Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running, Running, Running

(Only one blog this week because Niki has been out of town.)

Last Friday Niki was out of town visiting friends so we had to run our long runs separately.  I woke up Friday morning and it was rainy and overcast and I didn’t feel like running so I texted Niki:

Me:  Still in my pjs.  Uggghhh.  No motivation!  Cloudy & rainy.

Niki:  Did 13

Well, enough said.  That was just the motivation I needed to get out the door.   Running partner accountability… it’s a good thing!  So out the door I went.  Thanks N!

N and I are in the phase of our training where we’ve dropped our speed workouts and are increasing our TOTAL mileage for the week.  That means more mid to long runs in our weekly schedule.  We’ve got to get those total weekly miles up so our bodies get used to the constant and prolonged pounding.  

So it was 12 miles for me (13 for Niki) last Friday followed by 8 on Sunday and 12 on Tuesday.  We will do a short 5 or 6 miles on Thursday or Friday then head to Austin on Saturday for the Austin Marathon on Sunday.  It’s a training run for us.  We’ll try for 20 or 22 then run/walk the last few.  The weather is going to be warm and it will be hilly.  It will be a good test. 

It will also be the 13th anniversary of my very first marathon.  It just so happens that Austin was my first marathon back in 1999!  This is the story of how I started marathoning….

In ’98 my husband, Les, decided to get an Executive MBA.  He chose and was accepted into the Baylor program.  That meant he would work full time AND attend night classes twice a week IN WACO for TWO YEARS.  We were living in Austin at the time.  Waco is a 1-1/2 hour drive ONE WAY.  I realized that if he was going to do that for the next two years, I needed to do something too.  I was working for the Texas Beef Council at the time and had spent the last five years working A LOT and traveling for work A LOT so I thought it best not to focus on more work.    I needed some balance.

I decided on two possible paths…. I would either train for and run my first marathon (up to that point my longest run was a 10K/6.2 miles) OR I would study for and get into law school.  I found a local running program geared for the 1999 Austin Marathon and I went to the bookstore and bought the LSAT study guide (LSAT=Law School Admission Test).  I started working on both.   I studied and I ran.  I studied and I ran. 

I soon realized that while law school would definitely be a challenge (that’s what I was looking for) it really didn’t make sense in the bigger picture of my life.  I was 29, had no kids and law school would cost a pretty penny.    I would graduate with debt, still not have kids and have to work longer hours than before.    So running won!

Now here I am, 13 years later and still running.  It was the right choice for me.  It will be fun to go back this weekend.  I’m sure I’ll spend several miles thinking about all that has happened in my life these past 13 years… I’ve got to think about something while running for 4 hours!   

At the end of race day, Niki and I will have pounded out another long run and finished a good week of training.  And Monday morning we will start it all over again!

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