Remember when I announced that I’d be running the New River Marathon and talked just a little about the course elevation?
Well, the best way to make sure that I’m able to complete this marathon is to train for it. That seems obvious but I missed that part during Spinx Marathon training.
The thing is … I extremely dislike hills. They mess with my stride and slow me down. On the other hand, I don’t “hate” them. The downhills are generally wonderful. 😀
So, I planned a new kind of long run for this marathon. (At least for the two long runs including this one where I’m not running a half marathon.) I’m very blessed to have access to an adequate substitute, Paris Mountain.
This morning, I headed to the Swamp Rabbit Trail as usual but planned an alternate route that would take me to the route used for the Paris Mountain Road Race.
I started to feel the incline almost before I got to the mountain and learned the lesson that an advanced Nike Training Club workout should not be done two days before I run up Paris Mountain. 😀
I think I’d forgotten how difficult running up Paris Mountain is. I had to slow to a walk several times as I headed up but I kept going. I wanted to at least conquer the mountain again.
This “hill” messes with your mind (mine at least). When I neared the summit those doubting thoughts returned. I started wondering what I was thinking for bumping up to the marathon and whether I should just go back to the half marathon. I recognized those thoughts for what they were. (Similar thoughts assailed me my first time up the mountain.)
Once I got to the downhill though all those thoughts vanished. I decided that if I have to walk part of the “hill” at New River, I’ll do it and still be able to finish the marathon. I just don’t know how my legs are going to feel after 16 miles which is when I’ll encounter the “hill” during the marathon.
Once I descended the mountain and got back to my starting place I’d covered 10 miles. I still had 6 to go. I was only briefly tempted to stop there and that temptation wasn’t even strong. Instead I set out and covered the last 6 miles at a pace I didn’t think my legs would be able to carry me after the mountain. I even managed a sub 9 minute pace for the last mile.
I finished more than pleased with the run and thoroughly in love with marathon training. I know some people like Crossfit Endurance or the FIRST program and that those programs work for some people. Not me though. I don’t want to follow a program that will have me run less miles.
I want to end this post with a retrospective of sorts. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to look back at other runs to compare and contrast and see how I’ve grown as a runner.
Today was my third 16 miler. (out of many more I hope)
My first didn’t go so well. I wasn’t ready.
The second went so much better.
Up next? Clemson Easter Bunny Half Marathon
It’s supposed to be hilly. Yay!