With all the turmoil going on in my life I found much of my relief and therapy from running. Running was the only time when my brain would stop turning circles with my fears and anxiety so I craved the time on the roads. I ran at lunch, I ran in the morning, I ran after work, I ran in the middle of the night. Running became my drug of choice and I overdosed on it whenever I could. I also wasn't eating. I just wasn't hungry with a huge knot in my stomach most of the time. I made sure to get my morning beet smoothie so I was getting lots of vegetables, but beyond that I just didn't have an appetite for anything. The result of all this running and not eating is that my weight has dropped and I'm running really, really well.
So during this time I also concluded that I needed something to set my mind and body to. A goal. Something to keep them both busy and focused. I decided I was going to qualify for Boston. Why not? I had lots of free time on my hands, I was running a lot anyway, and it's something I've always wanted but never thought possible. Once my world fell apart, impossible and possible no longer meant much. The barriers that I always saw between me and Boston suddenly didn't intimidate me so much. Facing down a large demon doesn't seem so frightening when you have nothing left to lose. I looked at marathonguide.com and chose Tucson as my goal race. My friend Maurice has run Tucson a couple times and he has BQed there. It's a net downhill course so that should help. It's also held on December 10th so the timing worked well. I had 12 weeks to get ready for it when I started this journey.
So I highered a coach, got on a plan and off I went! In the past when I'd tried this, I was intimidated by the workouts ahead of me on the schedule. This time I didn't even look at the weeks ahead. I just put my head down and did the workout for that day without thinking. I looked forward to the next one since running was also giving me so much peace. It was the only thing I had to look forward to each day.
I'm 4 weeks into the 12 week plan and am hitting all my goal paces for each workout. My target pace is 7:28. My plan has me sneaking peaks at that pace every now and then but hasn't put my on it for any significant distance yet. I have been pushing myself to keep my easy pace at 8:00 and no slower. I think this frustrates my coach but I know how my body works and know that it easily gets comfortable at whatever pace at which I choose to train. So making 8:00 my slow pace will raise my comfortable pace to that time. Then I'm only looking at about :30 faster per mile for a goal. That's doable in my mind.
The hardest run I've done so far has been 18 miles with alternating fast/slow miles. I did a 3 mile warmup at about 8:00-8:30 pace. Then I ran a mile at 7:30 or less and then a mile at 8:30 for 15 more miles. I hit all my miles and over achieved at the slow pace. It kicked my butt though! I'm proud that I did it but a little worried about how hard it was.
This week is an easy week for me on the schedule. I don't have a track session and my long run is an easy 13-14 miles. Because I'm a really bad student, I'm trying to make this week a high mileage week. I just don't feel comfortable taking an easy week. I'm backing off the pace but trying to run more than the schedule calls for. Shhh, don't tell my coach.
Thanks for listening