Monday, July 20, 2009

Making Progress in Training (and reason #5432 why running is amazing)

I am in my third week of Marine Corps Marathon training. Surprisingly, I have been able to make every single run scheduled for me. Yes, it's meant I've had to cut sleep in place of workouts, but I do believe it's been worth it. Here is my progress report:
*I am one second away from my summer goal of running a 6:25 mile. I hit 6:26 during the gauntlet last week. I am convinced that I'll hit it before August, and then I can make a new goal.
*I have lifted once a week. I'm trying to prioritize, and running takes priority. At work, I do do some lifting on occasion, so at least that's something.
*I am sleep deprived. It's more likely that I've ran more miles this past week than get that many hours in sleep. While it's not an ideal situation, I know I feel better getting a run in than an extra hour of sleep.
*I successfully ran 9 miles on Saturday at marathon pace (8:21). Even managed to hit a few hills, and I took it all in stride. It just felt so great to get off campus for a while and know that no one would try and page me for something (going at 6AM on a Saturday morning helped ensure that as well).
*The marathon is just under 13 weeks away. That distance from the race is good -- I am still very excited about the training and am in the here and now. Focusing on small goals and monuments, while keeping the big monument in sight and in my head. And there really is a big monument at the end, since the marathon finishes past the Iwo Jima statue.
In sum, the job has been like a marathon itself. Each day with these kids is equally important, and it's imperative to keep the energy up through the later miles. Hitting the wall cannot happen, so I just need to find ways to fuel up in order to make it through the harder sections. The running has helped immensely - such a good release from the tensions of work. A few weeks ago, a colleague offered me an option: she would be me for an hour and I could do whatever I wanted. I ran 7 miles during that time, and I returned to work feeling so refreshed. It was amazing what a difference it made! And so now my colleagues know what to do when I'm stressed or worked up: let me go run. And then I'm able to come back a better worker.
...And that's reason #5432 why running is amazing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Beginning of Marine Corps Marathon Training

I realize I've fallen off of the radar for a bit, and there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. 3 weeks ago, Beloved Summer Job commenced, which has taken up nearly all of my time. Although it is super-busy, I absolutely love it and I am so fortunate that I was able to return for a fourth summer. While technically everything is the same (same job, same program), it's the turnover and retention of people that makes a big difference. There are a few people on my work team, both old and new to the job, who have helped me in a number of ways: professionally and personally.
Everyone has been very supportive of my running, which is good, because Marine Corps Marathon training kicked off on Monday! It's hard to be believe the official training has really begun. I remember in May, June, I just thought I had so much time to prepare. And I did, but it really flew by.
Today, I ran the ladder (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400):
400 (1:32), 800 (3:20), 1200 (5:02), 1600 (6:40), 1200 (5:04), 800 (3:21), 400 (1:40)
Pretty decent times, although I definitely should've held back slightly in the first half, so I could've gotten better splits. Oh well - it was my first time doing that workout, so I'm sure I'll have better times next time around.
Since I need to be close to my job, I've just been on the track, which I realize is not entirely beneficial. I'm hoping that in a few weeks I'll be able to get more off-campus runs in. But, at least I'm running!