Yep, it's that time of year again. It's time to start training for the marathon, and it's time for weekly training updates. Woot!
This year is drastically different from last year, though.
1) I suffered an injury. Last year, most of my aches and pains were just aches and pains. I could run through them, ice, and not think much of it. Now, however, I analyze every ache and every pain. Am I just sore or is it something more? I'm very nervous about injuring myself again, and so I'm being some what cautious.
2) It took me a long time to recover. More than anything, this just set me back in my pre-training. Last year, I was running at least three miles about every other day (sometimes more). My times were faster, and my mileage was higher. This year, I'm lucky if I get 3 miles in twice a week, and my pace is closer to what it was at the end of marathon training last year. This is fine as long as I don't slow down during training, but I find that highly unlikely.
3) The kennel is already open. Last year, June went fairly smoothly, but once we started working on kennel stuff in July, the schedule became packed. My four runs a week with one day of cross-training and two days of rest quickly became 2-3 days of running with no cross-training and lots of rest. Obviously, this was enough to get me through the marathon, but I wonder how much easier things would have been had I run a little more or cross-trained a little more.
4) I'm not new. It's interesting in a way. Last year, I was completely new to the marathon. My eagerness to not be alone in this adventure allowed me to easily meet new people and bond with them over the newness of the whole situation. This year, I'm a little more experienced. I'm still on the novice team, but I know the coaches and the routine. I have a couple of running buddies on the team, but I'm still hoping to meet some new people. The problem is, my situation makes things a little harder, and bonding might not be as easy. Oh well! I guess I'll just do what I did last year: run up next to someone and say, "Hi! I'm Valerie." It can't hurt, right?
Anyway, Saturday's five mile run went well. I finished in a decent time, and I felt fairly good afterwards. I'm excited about upping the mileage, and I can't wait to see how I do. Also, in an attempt to add in some cross-training, Hans and I biked around town yesterday. We biked to church, then to the pet store, then to the kennel, and lastly back home. All in all, we went about 12 miles. I know, as far as bicycling goes it's not much, but it's better than nothing. In time, I'll up that mileage too (and my rear won't hurt as much at the end), but for now I'm happy with what I've got. Maybe next week I'll go swimming!