Week three of my 18-week marathon training program is now history. I ran 18.5 miles last week, beginning the week with a 7 mile run on Monday, and finishing the week with a 6 mile run on Saturday.
I am pretty freaked out that I am now beginning week 4, and also that I have to run 9 miles at the end of this week. To the first point, it seems like my training is going too fast! Am I really supposed to be ready to run a marathon in only 14 more weeks?
To the second point — why, for cripe’s sake, did I decide to begin training for a marathon in the middle of winter? Running 9 miles itself is hard enough, but I have to run that shit on a treadmill. That’s 3 5K tracks! And I am a slow runner, so I am going to have to be laboriously slogging away for more than two hours on that thing. Cripes. Also, the treadmills at my gym are super annoying in that they automatically go into cool down mode after you’ve run an hour, so I will have to keep resetting it.
Alright, alright already. I know I could run outside. Lots of runners do run outside in the winter. I see them all the time. And each time, my response is is mixture of admiration for their tenacity and derision for their idiocy. Am I right?
Although I will run outside if it’s not too too cold out, or wet, or slippery, or cloudy, or if there is a breeze. To be fair, I don’t own all that fancy, expensive state-of-the-art under armour stuff that winter outdoor runners own and I refuse to buy it. I can already see it gathering dust with my weight bands, free weights, yoga mat, tennis rackets, etc.
(keeping them honest: about 3 hours)
worth of Second Story podcasts to listen to during my long run. This is because Second Story podcats rock (check them out on ITunes. They’re free!), and also because I am supposed to be in the process of writing a story for Second Story to perform at this big-deal reading in front of all of my colleagues and students, and I am hoping that hearing a bunch of other stories will help inpire my own crafting of true wackiness from the life of Kathie. If I am going to be spending 3 hours on a treadmill, I am going to multitask (maybe it would be a good time for me to take up knitting again). And if I listen to the playlist of music from my wedding that is currently on my IPod one more time I am going to run directly through the window at my gym and end it all.
Multi-tasking on the treadmill. I’ve also thought about downloading a Czech language course on my IPod to listen to while I run. And yes, I will practice along with it. I mean, if my whole gym can tolerate that one guy who sings very off-key oldies while running around the track every day, they can tolerate me repeating “I think there is a mistake in my bill,” in Czech (Myslim, ze v uctu he chyba. Same to you and more of it).
I do love to listen to music when I am running. Music with a real driving beat and over the top running appropriate good vibes and inspiration. Here are some of my favorites to run to:
Beat Control by Tilly and the Wall (this is my current fave)
The Salmon Dance by the Chemical Brothers
Aint Got No / I Got Life Nina Simone remix by Groovefinder
A Little Less Conversation Elvis remix (I think by Fat Boy Slim, not sure).
Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton
Brimful of Asha remix by Cornershop
And (don’t act like you don’t do this) — I like to get into a groove, get into the run cruise zone and imagine the music as the soundtrack to the movie of me training for the marathon, (depending onthe song, I’ll be imaging that I’d overcome some type of heartbreak or hardship as the backstory), and as the song kicks into full gear, my running stride increases (soft focus on my legs) and as when it pans out, I am running on an asphalt trail, outside, and then you see the numbered bib pinned to my shirt and I am raising my arms through the air and breaking the tape it the finish line! Whooo!!!! Whooooo!!!
Jak daleko je to odtud do nejblizsiho mesta? (How far is the next town from here? That’s really how you spell that shit. I am not making it up. Do you want to know how to spell the number four in Czech? It’s ctyri. Put yout tongue around that one!)
Okay, so this week. Bootcamp tomorrow, and then I run 3 miles. Wednesday I have a 4 mile run, and then high-intensity interval training on friday. Saturday night is my friend Philip’s birthday party, and then the 9 mile run. I may try to do the 9-miler on Saturday instead. Considering the birthday party, it might be well-advised. The nine miles will be arduous enough without being, uh, fatigued from too much birthday cake.