MY RUNNING GEAR: Marathon Training Shoes: Mizuno, Training Bra: Old Navy, Hats: Nike, Green Running Shorts: Nike, Black Running Shorts: Nike, Pink Top: Under Armour, Orange Top: Fila, Tie-Die Top: Nike
Throughout the past 13 weeks of training for the City of Trees Marathon, I have made some big, big changes. I think the one that I'm realizing most these days is my new level of fitness. My mom jokes that I'm a "machine," and while I'm no bionic woman, I sure am running faster. Much, much faster.
When my mom and I began training for this marathon back in June, we were running a 10-minute mile pace. I ran 10-minute miles no matter what distance I was doing, whether it was our short 3-milers in the beginning or the longer 8-12 milers on the weekend (here's our marathon training plan). That was simply as fast as I could and/or cared to go. A couple weeks into our training, I began running with one of my mom's friends, Teri, and boy did she push me. She's a rockstar and her pace is usually around an 8:30-minute mile, so the days when I would run my 4 miles with her, it would kill me. Literally. I struggled.
As the weeks have progressed, I've noticed that I'm getting faster. The distances have been getting longer, the runs getting earlier, and my times have been dropping and dropping. I can no longer go out for a 5 mile run and expect to go for 50-minutes (I don't run with GPS, so I would just go based on time before, estimating that each mile was taking 10-minutes). These days, my 5 mile runs take more like 40 minutes—or less. Just this morning, I ran 5 miles and my average pace was a 7:35-minute mile. That's almost 2½ minutes that I've shaved off my average mile time.
Now, I won't be so bold to say that I'm going to try to run a marathon at a 7:30/mile pace, because despite the fact that I can hold that for 5-8 miles, that definitely doesn't mean I want to attempt that for 26.2 miles. No thank you! When my mom and I do our long training runs on the weekend (22 this week—my longest run yet!), we usually still average 10-minute miles or just a fraction less. We are really consistent and don't intend on trying to break any records. We just want to run it together as mom and daughter.
Anyway, training is going great. We have 5-weeks left and some intense weekly mileage to look forward to, so all I can say is that this training is a lot of fun, I'm getting faster, I'm getting leaner, and I just really, really enjoy it. Will I do another? That's still up for debate... I have to finish this one first!