This week went much better than last week. The theme of week 10 of training seems to have been REFOCUS. I refocused on my goals. Refocused on the big picture. Refocused my thoughts. I thought positive thoughts about the situation with my leg. I got back to healthy eating that fuels my workouts and will help me achieve my goals. Thanks to the Best. Dietitian. Ever. for putting up with me this week and helping me push through and not give up after a tough week last week. I refocused and recommitted to taking better care of my body; inside AND out. I iced more. I foam rolled more. I got more rest. I did all the things my body needs to show up healthy on November 3rd.
Monday: Self imposed rest day
Okay, this was more like me being lazy when I got back to NYC Monday evening. I was too tired to do yoga so I called it a rest day. Thanks Labor Day for the extra day of rest. I think my body greatly appreciated it.
Tuesday: 5 miles speedwork
10 x 1 min intervals. I seriously LOVE these. I didn’t exactly love all 10 of them but it’s such a quick burst of speed; it amazes me the numbers that flash on my Garmin. It’s nice to feel that speedy even if only for a minute. Although by Tuesday night, my legs were very grumpy. Even though my leg felt no different during the workout, whatever has been going on for the past week or two seems to have been irritated by the speedwork. I iced my legs, which seemed to make them feel much better.
Wednesday: Refine Method
6:20am Refine Method never gets easier (and I’m really missing my early morning Refine buddy) but the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, started at sundown and I needed to get my weekly Refine fix before heading home for the holiday.
Thursday: 5 easy miles + 4 strides
*Also known as the first time I’ve ever run in my compression sleeves.*
This run felt great despite the leg discomfort that seems to persist. I think the compression sleeves helped a little bit. Besides my leg still feeling present, everything else felt effortless. I worked hard to slow my pace down and stay within my easy run pace. I love runs like those. Had my leg felt 100%, this would have been an awesome run. The strides were fast, but not as fast as I’d liked them to be for as hard as they felt. Funny how a similar pace that felt awesome on Tuesday, felt so much more challenging today.
I spent the rest of the day rocking out to Billy Joel, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin soundtracks, drinking wine (don’t judge, I was celebrating the Jewish New Year) and cooking for the holiday before my family came over. All the stress of cooking for the holidays was definitely made better by spending the day with my 93 year old grandmother and my niece; both of whom I adore.
Saturday: 20 FREAKING MILES
I DID IT! I RAN MY FIRST 20 MILE RUN EVER!
I was not nervous for this run. Truthfully, because of whatever has been going on with my leg (likely shin splints/tight calves), I was cautiously optimistic about this run, at best. I figured, worst case, I would run some miles before the Autism Speaks 4 Miles of Hope run, run the race and then call it quits if things still felt off. You can NOT imagine my delight when, although still feeling present, my leg loosened up a lot in the miles before the race. Coach told me I could push the pace in the race if I felt good; otherwise run it at long run pace. I’m not sure if it was because it was the first time I wore the Oiselle singlet, or because it was the first race of the fall season, or because I just felt good, but I felt good enough to bang out 4 sub-10 minute miles, in the middle of a 20 mile run, and could not be happier.
I was a mere 36 seconds off my current 4 mile PR. It’s exciting to think about what was possible had I not already run 9 miles and without 7 more looming over me post-race.
I finished this run overwhelmed with gratitude. I cried almost the whole 5 blocks back to my apartment; looking like a crazy person on the streets of NYC, no doubt. I was grateful that my body could push for 20 miles; even when things started getting tough. Grateful that my body was strong enough to run up a beast of a hill at mile 18.85.
I felt grateful that I was mentally strong enough to run almost 20 miles alone; save for the 3 miles I ran with some of my favorite running buddies pre-race. And the few very speedy moments with the Coach before the race (do you know how insanely fast she is?) and the last half of a mile of the race when speedy had already finished her race and ran back up and jumped in with me (THANK YOU FOR THAT, Coach!). Best. Coach. Ever.
I was grateful for a few wonderful moments with some of the incredible NYC Runner Army before and after the race. There is so much love and support out there. Grateful for all the amazing well wishes I received via text and Twitter post-run. You guys have NO IDEA how much that meant to me. Most of all, I think I felt grateful that I am finally starting to truly believe in myself and this marathon.
*I also took my very first ice bath and kinda loved it! Am I crazy, or do you love it too?*
Sunday: 3 recovery miles
Slowest. Recovery. Run. Ever. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up and my legs felt good enough for a few recovery miles along the East River. I slept for 10 glorious hours and my body definitely thanked me. These were literally the slowest miles. On the bright side, my legs felt better than they have on any run in the past two weeks. Perhaps because I was barely moving?
Total Mileage: 33 miles *highest mileage to date*
Achieving new milestones each week during marathon training is an incredible feeling; one of the things I love most about training for my first marathon. I can’t believe there is only ONE MORE long run distance left that I’ve never run before the MARATHON. Crazy! 10 weeks down. 8 to go.
Do you have a better long run when you don’t think much about it?
Why does 20 miles feel SO MUCH harder than 18?
Do you embrace the ice bath? I can’t believe I waited so long to embrace it.
Any awesome new songs you’ve been listening to on the run?