>Almost 300 miles

>I can’t believe I’ve run almost 300 miles this year. I started tracking just to get an idea of my progress. That amounts to almost a mile a day. I’ve run 16.91 miles just this week, 12 of them yesterday with Gabriela.

Our long run yesterday was just through Peoria.. but it had snowed a couple inches the night before, and it continued a little bit yesterday. We were debating whether to go or not, but decided to. We were running sometimes on the sidewalk, but mostly on the road against the traffic. I wore my reflective vest, which was helpful when it started getting dark.

We had a good amount of hills, I’d say. We also had to stop quite a few times for stoplights. But we made it. The last three miles were on Grandview Drive after it was already dark. I thought by that point we’d really lost our minds, but then we saw another fellow runner! In my excitement I yelled, “Yeah!” and gave her a thumbs up.

My iPod had not been charged, so I couldn’t use the Nike+ iPod app. But I survived with music on my phone. I’m convinced I could have done it without the music. The cold wasn’t too penetrating since it wasn’t windy and we were wearing lots of layers.

As we rounded the final corner of Glen and Prospect where we started, I couldn’t believe we’d made it that far. That was almost a half marathon in under two hours, with stops! We survived.

I’ve learned so far that training for a marathon requires a few things (I’m sure my list will grow as time gets nearer):

1) An awesome running partner. It’s not only safer to run with someone, but then you have that camaraderie of being crazy together and also it helps you keep your pace. Pick someone you get along with well. 😉 (Love you Gabi!)

2) Versatility in spirit. You have to be willing to run in the rain, snow, dark, light, with or without music, with or without a headache. You can’t just not go because you have a side ache. You work through it and then crossing the “finish line” is even sweeter. I think running is 80% mental, 20% physical. Your body is stronger than you think.

3) Time. Our run yesterday took two hours. You have to set aside plenty of time during the week for your maintenance runs, cross-training and then the long run. We try to do ours on the weekends since it works best for us.

So there’s the beginning of our marathon training in a nutshell. Despite my knees and leg muscles being a little sore, and feeling like I have a slight hangover (headache from lack of fluids), I feel pretty good. Today I can just enjoy the view.