet and even though I know what to expect with the workouts and what the build up will look like until June, I can't help but feeling butterflies when I look at my schedule and see something like 3x2 miles or 15 miles with the last 5 miles at high 5's to low 6's. Sure, it doesn't sound like much or even that fast, but since I have done very little training over the past 5 months seeing the added intensity and knowing that I will have to push myself harder than the normal everyday run pace is scary. I am excited, of course, to get on with starting a little bit of speed work but nervous that my body is going to fail me again; nervous that I will be left flailing like I have in the past couple of cycles I have attempted.
The scariest part is there is no guarantee--we are doing all we can to monitor energy levels, sleep, appetite, and runs on a daily basis, but even with the increased scrutiny and a very conservative, long term approach no one knows or can predict what might happen over the next 5 months. I haven't had a training cycle yet that was completely perfect and I know I never will but this spring I am hoping not to experience some of the speed bumps that I have in the past--I have endured everything from freak illnesses to home invasions. But with each a successful end of a racing season, I felt like I had really accomplished something because not only did I race well or learn a valuable lesson for future racing, but I persevered and didn't let adversity dictate racing or my life. So while I do hope for a clean build-up, I also know that I can tackle any setback and not let it direct the outcome of my training. So, bring on the marathon!!