And just like that, I finished week 8 of training for my first marathon. It’s really hard to believe that after next week I’m halfway done. I don’t remember the last time that a training cycle flew by so quickly. I’m loving almost everything about marathon training; except all of the strange aches and pains that leave me wondering if what I’m feeling is normal or if something is wrong. I have to be honest here. Last week, I freaked out a little. I can’t be the only person training for their first marathon that has mini freak outs, right? Thursday, while running, I had a strange pain in my right leg and obviously was convinced it was a stress fracture. Spoiler alert: It’s not a stress fracture (unless the pain comes and goes. Does it?). Luckily, the rest of the week went splendidly.
Monday: Yoga AM + Refine Method PM
Tuesday: 5 miles speedwork (3x1200s)
Dare I say I really liked these!?! At first, I was seriously intimidated by the paces my Coach gave me but I totally surprised myself when I felt like I could almost run faster. Shhh…don’t tell her!
Thursday: 5 easy miles with 5×1 minute pickups AM + Refine Method PM
Besides being three million percent humidity again, this was also the first run in years where it might have been smarter to call it quits rather than continue on. I pride myself on listening to my body and usually when it tells me something I listen; loud and clear. Since I wasn’t 100% convinced it wasn’t just my tight, bitchy calves, I finished my 5 easy miles and pickups (which strangely made my leg feel better?). I came home, iced my leg and put on compression sleeves for the rest of the day. I did that test that doctors do for a suspected stress fracture; I jumped up and down on the leg that was bothering me earlier that day. I had no pain and continued to have no pain throughout the rest of the day, so I figured that whatever it was must have been muscle and I took a very deep breath. I modified some of the exercises at Refine Method that evening just to be safe; mainly all of the jumping.
Friday: Rest day. Foam rolled A LOT.
Saturday: 18 miles
I ran my first 18 mile run ever! I ran with Kim and Nicole and I could not be more grateful for these two friends. They made the miles fly by and made 18 miles feel so much less daunting. All week, I was so apprehensive about this run. I thought about it ALL. THE. TIME. Even though Coach gave me the same pep talk as the week before; it’s only 20 minutes more than last week. I don’t know why 18 miles felt so much more overwhelming than 16, but it did. Thankfully, I have so many amazing friends, who have run marathons, to give me some great words of wisdom and who also wholeheartedly believe in me. Every little bit of encouragement and support has been incredible and extremely helpful as I navigate my way through training for my first marathon. For all you, I am beyond grateful.
I woke up Saturday morning; confident, and ready to conquer 18 miles. I ran 4 miles, alone, before meeting up with Kim and Nicole, as I had a few more miles on my schedule. We all met at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive and ran up to the Little Red Lighthouse, under the George Washington Bridge.
Apparently, so did every other runner in New York City. We saw so many of our runner friends which is one of the many things that makes the NYC running community so amazing. 9 times out of 10 you will always see smiling faces of running friends during your run. It felt amazing when we finally reached the Little Red Lighthouse.
*Side note: The Little Red Lighthouse really is little.*
To me, running to the Little Red Lighthouse has become a benchmark of marathon training in New York City. It felt like a huge accomplishment to finally get there.
After stopping to take a few pictures (obviously), and seeing a rat (yup, still in Manhattan) we made our way back downtown to 72nd Street where Kim and I would part ways with Nicole, who was done with her run.
Kim and I finished up our last two and a half miles and I think I screamed, “YES,” out loud, in the middle of Second Avenue, when my watch hit 18 miles. 18 MILES. It was truly amazing and left me feeling pretty awesome and extremely grateful. Grateful for the body that carried me for 3+ hours of running. Grateful for some of my favorite people who made 18 miles fly by so quickly.
After I refueled, showered and gathered my dirty laundry (duh, it’s free at my parent’s house), I was off to meet Abby for an afternoon of relaxing poolside. Just what my tired legs needed.
Sunday: 3 recovery miles
I must say, I really did miss running my recovery miles with my brother this week, but the views along the East River were definitely an acceptable consolation prize.
After my recovery run, I was off to the beach for the day. Is there anything more perfect that being by the water?
As we drove back to Manhattan, over the Queensboro Bridge, I couldn’t help but get excited for what’s to come in 10 weeks. It gave me butterflies. Or maybe I was just queasy looking at the incline of the bridge. Either way, I couldn’t be more excited for the next 10 weeks.
Total mileage: 31 miles *highest weekly mileage to date and my first week over 30 miles ever*
Reaching a new personal distance record each week may be one of the most exciting parts of marathon training. Although I love to keep reaching these amazing milestones, I am PUMPED for a cutback week next week. 8 miles, here I come.
How is your training going?
What is your favorite part of marathon training?
Do you freak out over every little ache and pain? How do you deal with it?