I was warned it would happen. I scoffed at such claims. One marathon was certainly enough for me. But…after applying for the NYC Marathon lottery yesterday (wholeheartedly assuming I would not get in), I started thinking about the “what ifs.” What if I do get in? What if I can run it fast enough to qualify for Boston? And as I thought more and more about the “what ifs,” I found myself becoming more and more excited. I think I’ve been bit!
Now if my husband happens to be reading this right now, he probably just let out a huge groan and possibly even some swear words (love you Bill!). The day of my first marathon he was the most supportive husband ever…but leading up to the race, I can’t say he was initially too enthusiastic about my decision to run a marathon.
Training is hard. Training is draining. Training affects not only your life, but also the lives of the ones around you. Schedules need to be rearranged to fit in long runs, exhaustion kicks in and you become a less “fun” spouse, and the list goes on. Not to mention the obvious fear that you’ll hurt yourself. (Think Detroit Marathon where three runners died). All of this led him to be a little wary.
But what they say is in fact true – once you run one, you’ll inevitably want to run more, potentially with the elusive goal of qualifying for Boston. The desire is even stronger if the goal isn’t too too far off.
I had an interesting back and forth today with a fellow blogger/runner. Britt of RunnerBelle has run 11 marathons and started off running at around a 4:30 pace. She has now finished a marathon in under 3:30! I asked her for some advice on increasing my speed and here is some of her feedback:
“I am a huge fan of speed work, the only way I have found to get more comfortable at a faster pace is to push your paces on shorter runs. I do a mix of tempo runs, 1600’s w/ 800 jogs, 800’s w/ 400 jogs, also some races thrown in. For NYC, I added a 1/2 marathon and a relay race into my training as well as some 5k’s and 10k’s. During the spring I’m fortunate that we have a couple of 1/2 marathons and a 20 miler leading up to Boston that really seem to help me find my pace. Believe me I know what it is like to be up around 4 hours and think that getting under a 3:40 is impossible. Before I qualified for Boston, my times were going up around 4:30! But I committed myself to speed work, hills, my long runs and adding in a few races along the way. It really seemed to work for me. Also I really looked at what I was eating, realizing that was my fuel for my runs and I needed the best fuel possible. This resulted in me dropping almost 20lbs, which also helped my speed too! I’ve gained a little of it back, but now I think I’m at my happy weight. I’m also fairly muscular from kettlebell, so I’m not a waif-ish runner. Hopefully that helps some! Happy Running!!!” Britt
That just fueled the fire to run another one even more! Thanks for that Britt.
Now on to my day and food/workout recap. Breaskfast was oatmeal, but wait for it…. with Apple Butter instead of Agave and raisins. I definitely used a little too much. I’ll stick with about a tablespoon next time:
Lunch was leftover salad mixings from the night before. I wanted to use it up before the lettuce wilted (I hate that). I also had some strawberry Greek yogurt with oats.
Snacks for the day included: carrots, chippers and dried prunes with lemon.
Sticking to my Pile on the Miles plan, I hit the gym after work and did the following:
3.1 miles in 25.47 (7.2 start – 7.6 end)
My body is feeling a little sore from the past three days at the gym after having taken almost two full weeks off. But it’s a good sore.
Dinner tonight was this:
With goat cheese mixed in:
Which is this recipe:
Pasta and Goat Cheese Delight
• 10 ounces baby spinach, rinsed
• 1 cup of bow tie pasta
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• half a package of grape tomatoes, quartered
• 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
• Nuts (any kind – I used pecans halved) – handful
Tear or chop up baby spinach into small pieces and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and place in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over pasta and add salt and pepper to taste, spinach and tomatoes; gently toss. Add goat cheese and serve warm or room temperature.
And for dessert:
Now it’s time to clean a bit, grab my book and try to head to bed early. I’m so excited to finally see Bill tomorrow! It’s been almost a week since I last saw him. And I almost forgot that I’m also excited to watch the Yankees Ticker Tape Parade tomorrow at work. It will be right outside our office. I will definitely have my camera with me!!