Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Journey Begins

This week marks the beginning of my marathon journey!  With the help of Hal Higdon's novice 2 program, I plan to toe the starting line of my first marathon on April 12th.  I've done the pre-training plan prep work: my weekly workout are all loaded into my Google calendar; a printed copy of my schedule hangs in my kitchen, full of boxes just begging to be checked off.  It's go time!

As I stand at the start of this training plan, I'm both excited and terrified, but mostly I'm just happy to be officially starting the road to 26.2.  My workout schedule for the week doesn't look much different than what I've been running in my maintenance mode: a couple three mile runs, a five miler, and an eight mile long run.  In some ways, it feels anticlimactic to have an "easy" start to the training plan, but in others, I think it means I'm in a strong position to do this thing.

Google calendar, with Hal Higdon's advice, will get me to the starting line.

Thanks to inspiration from some mother runners on Strava, I've been logging regular strength workouts this month, which couldn't be better timed with marathon training.  I know cross-training and strength training are keys to marathon success, and I'm glad that I'm beginning the program on the bandwagon; it's easier to stay on the wagon than to get on it.  With the other mother runners, I'm working on some new-to-me core exercises and revisiting some oldies-but-goodies.

I cross-trained and did strength work yesterday, so today was my first run of the training plan.  Because the universe has a sense of humor, this morning I experienced alarm clock issues for the first time in months.  Never hearing an alarm, I rolled over at 4:46, exactly 4 minutes before I was due to meet Emily.  I madly threw on my clothes and bolted out the door, sighing that this must be a bad omen to sleep late on the first day of the plan.  But by the time I had walked to her house, I'd turned my brain around.  Instead of dwelling on the negative, I spun it to the positive: I did get up in time!  It wasn't my finest effort, but I did get there just 4 minutes late (sorry, Emily!), and considering that my head was on the pillow a mere 8 minutes previously, I'll count that as a win.

This morning encapsulates how I expect this training cycle to be.  It won't always be pretty, and I won't do everything perfectly.  I'll make some mistakes, miss a workout or two, and eat some less-than-desirable foods.  And that's okay.  In spite of those errors, however, I will ultimately find a way to get it done.  I will log the miles, do the push-ups, foam roll my quads.  I'm a recovering perfectionist, so this way of thinking is a bit foreign to me, but I hope this training cycle will help me embrace it more fully.  I hope you'll join me for the journey!