Eighteen Saturdays: Canton Marathon 2012, Week One
So, my first week (of 18 total) in preparation for the 2012 Canton Marathon, by the numbers:
- Tuesday, Feb. 14 – Schedule: 3 miles. Actual: 30 minutes (approx.) on the treadmill.
- Wednesday, Feb 15 – Schedule: 5 miles. Actual: 5 miles. Time: 45:09. Avg: 9:02/mi.
- Thursday, Feb. 16 – Schedule: 3 miles. Actual: NONE. Overslept.
- Friday, Feb. 17 – Schedule: Rest. Actual: 30 minutes (approx.) on the treadmill.
- Saturday, Feb. 18 – Schedule: 8 miles. Actual: NONE. Run postponed a day.
- Sunday, Feb. 19 – Schedule: Cross train. Actual: 8 miles. Time: 1:19:07. Avg.: 9:53/mi.
I’m following the Hal Higdon Novice II training schedule, though it should be noted that it’s likely (as was the case with my first marathon) that the “cross training” Sundays will become rest days, unless – once the weather gets nicer – you count things like push-mowing the lawn.
Notes from Week One:
I still don’t like running the treadmill, and I don’t trust its mileage tracking, so I figured that running for 30 minutes should more than cover a 3-mile run. When the weather’s nice and it gets lighter, I plan to take these short Tuesday and Thursday runs outside so I can better work on my pace.
My friend Keith gave me an older model Garmin Forerunner, and I love it. In 2009, I did all my training carrying a stopwatch. While the pluses are many – I like being able to monitor my distance and pace, upload and crunch all the data, and wear the timer on my wrist – I confess that it can be too easy to glance at it too often, especially toward the end of a tiring run. It can also contribute to a habit I hope not to get into, which I’ll touch on in a minute.
My mid-range and long runs this week were much harder than I’d anticipated, and I was discouraged by my times. Wednesday morning, I ran with my brother Adam, and this was supposed to be a run at my race pace goal of around 8:23, so coming in at over nine minutes per mile was a gut check. I mean, I ran my first marathon at an average of 9:01.
Today’s eight-miler didn’t help. I was supposed to run yesterday with Adam, but Kelsey had an all-day gymnastics meet, so I put it off until late this morning. It was right around 32 degrees and pretty nice – overcast at first, then sunny with a high haze of clouds. The thing was, what I took to be a pretty calm morning, wind-wise, turned out to have been simply having the wind mostly at my back for the first four miles, which meant spending the second half of the run heading into a steady and pretty cold breeze.
And while I have made at least one freezing-weather run a year since March 1, 2009, I think today’s was probably the longest I’ve ever done, and it took a toll.
Which leads me to a confession: The route I had planned was a complete 8.3-mile circuit. Armed with the Forerunner, though, I stopped the timer right after passing the 8.0 mile mark, and walked the rest of the way home. During the summer 2009 Seventeen Saturdays training, I can only think of one other time when I “moved the finish line” in similar fashion, meeting the planned distance goal, but still feeling like I fell short. Both times, it’s probably worth noting, I was running solo, which made the mental battle a little tougher.
My nearly 10-minute-per-mile pace today didn’t help things. (I am at least somewhat encouraged that what slowed me up today was my legs: Lungs were fine.)
I think most of my frustration lies in my own impatience, and I need to remember that I haven’t been running regularly at all, and I can’t expect to just pick up and start again at the paces I was running in the summer of ’09, when I was out in the nice weather four days a week. There are adjustments to be made and miles to go, and I know that the seconds will come off incrementally.
It does feel good, though, to have that schedule taped up beside my desk again, and to see that one week of miles are already behind me.