{26.2…again}

I have this silly dream of running 26.2 in every state that I just can’t let go of.

There is just something about 26.2 that pulls you back in.  Runner’s World recently featured a collection of stories, 26.2 Reasons We Love the Marathon, about what makes this distance just so special.  I thought about making my own list, but they just got so many of them spot on that I can’t dictate the difference between their ideas and my own.

Some of my favorites from their list:  it’s a reason to travel, post-race beer, the good its runners do for worthy causes, it’s an excuse to get a new wardrobe, the signs (on the course), because it takes over your life-and it’s awesome, the unique thousands of fans cheering on runners, the post-race feast, the swag, it makes the world a better place-really!, playlists, finding your own **** yeah moment (if you don’t know Shalane Flanagan then this means nothing to you), running the same course as the professionals, the best shower of your life afterwards, the runner’s high and the final .2.  People joke about the last 1,155 feet, but the final .2 moment is different for every race.  It is truly a moment that is unique and rewarding and special every time.

This goal has never been about accomplishing the list as fast as I could.  I never wanted the goal to interfere in an overall negative way with life in other ways.  I like the slow process of building on this goal every year.  I like getting to really see a place when I run a new state whenever possible. Each year it is fun to plan where the next race(s) will be.

So it is, I find myself training again.  Spring marathon training officially began last Monday for me. Even though the snow and cold are just taking hold for good, I know that in a few months (ok, more than that perhaps) warmer weather and greener sights will be back. To help me tackle my ultimate goal, stay on track all winter and feed my need to explore, I’m signed up to check Indiana (Carmel Marathon) and South Dakota (Brookings Marathon) off the 50 State list this coming spring. While I’m excited to get back to following a training plan, I was kind of enjoying running when I could and focusing on the BeachBody LIIFT4 program.

This training cycle I will be running 4 days a week and lifting 3 days a week. I’m going to continue another round of LIIFT4, but I will follow the workouts consecutively by doing 3 each week. My weeks will not match up with the program weeks because of this. The eight week program will become 10.5 weeks long. I know yoga is going to need to be a regular part of my training along with a focus on core and hip work.

Due to running these upcoming races six weeks apart, my mileage will be a little higher than training for San Francisco. That was a pretty low mileage training plan to begin with as I eased my way back into training for my first post-babies marathon. I’m thinking my body can handle this now.

If I’m being honest though, I do have some serious concerns about how I’m going to make all this happen, but having a goal race on the calendar is usually the best way for me to stick to something. I feel my best self when I’m active and training for a race. To accomplish this, I HAVE to get better about getting to bed earlier. I HAVE to get better about leaving work right away a couple of days a week. All of these things will enhance my overall health, but actually doing them is a challenge. My new Fitbit will be reminding me everyday of what my goals are.  And like I mentioned before, 26.2 sort of just pulls you back in.  It can make you irrational in a wonderful way.

As with any new training plan I try to focus on my week ahead only. Dwelling, stressing or worrying about future week plans does not build confidence. When I see some of the miles on my training plan in two or three months, I can start to feel intimidated. Even though these upcoming races will be my 16th and 17th marathons they never get easier really. Running 26.2 miles is always going to require hard work, perseverance and overcoming unexpected obstacles. While my body knows what to expect and can complete the distance, it doesn’t mean it’s a cake walk for me.

I can’t wait to explore two new states on foot. Half the fun of my goal is getting to see a new city/state, taste yummy food and local beer, and feed my exploring needs.  I will be posting training updates to help me stay accountable and to serve as my training log since these are helpful to look back on.

26.2.  Here we go…again.

Sarah

{Friday Fab 5-Pro Compression Stars and Stripes, Whitewater Rafting, Orange Is the New Black, Chaos…}

My first week of summer vacation is coming to a close. The week was filled with coaching responsibilities, visiting lots of babies and their mommas (6!) and catching up with yard work (it is never-ending).

{#1-Pro Compression Stars and Stripes}

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Believe it or not the 4th of July will be here in no time. This year I have an actual, real race to run (Foot Traffic Flat Marathon outside of Portland, Oregon) on the day, so I’m giving you a sneak peek of my race day outfit. Proper recovery will be essential as I will be running another marathon nine days later.

{#2-Whitewater Rafting}
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I added this to my 30 things in my 30th year list. The husband and I will be going whitewater rafting on the Snake River while in Jackson on our field trip (that actually came to my mind first) vacation west.

{#3-Orange Is the New Black}
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My affinity for dark shows continues. I did JUST learn that this show is based on a true story. This is both disturbing and interesting. Spoiler Alert: Thank God Pensatucky got some new teeth. I cannot handle her teeth, especially at the start of season 2. Brush and floss at least twice a day and stay away from meth folks.

{#4-Celebrate YOUR Runs}
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Summer running and humidity can easily get you down. Celebrate your progress. Hydrate right. Stay strong. One of my favorite cross country sayings is “Autumn holds no secrets about how summer was spent.” Those hot, steamy miles you put in this summer WILL benefit this fall.

{#5-Sneakers Before Stilettos}
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Saw this recently and found it fitting. The true hierarchy of shoes. Although I love both types, my favorite are days when I lace up my sneakers and then slip on stilettos for a fun night later on.

Happy Weekend? Any fourth of July races planned for anyone?

{Friday Fab 5}

{#1-Loving these not sneaks, not stilettos shoes}
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Ever since spraining the ankle, I’ve been forced to wear more flats. When flats look like these they are not so bad. Plus I got points towards more shoes at DSW-win-win!

{#2-It’s Turkey Trot Season}

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I had to get a festive Sweaty Band to wear at one or more of the turkey trots I’m running this month.

{#3-State #14 is this weekend!}

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We are off to Kansas this weekend! Bring on highs near 60 degrees. You know you live in Wisconsin if this makes you excited!

{#4-NYC Memories}

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I saw this in Women’s Running Magazine this month and found it so fitting from my recent trip there. One of the best ways to see NYC is in your sneaks! Click sneaks to read about my 8-9 miles NYC run all over.

{#5-Veterans Day}

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A special vet in my life!

Don’t forget to thank a service member and their families this weekend in advance of this important day. I’m so grateful for all they’ve given and done for each of us. How different our world would be without their bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice. Thank you veterans!

Happy Weekend!