Happy New Year!!
There's no better way to start off the new year than by doing a long run with friends. Yesterday, I got to run with Runner's Edge. It's been since November that I've joined the group. I've forgotten how it feels to wake up early to run on Saturday mornings. It was difficult leaving my warm, cozy bed at 6:30 to get ready to run in sub zero temperatures, but the alternative of having to run ten miles on a treadmill got me going. (I detest treadmill running and will only run on it for up to four miles). As I got dressed in several layers, the Weather Channel was reporting the current temp at four degrees with a wind chill of one below zero. Even still, I was undeterrred from going outside. Our group run started at 68's Inside Sports which left me with the option of turning around early and finishing my last 3-4 miles on a treadmill if it really got unbearable outside. I figured I would just take it a mile at a time and turn around if necessary.
I started out with the 11 minute group. The pace was just right for an easy warm up and navigating some of the slick roads. The group wasn't very big, but everyone who came was also thankful to finally be running outside and seemed determined to get in their miles together. With 6-7 of us staying together the whole way, I was able to get in all of my ten miles outside. At times, I couldn't feel my fingers or my legs, but nevertheless, it was worth risking frostbite just to get in my long run and get back on track with my training. The last time I ran that long was early December!
With the new year underway, I'm ready to start committing to running long every weekend and getting ready for my marathon training in a couple of weeks. In order to do that, I have to have a decent base of at least a 12 or 14 mile long run. I'm going to have to start getting tough with myself and sticking to my long term plan if this is going to happen. No more late nights, poor planning, or even arctic weather to take me off my schedule.
I'm nervous because this will require some big changes in my life. I'm worried about how much dedication this goal will require and still being able to find some balance with my life. The last time I qualified for Boston, I didn't have kids and my schedule was pretty light. Now, I'm juggling so many things, I'm concerned that something important will be sacrificed. My constant prayer is that by God's grace I can accomplish this goal and still be a good wife, mother, teacher, and friend. I pray that this goal will inspire me to make some changes that will have long lasting positive effects beyong my marathon goals. I always want to remember and be thankful for God's gift of being able to run, for keeping me healthy, and the enjoyment running brings to my life. If I forget to glorify God for these things, then these goals mean very little and have no eternal impact. I don't expect the road to be completely smooth. I just hope I can be smart about my training and do my best to find a good balance. This is going to be an interesting journey and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.
Here's to a great 2010! Hope it's a healthy and happy one!