MCM training is officially underway. I don't have any pictures for you today, I decided not to press my luck any farther trying to run with my phone. Yesterday morning the alarm went off at 5:30 and it was time to get my butt in gear. I didn't sleep well the night before, I was too keyed up and I kept waking up to make sure I wasn't over sleeping (despite having set 2 alarms). I ate my usual pre-run breakfast and headed out the door, giving myself 30 minutes to get lost on the way to the meetup spot. I got there without incident and there were a few people already waiting. Everyone was super-friendly and laid back. I was still really nervous, I had no clue how fast any of them run and I didn't want to be alone. I'm really self-conscious about my pace, like there is something wrong with it that I should be ashamed of. We headed out on the course together but spread out pretty quickly. I was alone for a while, but there were people in front of and behind me so I didn't actually feel alone. By the midway point I was with an older women who was training with her sister to run her first marathon. We didn't really chat but just having a body next to me kept me moving. The one thing I could tell from the beginning was that I was not hydrated enough from the beginning and I wasn't going to have enough fluids to get me through the distance. Dammit.
My confidence is really low and I know it is going to be my biggest struggle during this experience. Despite running a 1/2 mary about 3 weeks ago I still didn't believe I could head out and run 8 miles. I also didn't think I'd be able to run without pushing myself too hard. I know that the long runs are meant to be run slower than marathon pace but my brain hasn't caught on yet. All runs have to be as fast as I can make them. Ugh. The first 4 were in 42:21 and the second 4 were in 43:10 for a final time of 1:25:31. I was glad to be done but I wasn't exhausted either. My low back and my hips were hurting a fair bit. I blame my back on the weights I did on Thursday night but my hips have always been a source of trouble for me. I need to talk to my trainer and see if he can recommend a few exercises to strengthen my hips and my hamstrings. I don't want another injury. Next week we do 10 miles, which I shouldn't worry about but I will anyways. And I'm already fretting about getting in enough runs during the week before next Saturday. What a hot mess. I think I've got every running book on the planet on my nightstand right now and none of them seem to be what I'm looking for. If someone can recommend a book, blog, etc that helps with the mental part of athletic performance I would be grateful. In a general funk this weekend, so any love you leave me would be most appreciated.