Once upon a time I distinctly remember saying "I have no desire to run a marathon". And even "I will NEVER run a marathon. I just cannot imagine reaching the finish point of a half and only being halfway."
Open mouth, insert foot. Because guess what I'm doing? Yup, marathon training. Truly I blame the Mother Runners. They keep putting out great training plans and challenges. I got wind of this heart rate training "thing" they were doing. I listened to them talk about it on a podcast and was intrigued. This did not sound terrible, it sounded like if I followed the plan that I could survive a marathon.
So I lost my mind for a minute, or five and registered for the Hartford Marathon! I debated between that and the Mohawk Hudson Marathon. Hartford won out because it's on a Saturday and I would have Sunday to recover before having to work on Monday. And Hartford was far enough away that it justified staying over the night before. And maybe it's a little flatter than MHM?!
Training officially started the week of May 23 and the 20 week plan will take me right up to race day. It has me running 5 days a week which I have never done before, and wearing a heart rate monitor. I had been looking to upgrade from my Garmin 305 which is still great but quite large on my wrist and I wanted something with a little bit more technology. After quite a lot of research, I bought a Polar M400 and haven't looked back! I love it's ease of use, I love that it will send me smart notifications of texts etc. while I am running so I don't have to dig my phone out of my armband to see what's going on.
Heart rate training is a challenge like I have never experience before. It requires lots of slow running. At first I would not even call it running. Shuffling perhaps. It can be discouraging because it doesn't "feel" hard. Mentally, it may be the hardest thing I have ever done. I am 8 weeks in and I am seeing improvements. More importantly, I am running five days a week and am not injured or exhausted to the point of not being able to function. Long runs are long, but I don't feel like the rest of my day has to be laying on my bed. With a toddler this is super important.
Marathon training has meant a lot of early morning runs which can be a little boring. It's hard to get up, and the safest place for me to run at that time is around my neighborhood. It's about a mile loop around. I did my long run last weekend in the 'hood and ran for 2 hours and 24 minutes. I did reverse the loop at the halfway point which helped.
Our AMAZING Coach is Mary Katherine Brooks Fleming and she is fabulous. The HR Training podcasts she and Dimity have been turning out are just what I need to keep me moving. The science makes sense and her personality is so energizing.
I am excited to document the rest of this journey and see where training takes me!