Last week was the first week of this year's marathon training. After climbing on Saturday and running twelve miles yesterday, today I feel like an old woman, with stiff legs and sore forearms. I had thought my arms were fine, but it turns out that ordinary tasks that involve twisting or squeezing motions, such as applying toothpaste to my toothbrush this morning, actually require effort. Also, considering that it's January in Indiana, I think I need to learn to start my long runs earlier than sunset. By the time I got done yesterday, it had been pitch dark and 28 degrees outside for over an hour, and my fingers were numb from the cold.
My pace for long solo runs is still nowhere near what it is in races. For instance, yesterday it took me nearly three hours to run 12.5 miles, whereas I raced 13.1 miles in November in just over two hours. The presence of other people who are moving along quickly makes all the difference. I know that I could go faster when I'm running alone, but it's hard to convince my body to do it; I'm content to just pad along and let my thoughts wander.