By Ambassador Steph Fraser

I know what you’re thinking, you didn’t even know I’d started training for the Chevron Houston Marathon, and here I am about to unload an update on you. Oh well, these things happen and we just have to move on.

Training actually started at the end of August, making for a pretty long training cycle. I know some people don’t like a long training cycle, but I prefer to have extra weeks built in to my schedule in case the wheels fall off and I need to change things up. Technically I have 22 weeks of official training, but the first few weeks were more base building than anything else.

I’ve hesitated to make a time goal, and I’m sure my running friends are tired of hearing about it. When I registered back in the spring, I felt like somewhere around 4:15 was within my abilities. But then the summer happened…and I feel like I’ve only gotten slower. I’m not sure how hard I want to push myself in my training and on race day. I feel as though I COULD run a 4:15 if I put in the required effort to get there. But see, that’s the thing, I also feel like I could comfortably run 4:30…Do I want to be comfortable or do I want to make the training and time spent away from my family worth it?

I’m using Run Less Run Faster again this time, because I like the idea of being faster and I like the idea of running less. I used this last year as well, and I managed to get to the starting line feeling 100% prepared and injury free, always a positive. I’ve already experienced a few setbacks with an ankle sprain (hello Ragnar Hill Country), some quad pain, and pain in my right hip flexor. Mostly these can be traced back to my slacking off on cross training days and strength training. I know this is not smart and I need to fix it before I get seriously injured, but I have failed to make it a priority.

Here we are 10 weeks out from race day and all I feel is a confusion about my running. I’ve yet to have a long run where I felt good the whole time. And on every.single long run I question if I should drop to the half instead of the full. Cooler weather is finally here, and I know that will have an impact. At least I hope it will.

About the Author: Steph Fraser
A resident of Windcrest, TX, Steph is a runner because she loves to eat cupcakes. She started spending a lot more time in her running shoes after her daughter was born in 2011. She had previously run a few 5Ks, but never considered herself a real runner and laughed at the idea of ever running anything longer. She ran her first half marathon after a good friend convinced her that racing in July in Texas wouldn’t be so awful. Once she realized it was more fun to spend time with her friends running than sitting around drinking coffee, her free time started revolving around how many miles they could fit in before grown up responsibilities would interfere. The crazy thing is that after you spend a lot of time with runners who do amazing things on a regular basis, you want to be just like them. So she signed up for her first marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon, in 2014. Before she even finished that race, she knew she would run it again.
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