This week is my last free week. Marathoners will get this. You know, that time when you can freely do whatever you want with your running, eating and sleeping.
Next Monday starts Los Angeles Marathon training. 16 weeks of running four (4) days a week. My good friend Ron sent me a plan, and when I saw it, it looked very doable. Until I started looking at the long runs. The bread and butter of marathon training. Like, in two weeks, all long runs will be over 10 miles. In two weeks.
So, this week all the days are my own. Run on Monday? If I want. If not, it’s okay. I can do that on Tuesday.
Typically this week is all about me informing the boys…talking about how we are going to eat, etc. Making sure I have new shoes (yes, new shoes), because I’ve been treating my Brooks like hell. Running through airports with them, etc. Fixing my iPod with all new music for the next training cycle. This is the week that won’t be a make or break week. My base is good. I ran 5 good miles in Nebraska this weekend, at 1 minute per mile faster than normal.
Because, here’s the thing. The marathon has changed me. Every weekend, I read race reports, look at courses, make my plan. About when I am going to do this thing again. And, it’s all the same. I know how I train. I know that weeks 1, 2 and 3 are fun. I know that there is a special hell around week 9 when you cannot stand pancakes for Saturday night dinner one more time, and when ClifShots aren’t so exciting anymore.
But. It’s the marathon. And, with the training comes immeasurable joy and life. I just realized that I am turning 55 years old in February, and will be in a new Age Group. I can’t wait.
26.2…I haven’t run one since SLO in April 2012. I have to be back, just to erase some unpleasant memories of angst and hurt. It will have been 2 years by the time LA comes around.
This weekend, I was at Santa Monica High School for a party. I looked up as I was turning on Olympic Boulevard, and saw this corner of the Santa Monica Pier, the end of the LA Marathon.
I felt that thing in my heart. It welcomed me. Invited me to come back.
My last free week. Of late night TV and sleeping in on weekends. Until again I attempt this feat.
March 9, 2014. I will see you again, old friend.