For the past three or four years, I have wanted to run the Saskatoon marathon. For a mish-mash of reasons, it has not happened. One year I had a stress fracture in my foot, one year I chose mountain biking over running (which I will do most days of the week), and other various reasons. However, I have decided that this is my year. The run of Ironman scares me the most, so I figure why not curb that fear by torturing myself with a marathon first? I mean, so what if it will be my first running race since the 1500m race in grade 8… it’ll be fun, right? RIGHT? Whatever. So on May 27th, I will be running 42.2km in Saskatoon. I will be wearing number 107! I love it when I get good numbers; first of all, #7 is my favorite number and second of all, it’s my extension number at work! How cool is that?! Well, I am excited.
Last year on marathon day, it was COLD and RAINY. I remember this because I decided to mountain bike in it. While the weather was not ideal for either sport, I would probably have chosen running over mountain biking the sloppy, cold Silverwood race. I remember biking home, almost crying because my hands were frozen, I was covered with mud from head to toe (literally), and I was very hungry because I forgot to bring food and they forgot that I was vegan. I was very happy to be home after that one.
To be honest, I don’t feel even close to being prepared. A friend of mine kind of panicked on my the other night when she found out that I wasn’t increasing my distances right now. My coach and I have talked about our strategy for training for Ironman and it applies to the marathon as well. We’re focusing on doing intervals, zone 4+ training as opposed to training in zone 3. Thus far, I can easily run 10km at a relatively slow pace. Before the marathon, the biggest distance I’m going to run is 20+km (ie. two laps of the Idylwyld-Circle Drive loop). The rest of my training is going to be shorter distance, accumulated over the week, at a higher intensity. Zone 3 is for suckers!
To get back to my training update, last week I did one run while I was in North Battleford for a conference. However, the weekend was a black hole. The only real exercise I did was dancing, helping Luke move, and some extended walking. I wonder if they would let me dance the Ironman?
Monday I was back in the pool and it felt so good! I was a little pouty on Monday morning because I was late and I sat on the deck outside with my bike helmet on, my stuff packed, and looked at Luke like the 3-year-old defiant child I used to be and said, “I don’t WANT to go swimming! I want to go back to BED!” Of course, being an adult, I knew that I didn’t HAVE to do anything I didn’t want to and Luke echoed this sentiment. While I was still quite sour on the whole idea of spending so much energy in the pool so early in the morning, I always love the first push off the wall and feeling like a dolphin as I do the dolphin kick underwater halfway to the other side. The swim turned out to be great. I had the lane to myself (it’s paper time for students) and my coach let me use the flippers for the butterfly. “I’m a TRIATHLETE – what do I need to do the butterfly for?” is what I used to think, but I’ve changed my sentiment to “Swimming is fun and keeping freestyle and swimming fun is to try new things and learn.” I find there is so much to learn about swimming. I’ve been lane swimming for the past 7 years or so and I still feel like I have so much to learn. I get water up my nose when I do flip turns, my pull for freestyle definitely has to be worked on (it would help if I had some biceps), and I always have to work on my breathing.
Life has been settling down a bit and I’m starting to find my training rhythm and I’m biking to work 4 out of 5 days. Last night I wanted to make some phone calls so I got on my trainer and dialed away. I only got in one short call with my brother and one with a friend that I don’t talk to enough, but that meant I spent 45 minutes on my trainer. Tonight I’m hoping to get in over an hour because tomorrow is REST DAY!!!! At lunch, I hit the treadmill and did 2.11 miles in 25 minutes and burned 218 calories (like I care how many calories I burned). Life of training is good right now.