Friday, January 3, 2014

Running Round-Up: New Year, New Marathon Edition

Happy New Year, friends! I hope all of you had a chance to wind down, sleep in and de-stress over the holidays. And now, here we are: 2014! I've had a lot on my mind but no single topics that warrant their own blog post, so here's another round-up for you on what I think about when I think about running (or, when I'm actually running). Hopefully my mind will stop wandering all over the place when classes start again on Monday.

Marathon Training
I've signed up for marathon #5 and realized this week that I've never before run a marathon in May. I realized this, when I went to work out my marathon training schedule earlier this week only to discover that I should have started training last weekend. Oooops. No matter... having missed the first two runs in the first week out of 18 total weeks of training is not a big deal. It just made me chuckle, is all.

My last ever marathon training schedule??
What a Difference a Day Makes
As per my schedule for this week, I ran 6 km yesterday and another 6 km today, which is more mileage in one week than I've run since October. And yesterday was a great day to start as well, as it was raining and cold...which most people would find depressing, but I find rather glorious: fewer people around the seawall, that certain aura of mystery that only rain and fog can bring i.e. you know, like X-Files' style. That cool quiet is part of the reason I fell in love with the west coast in the first place. Today was also glorious, but for other reasons. The city started its day enveloped in a thick, pea soup-like fog, but opened up to filtered sunshine and dry weather. Two very different days, but both amazing. Rain or shine, I guess I just have a love affair with this place. 

Vancouver fog: late 2013
© Alexis Birkill

Bit of Worry
Having let my fitness lapse a bit since marathon #4 at the end of September, and likely having put on a little turkey weight over the holidays, I'm definitely feeling a bit sluggish out there. The past few runs have been slow and plodding, and have pretty much taken up my entire morning. Being a slower long-distance runner than most (that's not being humble, it's fact) means that other runners are knocking off higher mileage in less amounts of time. Given that I have to commit more time to training because I'm a slower runner, deciding to train for a May marathon in my last semester of my graduate degree with three months to go before I have to defend my thesis makes me worry whether I've bitten off more than I can chew. I must be nuts, right? At the very least, it will be a good experiment in time management. We'll just have to see.

Slow and Steady
Speaking of plodding, on December 31, John Stanton's page on Facebook posted this status update: "Enjoy your run today...there is someone out there that is more happy than you...running a lot slower." Me being me, I commented with this: "I'm the slow one! No one is slower than me so, you're welcome, everybody!" The nice thing was, I got six likes and a few encouraging replies. Not a bad way to end the year.

Hope 2014 has been good to you all so far! What races are on your list for this year?