Did you hear about the Canadian racewalker who finished the Vancouver Marathon in 3:10:35? How is it even possible to walk that fast?!
A lot of my indecision has surrounded my new job I started in January, which was a very stressful and at times overwhelming change that left much less time for running than I’d been used to. First, I should say that I love my new job. I’m actually doing something different (but related) to what I was hired to do, and it involves working on solutions to major organizational challenges, many I’ve never had to deal with before. It’s challenging, often mentally draining, and fast-paced. I don’t have a set routine and need to be flexible in terms of things that I work on and work hours. But I’m beginning to get comfortable with it all as I get more familiar with the and the people, so it isn’t as overwhelming as it was in the beginning.
Recently, I confided in a coworker about marathon training. I told her that things were so fast-paced and busy now, maybe I should wait for next year when things calm down. Her advice to me was, “If it’s calm in a year, they’ll just give you something else to do and you’ll be just as busy.” That made me realize that there won’t be any completely carefree time in my life when I have nothing to do but train. Work and life will always be busy; if I want to train bad enough, I just have to find time for it.
So I finally asked my boss whether I could start working from home one day a week to better fit in a long weekday run. He said yes, but that I would need to be flexible and may need to change the day I work from home based on what’s happening that week.
All of that eliminated my job as an obstacle to marathon training. That left my second obstacle: my desire to train. I’m thoroughly enjoying what feels like perfect balance between running and life these days. That balance can be so hard to achieve. Do I want to throw things off balance? Do I want to sacrifice so much of my free time for training? I’ve asked myself these questions daily for months and have different answers depending on the day, but more and more, and consistently over the past week or so, the answer has been YES.
I think a big part of that yes is because of trail running. I cannot wait for my trail runs and wish I could spend the whole weekend running on trails. My mindset has shifted from “I’d have to give up my weekends so I can get my runs in” to “I’ll get to run more on trails!” By incorporating more trail running into this marathon training cycle, I think I’ll enjoy it as much if not more as my first training cycle.
I’ve been patiently waiting for the answer to come to me and not force it, and it finally has. YES, YES, YES. On July 18, I’ll start training for the Philadelphia Marathon, and I couldn’t be more excited. I do, however, plan to give myself a two-month trial. If my work schedule is just too crazy and I can’t train properly in the easiest months, I know it won’t work in the peak weeks. So I plan to approach this training one day, one run at a time and see what happens.
Until then, the running life is good, friends. This past week we had very cool early-morning temps (between 52 and 55 degrees), and I enjoyed those runs as much as I’m still enjoying the trails. I realize I’m in a sweet spot and am appreciating it as much as possible until training starts.
I have a lot of activewear reviews for my newest Fabletics outfit and a lot of awesome stuff from Athleta, Beyond Yoga, and Albion Fit, so I’ll start posting them this week.
Here’s how the week went down.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Pre-marathon training; training for a 10K trail run June 24
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 18.8
- Time running this week: 4:31
- Miles this month: 36.06
- Miles this year: 431.43
- Strength training: 50 minutes
Easy run: 50 minutes
Strength training: 20 minutes
Speed workout: 51 minutes
I did 3 half-mile repeats in zone 4 with quarter-mile rest, plus warm-up and cool-down.
Easy run: 40 minutes
Easy run: 54 minutes
I was excited to wear my Michi crops for this run! Just right for 52 degrees.
Trail run: 1:16
My favorite day of the week: trail day! Trader Joe’s is near North Park, so I’ve been combining my grocery shopping trip and running, a nice time-saver. I can’t stand grocery shopping when it’s crowded, so I went to Trader Joe’s early before the crowds, put perishables in a cooler, and headed to North Park.
I’d downloaded the Allegheny County Parks app, which gives you lots of good trail info at regional parks. After checking the app, I decided to try the red-blue blazed trail, the Pfundstein trail. It’s 6.5 miles, but I was running for time and knew I wouldn’t run the whole thing. Access and parking was easy–right by the main reservoir parking lot/boat ramp off Pierce Mill Road.
I absolutely loved this trail. It’s rated moderate instead of challenging so doesn’t have super steep sections. Instead, it’s gently rolling, mostly smooth singletrack, with not many rocks and roots. I’m not sure if it’s because I was having so much fun or if it because it was so warm, but it was really hard to keep my heart rate down on this run. While there were no crazy hills, there were lots of small rollers that kept my heart rate up. I walked a number of times to get my heart rate down because it was getting pretty high (into zone 4). Still, I loved this trail and the run. It was pretty and shady. Occasionally I could see to the main road, where most runners run a loop around the lake. I was so happy I was in the shade instead of the sun! This is a pretty popular trail because I came across 3 other runners, about 8 mountain bikers, and a large group of hikers. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of this trail!
After I ate lunch, we took Django to the dog park to celebrate his 7th birthday. We met up with our greyhound friends and their greyhound, and Django had fun running around like a nut, lying in muddy water, and eating grass–his favorite things.
When we got back we headed back out and walked to Downtown to the Arts Festival. We also walked through Pride Fest. With all the people Downtown, there was some pretty good people watching! There were a number of things we thought of buying at the Arts Festival, but I have so much artwork I’ve bought over the years that I haven’t had framed yet. I decided no more buying art until I frame what I already have! So we left empty handed, but we did have some good treats. I got a spinach pie (one of my favorites) at a falafel/hummus stand and a vegan tofu hot dog with housemade kraut and vegan ranch dressing from Franktuary. Both were amazing.
Strength training: 30 minutes
I debated whether to head back to the trails for another run. I really wanted to. But now that I’ve decided to do marathon training, I know I’ll have many weeks of back-to-back weekend runs in my future. So I decided to instead take Django for a long morning walk while it was still relatively cool (it started getting hot over the weekend) and then did strength training.
I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap, Steff, for the Pittsburgh Run Bloggers Weekly Recap, and Courtney for her Training Recap. Have a great week!