Even though I do not enjoy running marathons, I do enjoy spectating them. I guess it's similar to the experience of watching the Ironman: I cannot help but think to myself, Thank goodness that is not me. Even though the rest of my Sunday schedule was rather bland (laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping), at least it was not running 26.2 miles. It made the day seem grand.
I live right in the middle of the Rock and Roll AZ courses - the half marathon skirts the right side of my neighborhood while the marathon brushes the north side of my neighborhood, loops around, and then goes down the left side.
At first, the kids were not excited about the environment - a lot of music, a lot of yelling and a lot of people. But they have been doing this since they were babies so they quickly adjusted.
I volunteered at us a water station and the kids were willing to help. A few people took water from Brenna, but in general, I think they were a little short and overlooked.
After observing hundreds of runners, Brenna requested to change her shoes. She wanted to run! I normally do not encourage bandit-ing (running without a bib), but I think pre-elementary age kids are an adorable exception.
Luckily for me, there are enough 5Ks, 10Ks, 5 milers, 10 milers, half marathons, trail races, duathlons and triathlons for me to do in the absence of the marathon. I haven't picked out anything yet, but I also haven't done a lick of speedwork since the last time I made that claim back in September.
I returned to my haphazardous training method where I have no idea what the workout is until I am at least three intervals deep. I don't look at my pace at all and focus on my perceived exertion instead:
On the way out (a very slight downhill, hardly noticeable)
- 4 minutes "fast" (5:52 pace)
- 4 x 1 minute "faster" (5:33 avg interval pace)
On the way back (a very slight uphill, hard not to notice)
- 4 minutes "fast" (6:02 pace)
- 4 x 1 minute "faster" (5:40 avg interval pace)
Only 16 minutes / 2.83 miles of actual "speed", but it's a starting point. Now I just need to select an endpoint.
During the workout, I was slightly frustrated with how high my heart rate got during the one minute intervals. This, of course, meant I required longer recovery. But, I was also slightly satisfied when I reviewed the numbers after my cool down. Anything faster than 5:50 is very fast for me - a minute, even though such a short increment of time, can feel very long if you run fast enough.
But, here is the thing...you can endure anything for one minute. No matter what, that minute is going to end in less than 60 seconds. The only time you can say that with certainty during the marathon is after you run 26.1 miles. And that is a lot of miles.