With a marathon coming up, Jess goes for it, with dreams of Gatorade and that amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes at the finish.
This is the week everything finally started falling back in place.
This was the week where I did several longer runs and could be seen running the country roads in my little village, smiling, laughing and singing loudly, breathlessly out of tune, to my constantly evolving running playlist. This was a great week.
It started out with a 5 km race in Sidney, British Columbia that took us along the waterfront, the salty air pushing me past the point of exhaustion. What comes past exhaustion is endurance, strength and hope. I understand that every race is hard. Every race challenges that place inside me that is screaming for me to just stop! And you never do because you know at the end there is Gatorade and that amazing feeling of accomplishment.
Two days later, I set out on my first real “long slow run” since I ran the Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in December. I loaded up my fuel belt, bulky and uncomfortable as it is, popped on my iPod and I was off. Living in the country can make it challenging to run specific distances, but using a GPS device like my Garmin watch makes it a bit simpler. My training plan called for an 11-mile run so i just ran until I had reached five miles and then started winding my way back.
The thing about the long, slow days is that they really give me time to think and move my personal threshold a little bit further every time. Suddenly, I’m looking at eight miles as easy. Or easier. That’s what marathon training is all about for me: wrapping my head around these huge numbers. After this week, the long runs will keep getting longer until mid April when I will do a final run t of 23 miles.
Twenty three is still daunting, as is the 26-and-change of a marathon. But, a little less so every day.