This weekend marked the official start to marathon training!!  This fall I will be running my 10th marathon (my fourth MCM) and I will be training with the =PR= Distance Training Program in Reston for the third time.

I am BEYOND excited.

I started Saturday morning by meeting up with the training group at the Reston store, where Coach Caitlyn went over the logistics and gave us some great tips and advice before sending us on our way.  It was awesome to see such a great group of people come together to achieve their goals — lots of new faces and of course lots of familiar ones too.

I hit the trail feeling strong and ready to tackle my first official long run of the season.  Last weekend I ran 14 and since I’m a little ahead of the schedule at the start, I decided to run another 14 and practice my long run pace for this cycle.  I want to average somewhere between an 8:00-8:20 pace for my long runs this cycle.  It went perfectly.

14 Miles ~ 8:04 average pace

Mile 1- 8:36
Mile 2 – 8:05
Mile 3 – 8:12
Mile 4 – 7:54
Mile 5 – 8:09
Mile 6 – 8:05
Mile 7 – 7:57
Mile 8 – 7:56
Mile 9 – 8:15
Mile 10 – 8:06
Mile 11 – 8:04
Mile 12 – 8:07
Mile 13 – 7:45
Mile 14 – 7:45

I’m feeling good at this pace.  It’s about 30 seconds faster per mile than I was running long over the winter, but my spring races indicated that I’m fit enough for a 3:21 marathon so I’m training at the paces for a 3:20 right now — as long as I am feeling good there my plan is to stick to that.  I’m trying not to be intimidated by the faster paces – they are fast but they are where my body is at!  So I am going for it.  One year ago all of my long run paces were a full minute slower than this and I was stretching for that and feeling proud of myself at the end of every run.  What’s that quote say – “it doesn’t get easier, you just get faster” – or something like that?  I am pretty much living that right now. 

When I finished up my run on Saturday I went straight home to my family.  I stayed in my stinky clothes and sweat-dreaded ponytail and we spent the rest of the day at the farmers market and then at the pool.  It was a perfect Saturday.

ready to hit the pool

On Sunday morning I laced up for my recovery run – 6 miles clocked in at a 9:20 pace.  I was reigning myself in, making sure to honor the purpose of the run.  I know that if I want to continue to make improvements this cycle I am going to have to run the recovery runs properly — they have to feel SLOW and they are just as important as the hardest of workouts — so that I can bounce back and feel ready for what’s up next.  It was a beautiful run.


After that run I kept my stinky clothes on and switched my shoes so we could head out for a beautiful family hike to celebrate Father’s Day.  Later in the afternoon we went back to the pool again.

My perfect Saturday was followed up with a perfect Sunday.

my world

I’m feeling grateful and hopeful at the start of my marathon training cycle.  My cup is FULL and there is so much going on, so much happening and on the brink of happening.  So much that I am excited about and thankful for.  The summer is RIPE with possibilities in nearly every area of my life.  I am going to be coaching a lot (more on this in another post this week, I promise!), running a lot and teaching a lot.  I am going to be spending as much quality time with my loved ones as humanly possible and I cannot wait for this the mostest.  Because it all MATTERS to me.  I know it is a lot to manage and balance and my strategy is this: ONE DAY – ONE MOMENT – ONE STEP at a time.

I am ready.

6 thoughts on “ready

  1. I am in my first marathon training plan right now and am trying to figure out the best way to get in my long run on the weekend but still find the maximum amount of time to spend with my family. Staying in sweaty clothes till nap time may be the new normal for me! 🙂

  2. Wow- that came back around quickly, huh?! Sounds like you have such a great group to train with. I'm itching to train for one this fall but we're trying to work out the family planning thing… not sure yet what will happen!

  3. Love how strong and great you obviously are feeling! I can't wait to get that feeling back with runs again. I've been having some little issues and haven't had one of those GOOD runs since my first marathon a month ago. Can't wait to follow along on your journey!

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