Today was my first official training day for the Chicago marathon. It seems a little surreal to actually be starting this journey all over again.
Last year when I started my long trek to the Dallas White Rock Marathon, I often wondered if I could do it. I had never ran over 13.1 miles and I knew the real challenge would be to stay healthy. I was concerned that the overlap with football season would be too much of a time conflict and that my training would suffer. It turns out some of my concerns were legitimate. I struggled to stay healthy and the mix of running for several hours and then going to tailgate and attend OSU home games was not the best recipe for success. I made my fair share of mistakes, but I still ended up making it through marathon #1 rather unscathed. Many people say you can't run another marathon until you forget about your first one. I have to say that even though it was the most painful experience of my athletic career, I wanted more. I knew that day that I would be back. I was happy to finish, but I knew I could do better. I had found my niche in adult life. I was becoming an endurance athlete.
Today started the next chapter. Although I don't know my exact training plan yet, I know my goal for this season is to not run on back-to-back days in order to stay healthier. The back-to-back-to-back running days really broke me down. I learned my body couldn't take the consecutive days so this time around I will be alternating run days with cross-training days. My cross-training days will consist of cycling and swimming in order to continue to build my Ironman base. The goal is to have 3 run days with 3 cross-training days (alternating bike/swim workouts based on weather/availability/desire).
So, after a successful start this morning, I am ready to tackle another great 18 weeks of training. Keep your fingers crossed that I stay healthy. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't die of heat stroke. Keep your fingers crossed that we get an early Fall.
Day 1 : 3.02 miles in 26:21 (8:43 pace)