Long time no post! (At least by my standards.)
But, yes, it's true: the 16 week training plan has officially begun, as of yesterday! Every time I think about that/say it, I realize how much shorter 16 weeks sounds as opposed to "4 months" or "in January." However, feeling as though the time will pass more quickly is actually exciting--though I am not even close to being ready, I really can't wait to do this.
So, yesterday (as every Monday will be) was a cross-training day, this one being on a 0-30 minute track. I only learned a couple days ago from my sister that Mondays are optional rest days (hence, the zero), but I think I will only use that option as a last resort--I'm going to need as much training as I can get!
For my first cross-training day, I opted to do 30 minutes of my Bollywood Dance Workout DVD. It's really good for increasing flexibility and strength, not to mention working your core.
Speaking of working your core, boy, did I work that today. Today was an easy 3-4 mile day. I decided to power walk at a 15 minute mile pace (thus completing 3 miles in 45 minutes), because I have never walked/ran for that long a period of time. My legs didn't get worn out and my lungs were able to handle it just fine: it was my core that got tired and had occasional cramping.
This is where the cross training becomes extremely important. You could have ridiculously strong legs and still not be able to handle a marathon unless your upper body and your core were strong, too. Running with proper form means all your body needs to work together to its best ability, especially if you're going to keep it in constant motion for 4-5 hours. Eeep.
Back to me, though: today was really important for my mental marathon. I stayed at the same pace for 45 minutes, and didn't let myself slow down or take a break during my 3 miles. Soon, I'll be able to cover 4 and a half miles in that same time--and that doesn't seem so daunting a task anymore.
It might just be the endorphins coursing through my system, but I'm pretty sure this whole thing is going to turn out awesome.