Today was my first day of formal training! So I got my butt out of bed at 0-dark-o’clock and drove off to a running store in Los Gatos that seems to be the local AIDS marathon hangout of choice. We got to stand around in the cold (everybody was huddling up, even tho my sis on the other coast would laugh at us for whining) and get a quick pep talk, then we walked over to the Los Gatos creek trail for our first run. We start at 3 miles, then every week increase a mile until we hit 13, then the program changes a bit as we build up to 26.2. Yes folks, in 11 weeks I’ll run a half marathon. So Mom, you can quit telling me I should do that first, don’t worry, I will! πŸ™‚

Me with our coachesSo I started off at a good running pace, even decided to dart a bit ahead of the group I was chatting with… bad idea. They caught up to me and then some, lol… It is a LOT less hilly than my park trail, and I was running a good most of that first mile. I walked quite a bit on the return 1.5 miles, and kinda paced myself by watching one of the women I’d started with, Melissa. She had this nice, easy, even jog. My run was faster. My walk was slower. I could keep her about 30 meters up ahead of me pretty consistent without hurting myself. Then I finally saw the coach with the stop watch and BROKE INTO A RUN. πŸ™‚ a real run. They laughed and cheered… and gave me my time: 34’47”!!!!!!!!! That’s 11.6 mins per mile! That’s more or less what I could do in jr high on just one mile, and I felt a lot worse at the end!

Me and teammate Ekta I’m now in a pace group with 4 women, and our target pace (about a min slower than 3 mile speed) is 12:30/mile, so about 5.5 hours for the whole marathon. I’m like, WOW, I might not only finish a marathon but do it in under 6 hours? DANG. πŸ™‚ I’m very excited. Being the first day and more of a time trial/individual thing, everyone kinda took off when they were done, so I only got to meet one of my pace-mates for very long (Ekta Basu, with me in the picture). I’m quite certain I’ll be able to tell you all about them before long, as we’ve got a lot of miles to go together. We may also group up with Melissa, who came in the group before me, and is the only one in that group.

All in all I am very excited. I’m very proud of my pace, and I don’t hurt as much as I feared. There were a few little quirks with the run. Like these fancy runners water bottles. Yeah, I had to get taught how to get the darned thing to work. Oh well… πŸ˜› But all in all I’m very excited and it was a BLAST to run with the group – everyone is extremely supportive and enthusiastic. Team in Training was also all over the place and pretty much any runner waved and smiled at any other. Lots of people starting marathon training at the creek today.

So as soon as I got in my car, totally high on adrenaline, first thing I do is call mom. πŸ˜› who once again is like “can’t you just start with something easy like a 5 K or 10 K… uh mom, πŸ™‚ I just ran a 5 K 30 mins ago… πŸ˜‰ I think I’ll survive. She tells me my sister has also been talking about doing a marathon and twists my arm to call her. I never call my sis. dunno why… So as it turns out, my sis has a friend in LA who is getting married in August, and if the dates don’t conflict, she’s going to join me. Only, being the super-duper-psycho athletic little globe-trotting sister she is, she’s going to be shooting for about an hour less than me, LOL… I really hope that works out. I love being an enabler of my family, and it would be extremely amazing to have us both complete our first marathon together (well, together as in the same marathon, I don’t plan on trying to keep up with the girl!)

All in all a very good start. πŸ™‚ I’m a lot less worried and very much looking forward to it!