Saturday, running in the rain for fall marathon training

20120908-182714.jpgMy blogging here took a hiatus for a bit, minus the accidental posting of a draft I began months ago and set to time release on August 31st for some random reason. The post wasn’t too bad, I suppose, after a little editing.

Runner’s High

I have done a little writing on running here and here. It is the commitment I made to work to help populate the blog that runs in the living section of the newspaper website. The other runner-writer who shares writing chores there has years of experience both running marathons and writing on the blog, so I feel sort of under-qualified and overwhelmed. I need to come up with a story, or topic, that doesn’t have everything to do with my junior marathon training experiences and more to do with telling another’s.

Columbus, here I come

That said, and right back to me, for those who have not read those posts on that blog, let me catch you up, briefly. I signed up to do the Columbus Marathon, a wildly popular fall marathon in Ohio, about 60 miles from where I live that circles through the campus of Ohio State University, or as some further west might say, the other OSU.

The route, according to many other runners, is flat and therefore, more forgiving than the Flying Pig course in Cincinnati that I am used to. My deep down secret hope is that I avoid injury (marathon 1) and gastric distress (marathon 2) and set a nice PR that I can brag about to friends and family.

Based on my earlier two marathons, and the brutal summer heat of fall training, I settled upon a different mental approach to training this go round as well. For my long runs I’m doing what is prescribed, a slower than marathon pace, and saving my speed for week night speed training. This means watching a lot of folks I run with (and not being prodded by some who aren’t doing fall marathon training) flying past me on Saturday’s, and me having the discipline to hold back (at least until the end on some runs, when yes, I will sometimes sandbag it and take off, and during those speed runs when I will run with at least the next fastest group).

I’m doing this pacing that makes me nervous in the hope of not hitting a wall on race day at mile 18 and giving myself the best chance for negative splits between miles 13.1 and 26.2.

Other things

Of course I need to make it to the starting line first.

Let’s just say, I know I will, but I’m in that part of training where my ass is generally dragging (I’ve never had the chance to do two marathons in one year before) and I’m just feeling some discontented emotion in other areas of my life now. Mood-running-my-life-in-general all just seem to merge.

This is where I write sorry for going all dear diary, before proceeding. Sorry.

This morning I woke up at 6 a.m. to dark skies, 60 degree temps, and drizzle. I immediately wanted to clock out, skip the run, sleep. If my running buddy had answered five minutes earlier the text I sent asking if he were going  I probably would have skipped.

Typically, I look at running in bad weather — snow, zero temps, rain, ice — as a chance to be a badass, to show my dedication. Current mood though has been, just hide. I was dressed and rolling out of driveway when my friend did text, saying he wasn’t running in the rain, since running-as-training for him is mostly optional since he’s not running a marathon in the fall. I kept telling myself I could turn around at any point on the drive to the meet up location to run.

I stood under shelter, in the rain, dreading getting wet at 7 a.m.

This was going to be the Saturday I was really going to chat it up with new people too, since I’m not familiar with the slower pace group (many of whom have PRed faster than me in real races) and a lot of guys from spring I sort of know aren’t training this fall. Ultimately I did no such thing as engage in small talk. Instead I ran and grumbled and worried that the girl in front of me thought I was staring at her ass when she glanced back as I zoned out in my own thoughts (yeah, okay, she has a nice butt, but I wasn’t staring, promise). I also got soaked, hit a few puddles, and listened to the rhythmic squeak of my shoes for 14 miles.

At the end of the run I left the meet up spot a bit dejected after trying to engage for a moment with my new pace group who are all familiar with each other. Either they weren’t having it, or it was obvious I wasn’t really into chit-chat, or perhaps there was a mix of both.

It wasn’t until I was driving down the street to my home that I realized all the clouds rolled out, I was relatively dry, and despite myself, somewhat uplifted. I mean, not perfectly happy and all is back to being well uplifted, but a bit lighter, which just reminded me that yeah, I still do love running and it can be some of the best mood medicine out there.


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