This weekend marked the official half way point in my training for my first marathon and the unofficial end of summer. I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by. It’s scary to think that only a single digit number of weeks stand between me and the start line of my very first marathon. That’s scary and incredibly exciting!
This week I definitely rode the emotional roller coaster. I felt like shit. I ate like shit. I’m sure that the latter contributed to the former. This week was mentally difficult for me. And likely most of my friends.
My training has been going almost perfectly so far; until this week. This week marked the first time I had to cut a run short because I thought it was the smarter thing to do; rather than push through. That annoying pain in my leg from last week came back and every run was just tough this week; mentally and physically.
I’ve continued to learn that what is possible in weeks 2, 3 and 4 of marathon training is not the same as weeks 7, 8 and 9. I have learned what happens when you don’t take enough time to stretch, foam roll, ice, etc. All those things that you skip because you have to get to work, get to a wedding, get to the pool, get to the beach. My body has reminded me this week, in rather dramatic form, that it REALLY needs me to do these things more often.
I hear you loud and clear body; loud and clear. This week also marked the point in my training where I decided it’s time for my body to get more rest in the weeks to come.
Monday: Yoga AM + Refine Method PM
Wednesday: Plan was for 2 mile warm up + 5k race in Prospect Park; Actual: 2 miles to and from Central Park
I planned on racing the last summer series 5k with Abby (she actually ran it and kicked some ass; go congratulate her), Allison, Jocelyn and Steph. My body obviously had a different plan. After feeling tight and achy all day, despite wearing compression sleeves, I decided it was smarter to stay a little closer to home and the new plan became to meet Allison in Central Park for some easy miles. On my run to the park, I knew this was the day to be smart and call it a day rather than push through the discomfort I felt in my leg like I did last week. Had I not had another 6 miles on my schedule for Thursday morning, I probably would have kept going after my leg loosened up in mile 2. With another run less than 12 hours away, I thought it was the smarter choice to call it quits and head back home. Feeling defeated for the first time in this training cycle.
Thursday: 6 miles with the last mile @ 9:00 min/mile pace AM + Refine Method PM
This run didn’t start off the way I had hoped. I thought that with some rest and foam rolling Wednesday night, I would wake up feeling great. I started making my way towards Central Park and my leg felt present. Does that even make sense? I didn’t feel pain or discomfort but I didn’t feel awesome either. The tightness was definitely still there. I could not have been happier when I saw Ashley in the park. She ran 4 out of my 6 miles with me and basically saved the day. Those 4 miles flew by and all I had left when we parted ways was the one mile back home. I tried to get that last mile down to a 9:00 min/mile pace but that run felt so tough and each mile felt like I was barely moving. I ended up with a 9:32 min/mile and called it a win for the day.
Friday: Rest + Massage
I finally got a very much needed and long overdue massage. It could not have come at a better time as my calves were certainly feeling the effects of the first half of marathon training and walking on the beach last weekend. I took the day off from work, went for the massage and then met Nicole for lunch and pedicures.
The day was just what I needed, mentally, after a long week. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the massage and it would prove to be pretty ineffective. I definitely learned that I prefer a massage at a spa. I’m going for another massage next month with Nicole at my favorite place in NYC; The Great Jones Spa. Lesson learned.
Saturday: 8 miles
This week was a cutback week; thank goodness! After a tough week, mentally and physically, it was great to end the week surrounded by some amazing friends. How lucky am I? I ran with Kim, who just ran her first 16 mile run ever, Steph ,who ran her longest run post-injury, Allison and Bernadette.
It was a perfect long run; minus the absurd humidity that is apparently back. Summer is, indeed, not over just yet. I was so happy to run with my friends, who reminded me that the negative thoughts will creep in during marathon training and to acknowledge them and then move on. Great advice. It was a great reminder that I’m not alone and everyone has aches and pains during marathon training. The little pep talk was just what I needed to get out of the funk I was in this week.
Abby and I spent the rest of the afternoon
lounging by my parent’s pool shopping at Target while it rained and then drove back to NYC and had a raging Saturday night at her apartment.
Sunday: 4 recovery miles
I typically only run 3 recovery miles, but with the okay from the Coach, I added on an extra mile to hit 20 miles this week; no thanks to Wednesday’s run fail. She said if my leg was feeling okay, I could add on that last mile. It felt good enough for one extra mile.
I spent the rest of the holiday weekend visiting family friends in Westchester, in the fresh country air, and with my feet in the pool. I also came home with what feels like one million mosquito bites. It was totally worth it.
Total mileage: 20 miles
Oh, did I mention that my Oiselle race kit and all the new goodies I ordered arrived this week?
I’m so excited to put on my race singlet, and a bib for the first time since June 10th, next weekend for the first race of the fall season. I’m running the Autism Speaks 4 Miles of Hope as part of my first 20 mile run. I can’t believe that at this time next week I will have run 20 MILES! As much as this week has defeated me, this experience is absolutely incredible. I’m excited for the second half of training. 9 weeks down. 9 weeks to go. I can’t believe how the time is flying by. I can almost hear Frank Sinatra!
How do you deal with aches and pains during marathon training?
How was your holiday weekend?
Are you as excited for fall as I am?
Which races are you training for? How’s it going?