Greeting everyone! I’m Kathleen’s husband Mike and Kathleen asked me to contribute to her blog. And I’m happy to do it! I’ve been running races since 2005 (the 2005 Navy 5-miler in DC was my first race), but I’ve been doing distance running since about 2000, when I was a Navy midshipman training for the 1.5 mile run portion of the Navy’s Physical Fitness Test. I’ve done everyone from 5k’s to half marathons, but the 2013 Richmond Marathon will be my first full marathon.
As Kathleen’s earlier posts have stated, this week was the official start of our 17-week marathon training program. This week, the plan called for 3 miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Wednesday, and 3 miles this morning (Thursday). The recommended pacing was 30-90 seconds slower than the target marathon pace for Tuesday and Thursday’s runs and at marathon pace for Wednesday’s run. We’ve set out marathon pace at 8:35 per mile (about a 3:45 marathon), which means our weekday training runs range from between 8:35 per mile to 9:35 per mile. These paces are about 1 to 2 minutes slower than my typical pace for a typical run, so I’ve had to put a lot of effort into slowing down my pace. This hasn’t been easy, first, slowing down seems to make my legs a little more tired and sore (though maybe it’s just because it’s been a long time since I ran 3 days in a row!), and second, trying to keep my pace at the target is difficult without a GPS watch. I use the Nike+ app on my iPhone, but that only gives time, distance, and instantaneous pace. It also gives your average pace after each mile, but that isn’t often enough to keep me at the target pace. Kathleen and I are planning to order Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watches with the virtual pacer feature, but that will be a topic for a later update.
To make matters worse, the first week of our training coincided with the year’s hottest week to date. I’m not at all surprised, if I’ve learned anything in my 8 years of living in DC, heat waves typically occur in July. In order to beat the heat, I decided to start running in the mornings (new for me) and moving my start time at work a little later into the morning. So far, it’s worked out well; I feel like I’ve got more energy during the day, and most people leave work an hour before I do now, so I’ve got some peace and quiet to actually get some work done at the end of the day.
I’m looking forward to the training, and will post my thoughts of other topics soon! Happy running!