Three and a half short months ago during my taper for the Free Press Marathon, I gave into the taper crazies and emailed the Cleveland Marathon and asked them to up my registration from the half to the full. This week I just wrapped up a great first week of training for the Cleveland Marathon.
Cleveland is an interesting race for me because it's one of the two races I have done multiple times. It's the hometown race. I will be going back for the fourth year in row, only this time, to finally conquer the course and to run the full rather than the half. The past two years in Cleveland I have had a terrible time. The last 3.5 miles are a long gradual uphill with no spectators and usually direct sunlight. The weather can range from 30 degrees to 85 and 100% humidity. So why do I want to do it again and for a full 26.2 miles I'm trying to use to qualify for Boston? Because I'm not okay with coming up short of my goals. Every year I have ran Cleveland it has been a PR for me but every time I have come up short of the goal time I set out for myself. 2014's goal was to break 2 hours and I ran a 2:00:50. 2015's goal was to run a 1:45 and I ran a 1:53. So during my taper I decided that the way to truly redeem myself was to kill the full marathon course and hopefully get my BQ in my hometown.
So how did week one of training go? Well for having what felt like the most miserable week ever due to work, school, and personal issues, training was amazing! Guess that's why we run right?
The first day of training was a fairly simple run. Headed out for 3.1 miles at whatever felt like a comfortable pace since it was only my second run back from Rock n' Roll Arizona and I was coming off of an 8 miler the Saturday before. Ended up with 8:25/mile which was probably a little bit faster than it should have been but everything felt good so I let it happen.
This was a day for recover as my calves were incredibly tight from Monday's run and probably going too fast too soon after Rock n' Roll AZ. Ended up with 3.2 miles at 8:46/mile. Really trying to work on my pacing because I tend to struggle when it comes to holding 8:45-9s. This one I tried starting out slow because I knew I'd kick it up on the way back.
Wedneday was where the stress of the week really set in and started to interfere with my running. I really didn't want to go for my run and I especially didn't want to go outside in the cold. I basically told myself to get over it because I knew I would feel so much better post run. And I was right! 3.1 miles at 8:38/mile.
For me Thursdays are always the last short run of the week. I take Fridays off to rest up for my Saturday long runs. I ended up tweaking my hamstring during Wednesday's run so I opted for a shorter one on Thursday at whatever pace didn't aggravate my hamstring. I did 2.5 miles at 8:31/mile (clearly the hammy felt pretty good).
I knew going into today's long run that I was going to go fast. Probably too fast. All of the stress of the terrible week was built up and waiting for me to burn it off in the form of a long run. I showed up to run club bright and early at 7:30. My training partner wasn't there because he is battling an injury, and my other running buddies were MIA as well, so I knew there was no one to hold me back. After opening remarks were made and it was time to run, I took off like I was at the start line at a race (I know because it was commented to me later :D). What started off as me telling myself to back down after 2 miles turned into 3, then four, and so on until I just decided to let myself go. I needed it. Every time I thought about slowing down, a song that described my mood came on my music and picked me back up. My favorite today (and always, who am I kidding) is Let it Go from Frozen. My run ended up with 8 miles at 8:00/avg. Will I pay for this next week? Probably. Would I do it different? Nope, because it put be in the best possible mindset for today and I had an amazing day.
All in all I can't complain about week 1. 20 miles. 8:18 avg. That would make me happy even without everything else that went down this week. Even better was coming home to a shipment of Nuun post run! I love the stuff and I'm so proud to represent such a great company! Time to relax and foam roll as week 2 may bring my intro to speed work!