Marathon training begins!

It’s that time again… marathon training!

First a quick catch up.  I’ve run a couple of half marathons since I last blogged, both in October, and a 5K January 1st.

The BAA Half

Wave corrals are a good thing
The start!
The end of the run definitely smelled like we were in a zoo.

And the the Baystate Half Marathon in Lowell.

The start!
I’m sleepy and cold!

They were a week apart and both great courses.  I improved by more than 7 minutes from the BAA to the Baystate.  Part of it, I’m sure, were the hills.  Plus, I got a GPS watch for my birthday (between the two races) and kept an eye on my pace for the Baystate.  The Baystate also was a marathon at the same time.  I crossed the finish line, got some food, and picked up my bag and as I walked past the finish line again, the marathon winner crossed.  I will never understand how people run that fast.

As I mentioned, marathon training started officially last week!  It didn’t start off so well.  I’m following a new plan this year that includes runs that are just timed, speed work, and runs with mileage goals (and pace recommendations).  I really would like to improve my time this year.

My first run was simple… 40 minute jog.  Easy!  It was pretty cold and a little icy.  I piled on my gear and headed out the door.  Out 20 minutes and back 20 minutes, no problem.  I was careful to watch for ice and, as always, cars that don’t look while they turn or come out of streets and parking lots.  It was fairly uneventful until around the 3 mile mark.  I was turning on to a street I had been on earlier in the run.  I knew there was a little ice, so I was sure to avoid it until a truck cut it a little close and almost drove up onto the sidewalk with me. I quickly moved out of the way, but must have caught some of the ice.  I slipped and somehow hit my right knee, both palms, right shoulder, and then, finally, the side of my head.  I got up on my feet quickly, because very often embarrassment kicks in first, and tried to assess the situation.  My head was killing me and I was nervous.  I called my husband to come home, but continued to walk home because it was pretty cold.
We did take a trip to the ER and I was just banged up and sore, no major head injuries.

Tuesday was obviously a day off, but I had signed up for Lowell’s 1st Run on New Years Day!  I didn’t want to miss it.  I had signed up for the 10k, but decided to switch over to the 5k since I wasn’t sure how I’d feel.  I was also able to run it with my friend and that was way more fun.  I usually run alone and remember to take pictures, but it was chilly and we were chatting, so I forgot!

That’s Catie on the mug.
Gloves, a hat, and a wine stopped medal!

It was a really fun run.  We warmed up during and I stored all my swag plus the gloves I brought in my front pockets part way through.  I wonder how many people I passed thought “Good for the pregnant lady”.

After that, we got hit with a lot of snow and I was a little bit afraid to run in the snow and ice after Monday.  I did get over to Marathon Sports to get some new sneakers (Brooks Defyance 7), a face mask, and some Yaktrax to combat the ice and snow!  I haven’t tried them out yet, but I’m looking forward to feeling a little more secure in the ice this year!

I pushed my long run to today (Monday) as I will probably do until March when I am done with rehearsals and shows for a while.  It was pretty warm and a little rainy when I started.  I decided I wouldn’t need my Yaktrax for this run because it was mostly puddles and not a ton of or snow.  It was not my best run.  My feet and sneakers were wet for the whole thing and I got splashed by passing cars.  The rain was off and on, the ice was random and slowed me down.  The puddles were pretty ridiculous.

First week in, not wonderful, but it can only get better from here!

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