Athens Marathon Training: The More Things Change

30 Oct

Yo, man– this marathon is less than two weeks away. I finished my last double-digit run this weekend, and now the most I have to do is all the running around to get ready for race day and a much-needed vacay with MrKef.

Today, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to revisit the ghosts of runs and races past. I originally thought this post would be about how much my running has changed over the last 7 years, but it turns out I’m not overturning any old adages this time– the more things change, the more they really do stay the same.

Athens Marathon Training Week 14: The More Things Change

Monday: Yoga Nothing at all exciting to say about this, so let’s throw it back to my very first race: the Capitol Hill Classic 10k. I can’t remember why I signed up for the DC Road Runners CHH10k training group, but I still remember the thrill of finishing my first Saturday Long Run (which was probably only 3.5 miles) and how quickly I fell in love with starting my day with the sound of my own feet on the pavement (and the cheers of my own personal fan club–shout out to North Capitol St of yesteryear!)

Tuesday: Arms & Abs at Solidcore. Here’s something that has definitely changed– I used to be a sporadic (at best) strength trainer and nevvvvvvver did speedwork. Thanks to the good advice of… everyone … I cut that ish out, and am now a weekly speeder and strengthener. Aaaand if you look very closely, you can see some baby abs poking out– excuse ME.

Wednesday: Unintentional rest day. Sadly, there is no amount of speedwork in the world that will help me get a good race picture. Some lowlights, from top to bottom:

1) COTTON pants … in a race … in MAY

2) at a 10k where the photographer caught me changing

3) looking every bit as cold and dead as I felt while waiting for the worst-produced race of all time

4) securing my spot as the poster child for the Mall Walkers of America

Thursday: Run 45. After this lovely run, I ate a lot of blueberries. This, too, seems to have been a pattern since the beginning of my running days.

Friday: 3x 1-mile @ 7:25 plus warmup and cool down. Just because I know speedwork is good for me doesn’t mean I look forward to it. Track workouts get me a little worked up– what if I can’t make the intervals? what if I can’t finish the workout? what if I die right there on the Banneker track and by the time anyone finds my body the smell of fries from the Georgia Ave McDonald’s has seeped so far into my cold, dead tissue that people think Happy Meals are being served at my funeral?

But the thing is- I almost always nail my workouts. And even when I don’t, I dig deep, fight hard, and am getting stronger and tougher just by trying. This week was no exception- I came in way under time (7:10, 7:12, 7:20).

This, too, has been recurrent in my running: I set a goal, face down whatever self doubt bubbles to the surface, and end up surpassing the original intention.

Case in point–3.5 years ago, PurplePenKef sent me an email with the below subject :

To which I responded:

And — because PPK has always been one of my biggest champions, and because she has often known things about me before I knew them myself, and because one of the main reasons we have stayed friends all these years is so that we have someone to email between 5:08 and 6:32 am — she quipped:

And now here are, less than a fortnight from my first marathon. I really hate it when she’s right.

Saturday: run 90 minutes. I was up in Staten Island visiting family, and this run was pretty close to race conditions- hilly, 68 degrees, sunny with little shade, and long stretches of decidedly-unscenic highway views. I wasn’t feeling it at first but I eventually dialed into a groove and had a great run. The next double-digit mileage I will do is 26.2!!!

Weeks to race day: 2

Total Miles This Week: 20.25

Gains: lots of time

Losses: anything witty left for this portion of recaps

One Response to “Athens Marathon Training: The More Things Change”

  1. Courtney @ eat pray run dc October 30, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    Love this. So excited for you. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Can we track you?

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