Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Feel Lucky

The other week Boyfriend and I suffered through watching "What's Your Number." It was a highly craptastic movie I recommend staying far, far away from if you want to keep your brain cells intact.

It wasn't a total waste of my life, though, because I heard a song during the movie which I tracked down.

There is that question that hangs over every runner, usually posed by non-runners:  Why do you run?

I can never really put it into words, but this song summed up the best answer I have ever heard and describes exactly the way I feel when I'm running:

"I feel lucky, I feel free, I feel everything's a possibility.  I feel lovely, I feel me, I feel everything I see is differently."

I've added the song to my regular rotation and usually play it at the end of my runs.  It makes me happy and always lifts my spirits.  If the run went well it puts a zip in my step.  If the run has been hard or hasn't gone the way I hoped it reminds me what the important things in my running life are all about.

August closed out with another monthly mileage PR of 253 miles.  I don't think I'll beat that mark again this training cycle and I'm definitely fine with that.  My long runs are about to get more challenging, but I feel like I've already gotten over the hardest weeks in my training plan.

I will be running my 35th marathon this Saturday.  I waffled quite a bit about whether or not I wanted to participate in the Air Force Marathon this year.  I signed up on January 1st and was originally planning for it to be my A-race of the year.  My legs felt like they needed some extra time to get back into real training early this summer so I made the decision to target Two Cities instead and either run Air Force as a training run or possibly scrap it all together.

There were a lot of factors I was considering when I decided to run Air Force.  The main reason my heart wasn't into it was that I have a very key long run workout to do the week after and I wasn't sure if I would be properly recovered in time. I've done lots of these 26.2 mile "training runs" before, but I've decided they take more out of me than I'd like to think and they always seem to disrupt my training flow a little.

In the end I decided to just go for it for three main reasons:  1)  I've always intended to run this for my dad who is retired USAF.  This is the main reason I'm still going to run it this year.  If it were any other race I'd definitely bow out.  2)  When I bought my plane ticket and committed to seeing this through I was feeling a little burnt out by all the miles.  I've gotten over this hurdle already but I thought the trip and subsequent break from the training plan would be a nice mental boost.  3)  I have goals for Two Cities but no live-or-die hard ones to really pinpoint.  I feel like my main goal I'll still be able to reach even if this race takes more out of me than I'd like or if that key long run doesn't go so swell.  My super reach goal may be jeopardized, but it isn't so crucial this go-around.

That said, I'm taking Air Force easy and am hoping to seamlessly reenter my plan after. This week I'm supposed to run 20 miles Friday, 5 miles Saturday, and 10+ miles with speed work Sunday.  I'm swapping all of these runs out for 26.2 easy. Sounds like a fair swap, right?  I'm hoping so.  I haven't gone farther than 18 miles in one go since the end of May so we'll see how I fair.  But I've been maintaining weekly mileage for months now that exceeds what my peak mileage used to be a year ago for marathons so I'm hoping that will translate over a bit.

I'm still debating whether I want to just run the whole thing easy or perhaps force myself to take walk breaks every mile from the very beginning.  I'm not entirely sure which would take less out of me.  The weather is looking sort of crummy (thank goodness it isn't an A-race) so hopefully I won't be out there too long.

I've heard rave reviews about this race and am definitely excited to see what it is all about.  I'm looking forward to the race vibe and using it as a nice reward for all my hard work thus far.  See you on the flip side!


Angela said...

Good luck!!

You are such a mileage beast. I am going to throw myself a party if/when I ever run 200 miles in a single month. :)

Alisa said...

Happy early birthday and wow to 35 marathons. You are crazy :).

Definitely listen to your body, you have an A-race. Remember what the running camp guy said...something like 'race less' don't race this at all just run, nice and easy =).

I'm in awe of how much your running has grown...200+ miles in a month...that is just amazing!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Looks like plenty of time o get back in the groove for the two-cities. Don't get hurt!

Our big local marathon and half-marathon (The Skagit Flats) was this past Sunday. Lots of Marathon Maniacs and I also now saw "Half Fanatics" shirts!

Michaela said...

One of the worst movies I've seen in awhile. (Well, except for "The Immortals." Stay far, far away from that horribleness! Made me want to gauge my eyes out.)