Midway point: Training for The Ave

Feb 22, 2022

At this time in 2020, I was in perhaps the best shape of my life. I was training for the 2020 Avenue of the Giants Marathon and felt confident that I was going to PR. I had just finished a week where I ran 30 miles. I was biking. I was weight training. I was ready. Then an atomic bomb fell on us and the world shut down and my training halted dramatically. My body never recovered. Two years later, I am now just hoping to finish. I ran my first half marathon distance in two years on Saturday and felt ok until mile 11. With 12 weeks until the race, I have time, but my objective has definitely changed. My body is not what it once was and I have had to accept that fact. I ache more. I don't recover like I once did. The two hernias I had eliminated that explosiveness I once took for granted. Thus, I don't run as fast and I hurt longer. In my mind, I have decided that my marathon running days will end with the Avenue of the Giants. I wanted to finish 7, but I will be fine with 4. A solid even number. And hell, most of the population haven't even done one, so I am good. How is the training going? Well, not bad. I am not where I was in 2019 or early 2020, but I am better than 2021, which I spent recovering from my January surgery. It is Week 12 of the training, and as I said, I finished a half marathon distance (13.1) on Saturday. It was warm and I ran in the middle of the day, so the body and mind were thrown off, but overall, it was not bad. I felt the urge to poop around Mile 4, so that also slowed me down. My weekday runs have been in the morning and it's been really cold. Like in the 20s, so my splits are reflecting that. It's really hard to run when it's bitterly cold, so cold it freezes my water. I have yet to eclipse 10:00 on a mile, though I have run as fast as 9:29. My legs are getting stronger each week and while I dread the Saturday runs, I have been completing them and doing so under the 12:00 pace I set for myself. Positives, no question. I have to be realistic with myself and my new objectives this time. The marathon training will begin to really grind on me over the course of the next 12 weeks. I will feel really awful starting this Saturday (14-mile run) and will have to make sure I fuel and take care of the body. I am not as strong as I once was and I have accepted that. This will be one of the most physically tasking things I have done and it will be hard. I am sure I will be walking a lot and I am sure my legs and back will scream. Why am I doing this? Well, I signed up for it. I would not have done it otherwise. But it's probably good. I am stubborn when it comes to spending and do not want my money to go to waste. Plus, by the end of this training, I am sure I will feel really good. I already feel light years better than I did in December when I began the training process. I look better too. I have lost some weight and feel a lot more energy. Who knows, maybe this will spark something and I will stubbornly sign up for another marathon in 2023. But to answer the question. How is the training going? The hard part is about to begin. Ask me again in about six weeks.


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