Yesterday I ran my long run for the week with Sports Backers Marathon Training Team.
HELLZ TO THE YEAH!
I haven't RUN MTT in a long time. Wow. A long time. I forgot how cool it feels to join a pack and run with 890 other like minded people. I forgot how fun it is to listen to the people around you talk about running. To see 100 familiar faces. To search through a thousand and miss one. To yell at Those People.
And yesterday I remembered what it feels like to borrow the collective energy of a thousand people to run through the streets.
I ran with TMB, SpeeDee, and Amy. T & I share a brain. We run in step. If one of us pulls away, the other knows they'll be back. If one of us walks, the other walks without comment usually because we are thankful to be walking for a few steps. And there were a few walk breaks - thank god.
The air was thick yesterday.
We had some course discussions and such. We made new friends... sort of... In fact, some DUDE offered to give me ADVICE on cutting THIRTY MINUTES OFF MY MARATHON PR. (insert laughing here)
He said this without asking my current PR.
He said this knowing nothing about me or my running history.
Maybe I should have given him my number... I guess, I mean, after all, who wouldn't want to get a BQ in October... also, there will be a follow up post for the men folk who read this blog on "how not to pick up a runner at marathon training team".
Moving forward, I'm not 100% sure I'm convinced that my SATURDAY TEAM is the RIGHT TEAM for me, but I'm going to give it a try for a few weeks. I intentionally chose a team that is training to race SLOWER than my original GOAL.
Well. When I decided to race a marathon in 2014 I didn't realize I wasn't going to get "better". I had some idea that I was chasing a SUB 4:00 GOAL. Right now I am chasing a FINISH WITHOUT HATING YOURSELF FOR RUNNING A MARATHON GOAL.
I don't know what I can and can't do with my lungs in this condition, and being left behind by the pack week after week while gasping for air is scary, disheartening and depressing. Or is it defeating? Regardless, I'm not going to be d'anything'd when I have the power to make new friends and run a touch slower on my long runs each week as needed.
Sometimes when you put 80 people who run in a group, everyone spends their long runs RACING each other. I'm not even kidding. I love MTT, but this is a truth of Marathon Training Team. I chose my team because I have a prayer of keeping up with Team En Feugo, and I don't want to be sucking wind on my long runs trying catch up to people who are determined to leave me. A slower team will ensure that I am running my long pace runs at a slower pace.
In theory. Yesterday around mile 5 I had a break away where I maybe got a little ahead of myself. whoops. By mile 6 I was sad...
So yesterday I ran 9 miles on my road to my October marathon. I struggled a little, but my chest never hurt. It wasn't the best run ever, but it was a good run because it was with people I love. It was "The Previously stated Goal" MRP + 50 seconds. Not bad, considering the walk breaks sprinkled in.
Today I couldn't sleep. I'm studying for boards and I woke up really early. I thought, I know what to do with this energy. I hopped in my car and headed downtown to meet the SUNDAY teams of MTT for 6 miles.
And here is why today was SO VERY VERY GOOD:
I ran hard, and didn't have any kind of breathing trauma or crisis afterwards. NONE. I didn't feel like I was straining beyond the stretch of a hard run. I didn't feel like an asthmatic. I didn't feel my airway collapsing or narrowing.
I felt like a runner!
I averaged an (insert pace here) for 6 miles!!! I ran in the (insert pace here)'s for the first 3 miles with a fast friend, and then I backed off and ran the rest with a new friend, Not Clinton, who said, "Yay! You can run with me next week!" She was supportive, unbothered by my loud breathing, and likes dogs - which since I have a new puppy - works for me. It was Original Goal MRP - 29 seconds.
Part of me is like, I can't wait for next week, to hop on the MTT train and ride the wave. But the other part, the part that knows today was special, says, make sure you savor what it felt like today.
And I do.
~Savor the Run~