Yes, for no particular reason I ran 14 miles yesterday morning. Well, the truth is, I haven't had a training plan since the Detroit Marathon (my first!) in October; I've just been running whatever my friends in our running group run :) We've completed two virtual half marathons since December and have kept our mileage up.
Of the five of us, one is training for a half-ironman, so she certainly wants to stay above 12 miles each week so she can get used to running 13.1 after swimming and biking. Another is training for a half in April and our coach put her on a plan that has her long runs alternating between 10 and 14 miles every Saturday from now until then. The other three of us have no plans and just jump on the others :)
This winter has been really really mild in Michigan and we've barely gotten any snow. I work at a school and I feel bad that our kids haven't gotten to sled at all yet - yes, we let them sled at school during recess :) But on the flip side, it's been great for running outside.
Well, the past three snows we've received have all been on Friday nights and early Saturday morning - making our runs snowy, sloshy and icy. Not great conditions. This week was no different. It was cold (windchill 6 below zero when we started), the wind was crazy, and the sidewalks weren't cleared when we started.
But we all knew we were doing 14 miles; it has been on our minds all week when we told Liz we'd of course run them with her and we all kept chuggin' along. I felt really hardcore when the more 'experienced' runners and much faster runners we're cutting their runs short and opting for 6 or 8 due to the weather and we stood to our/Liz's plan and finished the 14!
It took us just over 2 1/2 hours, but we did it! As cold as it was and as difficult as the footing was, we rocked it and felt FABULOUS at the end! So much so, that we all went out to breakfast.
There's something about knocking out a training run longer than a half marathon, even if it is only .9 miles longer, that makes you feel so damn good about yourself. Mentally, this was a run all 5 of us needed. These types of runs are far more for mental agility than physical in my book. Rhoda, our soon-to-be-half-iron-woman, said it best when she noted, "You know you're a Warrior (our running group's nickname) when you run more miles than the degrees outside!" And that's totally how we felt.
And it really got me thinking. We knew all week we were going to run 14. We mentally prepared. We NEVER even considered cutting it short. We just KNEW that is what we were doing. And we rocked it. I'm still so proud of it. One year ago, this was completely unattainable and now look at us :)
Hmmmmm maybe I should run a spring marathon? So I threw that idea out there at breakfast and got a few bites :) We looked at a few - Charlevoix in June, but I'll be in Boston at a wedding; The Crim's new "Qualifier" that we got an email about on our phones JUST AS we had this discussion, but it's the same weekend as my school's Girls on the Run 5K and I want to be there to support my girls.
BUT, this morning I saw the Borgess Run for the Health of It Kalamazoo Marathon is on May 6th! If I were to run this race and use the training schedule I used for Detroit, I'd still be ahead of my long run mileage just starting to train now. Hmmm, this totally could be possible.
Any other May/June races near SE MI I should be considering? This could be real again :) I've got the itch for number 2!