Run between the raindrops

Something I didn’t have to do much when I lived in SoCal. But it’s pretty much a way of life here in the Midwest. Yesterday, for instance, I had to strategically plan my departure from work so that it coincided with the 40 minute break we got between thunderstorms. Even so, the last quarter mile of my run was in a steady rain. Don’t get me wrong, I love running in the rain, especially when it’s warmer outside. It just adds to the challenge.

Today looks to be much the same challenge with several more rounds of heavy rain and thunder predicted. I also am scheduled for a longer run today so I expect I will get wet unless I want to hit the treadmill when I get home…

…Nah! I’d rather get wet…

The trails around here drain very well and you can, under most circumstances, run immediately after a good rain and still only have to avoid the odd puddle or two.

I think I have settled into the “grind” phase of my marathon training. I have had my fun running short races, but now the long climb to marathon distance begins in earnest. As my weekly mileage begins to increase, and my long run (every two weeks) tops the half marathon mark, the monotony begins. I remember this from last time. It just seemed that, for months, all I did was just run. I think it’s easy to lose focus and motivation during this time. Especially when it gets hot outside and you find yourself having to run at 5:30am just to get your miles in before the heat really kicks in. It’s kind of a mental “gut check”. You are pretty confident in your physical abilities by now, but marathons aren’t about physical ability only. You will, at some point during the race (this, I remember too well) question your methods, training, sanity, parents, faith, colon and even your existence on the planet. I think this “doldrum” period in marathon training prepares you as much for the mental aspects as it does the physical. If you can come through the “13-20 mile longest run” section of your training having not given up or given in, it makes that last month before you start to taper a bit easier.

The biggest challenge for me is going to be the heat of summer training. Being such a delicate flower (…snort) I tend to wilt in the high temperature dry sauna that is the midwest summer. Making sure I stay true to my training and not talk myself out of those 10 mile runs in 90 degree heat and 90 percent humidity (with no wind… and lots of bugs… SEE! There I go already…) will be my biggest test. Even though my marathon distance training run will be at the end of September, I will have the joy of running 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 miles in July, August and September… I think if I can successfully accomplish this, the marathon will be a welcome relief!

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