I am now in week two of my 14-week training for the Boston Marathon. I finally did my first “long” run last Saturday after putting it off the whole day. I was a little anxious about doubling my run distance to six miles, but I got through it just fine. My training schedule has me booked for a rest day the day after a long run, which was much needed and appreciated. I am trying to keep my same turtle pace so that I can make it through the longer runs without burning out.
I am beginning to realize that running for extended periods can get a little tedious though. In the past when I have done my usual workout, I go really hard for 30-40 minutes and have no time nor energy to get bored. But now I am going for distance, not speed. Since I am trying to conserve energy and pace myself, my mind tends to wander and I start to think about when the run will be over so I can get such-n-such done. In this age of multi-tasking, I have a hard time not being “productive” during my runs. I know this sounds crazy when I see it on paper, that training for a marathon is not productive enough for me, none-the less it is what is going through my mind over and over again while running. It reminds me of when I was breastfeeding my son and had to pump at work. I would be at my desk with both hands occupied with pumping, while a huge pile of charts and paperwork loomed in front of me. I would keep trying to hold both pumps with one hand to get a form completed or an e-mail sent and would always end up with drops of spilled milk on my clothes! Later when I would share this with other breastfeeding moms, we all came to the conclusion that just maybe a forced 20 minutes of brain downtime was not such a bad thing after all. But an hour or two or more of inner reflection? I am not sure that I have enough material in my head for that much self thought. Maybe an audio book could help. I also think a better workout mix is in order, one with all fast tempo stuff to keep me moving. And if I get really antsy while I am training, I could always get a dictation device and write a famous book – or at least put together a grocery list or even write this blog.
All of this leads me to wonder if the Boston Marathon has a ban on headphone use during the race? Thankfully this is not the case, though headphone use is discouraged, it is not banned. Whew, I am not sure that I could do this without my iPod!