Yesterday I capped off my first official week of marathon training with the Fort Bend Fit training group. Their training plan have 3 runs during the week with a long run every Saturday morning. I’m in the Red group, for those with a 10 to 12 minute per mile pace over 5K. I’m presently running closer to a 9 minute mile which would place me in the Yellow group, but I want to see if I can maintain my pace over longer distances before I change running groups.

This week’s Saturday run was approximately 3 miles. It was a nice, easy run compared to some of the other runs earlier in the week where for one reason or another I kept bonking. Running in a very large group is actually great fun and really helps keep motivation up. My pace for the entire run, including a couple of waits for lights, was 10:30; average heart rate was 162 with a peak of 173.

This Saturday was also the first time I wore my Amphipod Running Beltwith 3 bottles. It was reasonably comfortable, and having liquid available anytime during the run was nice, but at this point I’d really rather not wear it. I can get away with not wearing it on 30 minute or less runs, but longer than that it is mandatory.

For the week as a whole, I ran 2 hours 16 minutes and 10.5 miles, plus a few cycling rides and a cycling criterium on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to week 2 where Saturday’s run is 4 miles.

Running so far this summer has been going well. Resting a couple of weeks after I hurt my knee, plus some running form advice from my friend Teri, led to me being able to run much further, faster, and with no discomfort. I was even able to go on a great ~7 mile run around the US Naval Academywhen I was visiting Annapolis for work a couple of weeks ago.

I’m currently signed up for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on January 18, 2009 but I may try the full marathon depending upon how training progresses and how my run in the Houston Halfmarathon on October 26, 2008 goes. Balancing running time with bicycling time will likely prove to be the most difficult part of the training season.