Well for the most part, with the exception of running a few too many k’s, I followed my training plan to the letter this week. Monday and Friday were rest days for me so the week started with a 6k (tempo) run on my own Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday I was with the Running Room marathon clinic for a 10k (tempo) and 6k turned into 8k (steady run) respectively. Saturday I ran another 7.5k on my own and Sunday I was back with the group for a 16k LSD. Thanks to the clinic this was my first solid week of group runs….
I have recently come to the realization that years of running solo has deprived me from the social aspect that comes with running in a group. This was something I wasn’t even aware I was missing until now. This past week offered up opportunities to meet many new friends and have lots of great conversations. As you are all aware, LSD runs are the perfect time to get to know someone new (seeing as you have a couple hours to kill pounding the pavement beside each other). Just such an occasion presented itself to me yesterday on my long group run….
I had planned and prepped but I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the heat yesterday. I spent all day Saturday being really smart about fuelling and hydrating. I also went to bed insanely early to ensure plenty of rest (us runners sure know how to party on a Saturday night when we have longs runs planned for Sunday). At this point, my one downfall was likely running 7.5k on Saturday. Or maybe it was just the humidity. Regardless, Sunday was a bust! I put the slow in LSD!
I’ve asked myself a hundred times what went wrong? Who the hell knows! Maybe I need to learn the etiquette rules when running in groups (any advice here would be appreciated). I spent time with a few people at the back of the pack right off the bat. We chatted and enjoyed the sites along the Barrie lakeshore. Slowly but surely a few started to pull away and I continued to stay back despite feeling pretty good at this point (my coach Roger would have had a few choice words for me here but he was long gone). Then a few more pulled away. I was speaking with a gentleman who stopped a few times to take a pull off a puffer. Uh oh! He was apparently recovering from a head cold. He was really struggling and I stuck with him but the next few k’s proved too much and he turned around. It wasn’t long before I caught up to the the woman in front of me. Lisa. I ran with her for the next little bit who was also struggling in the heat and had run out of water. I also stuck with her. All the supportive stopping and starting may have been what did me in. But running with Lisa gave me an opportunity to talk to her about many things but in particular her experience with marathon running. She said something that allowed me to reflect differently on my week of marathon training…..
“It’s not crossing that finish line that’s hard…that’s the easy part. It’s the training! But you will never regret it”
Interesting. For some reason, may have been dehydration setting in, this had a profound impact on my thoughts for the rest of my run. Here I’ve been perseverating on the thought of my upcoming marathon and intimidated by how hard it is going to be. Second guessing whether this is really something that I can do. My conversation with Lisa was an epiphany moment because I realized that I’m already doing it. I am right smack dab in the hardest part of marathoning and I am doing it!
Unfortunately, Lisa couldn’t finish our LSD either and turned back. Again, I was left on my own…with my map and my new perspective. It certainly wasn’t pretty and wasn’t my best run by any means. But I finished (with no regrets) and learned a hell of a lot in the meantime! Week two was a resounding success!