I don’t have a time goal for the marathon. After many races chasing down arbitrary times and PRs, I decided I want to experience this one for what it is at the purest level - a 26.2 mile test of my abilities through the city I will always call home, no matter where my bills are sent. As such, my training has been mostly without time goals as well. Running on effort and “just for fun” is great - I highly recommend it, actually. It’s liberating and a good reminder of how simple running can be (and how it was when I first started)! On the flip side though, **FORESHADOWING** it can be real easy to slip into a cruise controlled lull while you're just breezing through mindless miles. I’ve found that injecting a little competitiveness, like registering for a race or racing an unsuspecting stranger on the trail, can help bring a dwindling fire back to life. That’s sort of what happened this week, during what I had written off as a total snoozer of a workout that I wasn’t super stoked to do. Turns out it was one of my best runs yet.
Fleshman calls it: The Rhythm Finder
Sarah calls it: The Gloria Estefan
Effort: “Your hopeful race day pace, not your best-ever time or what you would run if you went out right now.”
For me, running easy and steady without getting so bored I want to gauge my eyes out is the hardest part about distance running. Marathon Goal Pace isn’t hard. (It better not be, if you want to someday in the near future run it for multiple hours!) Eight miles isn’t hard. (At this point in the game at least, as ridiculous as that sounds.) But they’re all kind of hard, and combining their low-to-moderate sufferfest powers gives you a decent doozy of a workout. I said a little prayer to the ADD gods, buckled in, and ran off into the early evening drizzle* to tackle week five.
Threat of puking: Threat of stabbing your eyes out in boredom: 4 - of - 5
*contrary to popular belief, Bend is not ALWAYS beautiful and sunnyUnderwhelmed by the intensity of the workout and already a little bored, I picked a speed (“effort”, because, no GPS watch) slightly harder than what I thought early miles of a marathon should feel like after seven more weeks of training. Seemed sensible, albeit pretty vague. And boring. A few minutes into that first MGP mile I felt a familiar little gremlin crawl onto my shoulder, and reach up to my ear.
Here’s the playlist in case you're curious - not the best but definitely harboring a couple hidden gems. Also FYI MIA Paper Planes is 172 bpm - not bad for the ol' cadence!