Notes From a Hired Pen

Week 1, the Kick Off: To the Little Free Library and Back

3 miles, 31:25

Big day today: first run of marathon training. I donned my tuxedo running shirt and did an easy run to Collingswood’s Little Free Library and back. I found it a few weeks ago while walking to the vet to pick up my dog’s medicine. I took a book then and was past due in returning the favor. Running with a large hardback isn’t easy, especially when winter gloves don’t exactly grip the cover, but I tucked it into my left arm like a football, dropped it off, and ran back home. I plan to make this a regular stop on my runs. Free books!

Three miles isn’t exactly a difficult way to begin marathon training, but it’ll get plenty hard soon enough. I’m thinking about that today, and for good reason. There’s a bit in Matt Fitzgerald’s book How Bad Do You Want It? about bracing. It’s mentally anticipating the pain that’s about to come in a race. I used that tactic in November when I tried to break my old 5k PR. I’m doing long term bracing I now, having been through the Hansons Marathon Method before, to get ready for the hard work ahead. I’m ready. I hope.

I didn’t run a marathon in 2015. One reason was my book. In the spring, I ran while writing it, but I didn’t want the pile on of marathon training added to the stress of writing the book and keeping up with my day job. Plus, I’d just run the New York City Marathon in November 2014, and I didn’t feel at all recovered. Two bad marathons in 2014 was signal enough for a break.

That doesn’t mean I stopped running. I got fit in other ways, so this time around, I’m coming in ready. I’m 20 pounds lighter than I was in the New York City Marathon (yes this story is about 25 pounds, but hey the holidays get us to all. No regrets about those cookies). I scaled back my workouts after that November 5k, but I didn’t stop running or putting in time in the weight room. I’m the strongest I’ve been in a long time.

My challenges will be to continue to strength train when the miles stack up, and to not let book stuff get in the way of training. It’ll be published on March 22, a Tuesday. That’s part of the second highest milage week on my 18-week training schedule. The workout for the day of publication: three sets of two-mile repeats with 800 meter recovery in-between plus one mile warm up and cool down. Haha. At least it’s not a tempo run…oh wait that comes two days later. Nine miles, plus warm up and cool down. Insert maniacal laughter here.

Other concerns: my knee is also not entirely 100% recovered from a tumble I took in October, though I only really feel it on deep knee bends. The foot I hurt in 2013 has been a shade cranky. I’ll need to keep an eye on that too.

I will not post about every single run, but I’ll hopefully be writing about this often until I hit the starting line on May 1.


2 Responses to “Week 1, the Kick Off: To the Little Free Library and Back”

  1. Christine says:

    Where is the little library?! Also, Anjali Yoga in Westmont is doing a hams, hips and abs class on Sunday’s specifically for runners. Unsure if that is in your training plan but it could help!

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