Friend Relay

Guten Morgen, Interneten!

Oddly, I don’t feel like I’ve written much about marathon training.  Hard to believe but I’m near the halfway point!  Since completing the June triathlons, I’ve been able to truly prioritize running in the way marathon training deserves and demands.

And it’s been really awesome.  Like, I LOVE IT.

I never questioned whether I would recover from my foot injury and run the marathon.  It certainly was questionable but I made the conscious decision not to even go there and just deal with any issues that emerged as my long runs got longer.  Each pain-free run has done wonders for my confidence.  Especially joyful double-digit runs like the Dirty Half Dozen trail race.

For last weekend’s 12 miler, I invited several buddies to participate in a friend relay at Lake Merritt.  The lake is a bit over 3 miles and I’ve found that doing multiple loops is a good mental challenge.  Totally masochistic alone but with friends, FUN!

Pretty!  NOT THE SECOND, THIRD, OR FOURTH TIME. (This was my caption from 9/9/12 when I apparently ran the lake 4 times...)

Pretty! NOT THE SECOND, THIRD, OR FOURTH TIME. (This was my caption from 9/9/12 when I apparently ran the lake 4 times…)

Round 1 was with my friend Jenn.  She’s a badass chick.  Mezzo, cyclist, weight lifter.  I’ve seen her post online about running at the lake so I reached out to her about joining me.  She hadn’t gone all the way around before but she was amazing, especially considering that I stole some of her breath talking!  She finished strong and handed me off!

Round 2 was with Tonia, Dailey Method diva.  Tonia worked up to running a 5k last year and has run occasionally since.  I’m so envious of her because she goes to Dailey Method almost every day and it shows.  As we trotted along, she looked beautifully aligned and confident.  We kept right around the same pace so coming into mile 7, I knew 12 would be long but I had set myself up for a strong back half.

Velia joined me for Rounds 3 and 4.  She was a bit delayed so I took a few minutes to stretch, swig some Nuun, and take two Bolt Chews.  I felt a bit stiff when we began to run but looking back on the splits, our pace had jumped up about a minute per mile from the pace I’d been running with the other ladies.  The next six miles had some challenging mental moments.  Velia’s presence and support was a welcome distraction.  I was able to comfortably speak the entire time but I felt more challenged by the slow pace than I wanted to be, especially with my half marathon PR opportunity two weeks away.  So, am I to understand that PR’ing a half marathon won’t be effortless?  Weak.  Also, slightly daunted by the fact that I hadn’t even reached the halfway point of the event I’m training for.  Sobering.

Finished 12 miles in 2:12:12.  Weeeeeird!  Would have been a good day to buy a lottery ticket with a bunch of 12’s, I think!  The overall pace was slower than my usual long runs (11 vs. 10:15-10:40) but within the long run range McMillan recommends and got me to the end with just a bit of stiffness.  I spent a lot of quality time on the foam roller and yoga mat and woke up the next morning fresh as a daisy.

How did I get to 12 miles already?!  Working up to that in half marathon training was HUGE and this time, it just appeared.  This week is a stepback week (convenient since I’m going to VEGAS today!), next week I’ll PR in the half marathon (oh yeah, it’s happening) and the week after thaaaaat….15!  Onward!

Ever trained for a marathon?  What were the big milestones?  Did you run with friends?


2 thoughts on “Friend Relay

  1. Kimra says:

    Cool idea for breaking up a run! I’ve only trained for one marathon, but the moment when it REALLY felt real was when I hit 16 miles. 14 still felt like a distance I might run training for a half (…even though I never had) but 16 HAD to be because I was about to run a marathon!

    • Shauna says:

      I can’t wait to hit those distances. I agree, it’s felt like half marathon training or an extension of tri training up until this point. Which marathon did you do? SF?

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