Last night it rained pretty hard here, just at sunset, and cooled things down a bit. The upshot was that the morning was a few degrees cooler than usual, and it made a difference. There was also a nice breeze and lower humidity than I'm used to (it's usually around 90% when I go out).
I felt great today.
On an unrelated subject involving the word heat, I read a story this week about runners that pack heat. I guess I can understand that if you are a woman that runs at night, and moreso if you do a lot of trail running. But where would you put it? I cannot imagine any comfortable way of carrying a pistol while running.
I have not publicly announced my marathon goal yet. It's my first marathon, and you're just supposed to try to finish, or so the experts say.
But that does leave the problem of pace. I'm not just going to get out there and run willy-nilly; first marathon or no, I do have to have some sort of plan and goal.
After consultation with experienced friends, a sub-max heart rate test, and review of my current running ability, I am targeting running the marathon in 3:45. This time is several minutes slower than I am predicted to be able to run but will still be challenging.
I've spent all spring and summer building up a good base (at no small personal cost - you try running when it's 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity!) in anticipation of the training. I have an established training program with a few tweaks of my own. Mondays and Wednesdays are mileage-grinders - I pay no attention to pace but just finish the miles. Wednesdays are pace runs - the distance, pace, hydration, fueling, etc. will mimic what I anticipate I will do in the marathon. Thursdays are for interval training. Saturdays are my long runs - the most important days of the week.
Friday and Sunday I rest. And every third week has a significantly reduced load (and no interval training) as well.
My longest runs are in November and December. I start to taper right after Christmas.
All of this barring injury. That's why I spent so much time building up base in the first place, but if I get even the slightest bit injured (as opposed to just being sore) I'm not going to hesitate to take a day/week off.
Somewhere between then and now, I renewed my passionate affair with running. That means, if you include my wife and my motorcycle, I now have three needy lovers, some of which are more demanding (and expensive) than the others. I will let you guess as to the relative hierarchy.
I have spent all spring and summer working myself back into shape and am running the Houston Marathon on January 17, 2010.
This is my running blog.
I have little hope that anybody will care but me, and maybe my wife (to get satisfactory explanations about random credit card charges at local running shops).
Still, I have more than a few friends that are experienced runners, and they are more than welcome to tell me all the ways in which I am messing up.
I don't plan on posting about every run I do because, frankly, that's pretty boring. Also, I have a sidebar gadget doo-hickey that does it for me, which is nice. Instead, I think I'll just have random musings about nearly getting hit by deer when running, new gear, hydration plans, that sort of thing.
Tomorrow marks the first day of my training program. Wish me luck.