Tuesday, March 15, 2011

30 Miles Before Age 30

My goal, when I started running in preparation for Rock 'n Roll Seattle with Team in Training last year, was to finish just one marathon before my 30th birthday. I had no intention on doing any other marathons. I just wanted to raise money for a good cause, and to hit a goal I thought was just a pipe dream.  I had 3 kids in less than 5 years, and had stopped any sort of working out. (Despite being a personal trainer. Whoops.) And I wasn't getting any younger.

Fast forward to now, and I've actually completed 7 marathons and my 30th birthday isn't until Saturday! Pretty wild the changes that went on for me mentally and physically in the last year. I'm so pleased. Marathon training isn't for the faint of heart. It takes lots of time. I'm just so thankful to have a supportive husband, and three little girls who love their time with Daddy for a few hours on Saturday/Sunday mornings. I am also thrilled to have a training partner who has a family and multiple other obligations, so he "gets" that we need to start early - really early - and be done early.

When I posted last time about an upcoming marathon in Oklahoma, I neglected to remember I had my first "more than a marathon" distance scheduled just a week before the marathon. Nice taper, right? It is funny how different it is to use marathons as training runs, and in preparing for Ultras.

Coach Scott and I started off at 3am Saturday morning (told you he's willing to start early!) for our 30 mile run. The weather was just about perfect. In the 40's, very little wind. There's not too much exciting to report during, but overall, it was fantastic. I don't think it could have gone more perfectly. (Other than me forgetting my gels for our first 10 mile loop.) I ate half of a PB&J at every 10 miles. Took gels at 5 mile marks. Felt great the entire time.

We joined up with the Team in Training group for the last 10/11 miles. It was nice to have their support, and they were very sweet and excited for me. I hit 26.2 with little fanfare, but that was ok. Every step beyond that point was thrilling and exciting, as it was a distance PR. That hadn't happened in about 9 months. I was taken back to those moments of training for my first marathon, where I was amazed each week with the fact I was running 8 miles, 10 miles, etc. It felt awesome to do a distance that I had not yet accomplished. Relish those moments if you're in training for your first run of any distance. It is such an awesome thing you are doing, whether you're up to 2 miles, or 12 miles, or 22 miles. Be thankful that your body can do such an awesome thing.

Hip flexors were a little tight after, and my quads were more sore than I anticipated, but I did a recovery run of 10 miles Sunday morning. No joint pain, nothing odd. I'm just so happy and pleased with the run. Very fun that I got a 30 mile training run in exactly one week before my 30th birthday. Love it.

So now I look ahead to turning 30 on Saturday. And Sunday trying out my new age group at the A2A Marathon in Oklahoma. It will be a training run, mimicking how I will be running my first Ultra (eating, walk breaks, etc.) with a medal at the end. Staring this weekend everything gets pretty wild. The marathon Sunday, then a week later the Rock 'n Roll Dallas 1/2, and then a week after that is Brew to Brew, my 43 mile Ultra. Here's to lots of rest and lots of fun (and no sick kids) between now and then.

Have a great week!