Well, I guess it's really happening! As I stare down the barrel of the next four months, I have a bunch of plans in place to keep myself injury-free and keep my family happy--starting with doing a bunch of my runs as morning or evening commutes to and from work in order to protect weekend family time. So far, so good--but I'm only in the pre-training plan training plan right now, so I haven't had to run for longer than an hour at a time.
Stay tuned for March, when I'll be creating MapMyRun routes home from work designed to take me 4 or 5 hours. Zoinks.
In the meantime, while I slowly build mileage in an effort to avoid injury, I've been experimenting with becoming fat-adapted--essentially eating and running in such a way that my body starts burning fat instead of sugar when I'm running. (I won't bore you with the details here.) Important for me is that in order to become fat-adapted, one has to spend the majority of running time at a low heart rate--for me, under 140 bpm--which can be surprisingly hard to do. I started out having to run 13+ minute miles to keep my heart rate that low, which is just plain boring. Now I'm down to the 12-minute range, and I'm hoping I can get to a comfortable 11-minute mile before the race. The bonus of all this slow running is that my runs are EASY, and easy usually means injury-free. (I really hope I didn't just jinx myself!)
Folks love to debate this fat-adaptation concept on the internet, and the jury is definitely still out on its benefits, but you know how much I love to treat my body like a science experiment. In this case, I'm hoping that learning to burn fat on my runs will allow me to run longer distances, however slowly, without bonking and without needing much fuel. That's the magic of fat adaptation, and I figure it's totally made for someone like me, who loves running for hours on end, but who will never be the fastest. We'll see!
PS: I took a fun, terrible-quality video of a segment of my run home the other night! I have been collecting little chunks of video from runs to practice using my new YouTube channel (which, I hope, will someday be populated with actually useful videos in which I talk about things, rather than just doing that awesome mid-run heavy breathing.). Check it out here: