The training plan for my first marathon started just a mere 9 days ago and I’m already loving everything about it. Granted, I’m just starting to rebuild a solid conditioning base but I’m really enjoying all the training runs thus far. Due to my class schedule and the heat (at least this week with temperatures averaging in the high-80s), I’ve been running very early in the morning before the sun has even crested over the moutanintops. This morning I was out the door by 6 AM to run an easy 5 miles. Since I’m back at school, the majority of my runs include rolling hills. This makes maintaining a consistent pace rather challenging. I am braking on the steep downhills and merely chugging along on the long uphills. If I decide to run in town, the entire first mile is completely downhill; therefore, the entire last mile is completely uphill. This makes warming-up my muscles and cooling down to bring my heart rate down a struggle, but I’m adapting. Training here is actually extremely beneficial because transitioning to flat makes running seem a thousand times easier. I trained for the Broad St 10 miler on these hills and my finishing time (a HUGE 7-minute PR) was the result of training on such challenging “terrain”. As much as I enjoy running on flat, I know that my training is augmented ten-fold because of the hills. I couldn’t ask for better training conditions. I know that the marathon will be a challenge in a whole different way so a little hill challenge throughout the training months is just mentally and physically preparing me for race day.
I now think of every run as a blessing because I get to wake up on a brand new day, start it with the one consistent thing in my life that I can depend on, and reflect on the training with my dad and other running friends. I am grateful for the support of family members and other friends who are also training for their 1st marathon. The running community is an extensive network of people who understand the ups and downs of running and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.
Tomorrow morning will be my second workout day of my training schedule (a quick and easy 3 mile tempo with a mile warm-up and mile cool-down). Cheers to many more training runs and more blog posts about it leading up to race! Happy running, my friends!