I thought to myself last week, “Oh, I should probably do the math and figure out when I need to start training for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon.” It turns out that I needed to start training this week, as in today, in order to run an 18-week training plan. Good thing I looked last week!
Of course, it’s mid-June which means running in mid-Ohio feels like swimming. The temperatures hit the upper-80s to lower-90s most days now while the humidity likes to do crazy things like hang out around 80%. I sweat just walking out in the morning to let the chickens out of the coop. We all know how easily I overheat while running, so my options are: turn into an early runner, run after dark, or run on a treadmill.
Younger me might have opted for the late night run, but by the time I get through all the “stuff” of parenting and normal daily life, I really just want to sit on the porch and watch Gilmore Girls. And while I turned to the treadmill a number of times during the Winter of Doom, I still loathe the treadmill. I overheat almost as easily as running in direct sunlight.
So early running it is. Ugh.
I’m not great at early mornings either. I like sleep. I like our bed. I like the way morning light filters in through the teal curtains. I like the cool air from the ceiling fan. But I also like not passing out from heat stroke and not hating absolutely every step of a run. Sometimes you need to compromise.
Last night, following Angela’s recent advice on how to become a morning runner, I turned off the TV at 10:00 even though it was the season five finale of Gilmore Girls and I was like, “OMG! WHAT DID LORELAI JUST ASK!?” I quickly went through my evening routine and hopped in bed by 10:15. Callie looked confused, but decided she likes sleep too. I set my alarm for 6:30 and easily fell asleep after such a busy weekend.
However, I kept waking up due to the storms making their way through the area. Then I woke up at 5-something for no good reason; nothing good happens at 5:00 AM. When the alarm went off, I heeded Angela’s advice again and did not press snooze. But I accidentally fell back asleep. Thankfully only for about 15 minutes!
I got up, got dressed in clothes I laid out the night before, put in my contacts, and went to drink a cold glass of water and wait for my husband to get home from work. This is where “early” running gets tricky in our family. Since my husband works 24-on, 48-off, I must wait for him to return home before I set off on a run. Today I got out the door around 7:30. The awake time before hand really helped shake off the sleepies, so I’m going to stick with that plan for days on which I’m waiting for him to return home. Tomorrow presents a different challenge as he traded days with another firefighter. In order to run, I will need to wake up very early and hit the road at o’dark o’clock. We’ll see how that goes.
Today felt nice though. I chose to run my first training run at my goal pace for the Columbus Full Marathon: between 10:30-11:00. It feels tricky to slow down a bit, but I know I settle into this pace well and it still gives me a PR on race day. So, I went out today and ran my familiar neighborhood route, hills and all, and ended with an average pace of 10:42. I’ll take it.
The temperature this morning was 76 with a Real Feel of 82 and 88% humidity. Needless to say, I was a hot, sweaty mess at the end of my run.
I decided to go back to Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 training plan. This isn’t my first time training for a full marathon (or running), but I need to play on the cautious side. My goal, other than that pace and to PR, is not to burn out during training. Which, ha, because we all do. But after looking over a number of different plans, I decided stepping it back felt like the safest, wisest choice for this race. I will note, however, I have not printed and laminated this plan just yet.
I have two more three milers this week, followed by a 6 miler. I chose to start on Monday even though Higdon’s plan calls for it as a rest day. I’m running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday this week as Saturday is a travel day and I’ll want to rest on Sunday before starting week two on Monday again as the following Saturday is also a travel day. After that, I should settle into a normal schedule—or as normal as fire life gets.
As usual, I’m feeling excited and optimistic at the start of training. Let’s do this! 2015 Columbus Marathon!