This weekend, in the midst of my 50 mile training, brings my first marathon in two years. I am picking up where I left off EXACTLY two years ago by running what was my last marathon before a little pea-sized Eloise showed up a month later. I ran the Southern Tennessee Plunge Marathon in 2011 and it was also training for a 50 mile race that I did not end up running because of the above mentioned pea.
So can I just say I am SO EXCITED to be running a marathon again! I have no idea how I'm going to do. I think I'm trained even though I didn't get in the last long run I wanted, but I have no idea what to expect or what pace I should start out with, and I don't care because I'm just EXCITED! I'm not sure I realized how much I missed it until this week when it hit me. I AM PUMPED!
That said, I'd like to run between a 4:00-4:30. I figure that gives me a big enough swath of time to play with, while still being reasonable about where I am now. Before Eloise, I'd been running a LONG time and I had a BIG base built. I have no idea how quickly that base returns after having a child, if it takes years or just consistent training. So Saturday we shall see what I've got.
Because this marathon is part of my training, I don't really want to taper, but it is also a marathon so I should probably scale back just a little. Finding the balance there is tricky. I don't want to excuse myself from thorough 50 mile training, but I want to be smart too. Shoot... let's just tell it like it is. I want to have fun, run forever, and feel good doing it.
Having Eloise has really reshuffled how I look at running and how important it all ranks in my mind. Sure, I still have goals. I'd like to win a 50 miler one day, I want a marathon PR (sub 3:45), I might even want a half marathon or a 10k PR in there somewhere too. But more than that, I want to be fit, strong, healthy and look good. And I want to do that while not taking one ounce of energy away from raising my little girl, and taking care of my home. That right there is the goal. I feel that I am better at those things when I've gotten in my run, but if any of that begins to suffer because of the run, I will have to pull up and take stock of things.
So far, so good. My taper will consist of running every day, but the miles will be smaller. Today (Wednesday) I will run with my Walk/Jog/Run class, probably about 4 miles. Tomorrow I plan to go mid-morning when my mom arrives for an easy 5-6 miler. Friday I'll do a slow and simple 3 and then Saturday I will race! If I follow that plan, I'll have about 57-58 miles for the week and that fits in with my 50 mile training.
Did I mention I'm EXCITED!!??!