Happy Monday to you and yours, I hope you had a wonderful long Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. I know I did! There was traveling, eating (lots of eating), and relaxation time. There was also a lot of running. Last week I was able to nail all of my work outs and get back into my routine post vacation. The first week back is always the hardest for me, and then I seem to fall easily into my routine. During week 11 of Marathon training, I ran a total of 36 miles, which was my highest number ever during a single a week. I set of goal of 160 miles to run in November and I came in just shy of that number with 145 miles run, includes all treadmill work outs. Not bad if I do say so myself!
Right now, I'm considering a long run to be any run greater than 10 miles. I know how that sounds, bougie boo, but once the long training runs upwards of the half marathon distance kicked in, 10 miles doesn't seem like a long way to go. This past Saturday I logged my 18 mile training run. The 18 mile training run didn't feel life changing in the way the 17 mile run did, my head was in a different place and I took off out the door knowing with 100% certainty I was going to complete the run. I have to break these longer runs up in my head to make them manageable for myself, or else I feel incredibly overwhelmed at the scale of the distance. I broke the 18 mile run up into three 6 mile runs stopping for water and a shot block every 3 miles. The last 5k always seems to be most difficult for me as I begin to feel fatigued but I'm always able to pick up the pace during the last mile and bring it on home!
This week I've been having issues with my left foot cramping and causing me consistent pain. When it first began, I thought it might be the beginnings of plantar fasciitis, but it hasn't escalated to that point just yet. Let me be clear, right now everything pretty much aches and has a pain. It's the side affect of running 36 miles a week for the first time ever. I deal with it. My left foot however is becoming a problem and I'm considering seeing a physical therapist as my pace is suffering greatly, and my foot hurts all the time. Obviously, that's an issue. The 18 mile run felt pretty great until about mile 5 (entirely to early to be hurting). I met my husband at mile 6 for water(1/3 of the run complete) and at that point I was considering calling time on the run, but I didn't because I'm a stubborn to a fault. About Mile 10 I started feeling pretty good again. I was left thinking, only 8 miles to go, I got this! Mile 12, (2/3 of the run complete) I knew there was not a snow balls chance in hell I was quitting this run. My last 6 miles were pretty slow, but the run got done!
I find these long long long long training runs to be just as hard mentally as they are physically. The distance breaks you down then builds you back up again, and the feeling after completing the goal is euphoric. I run for that high! I'm hoping my foot issue will work itself out before my next super duper long crazy lady territory run.
Full disclosure: 7 weeks out from my first marathon and I'm experiencing such a wide range of emotions in regards to this goal. I swing between excitement and anticipation to run my first marathon, and then completely the other direction in wishing I could drop out of the race. Some days I can't believe I'm training for a marathon, and the pride I feel in myself for even attempting this mammoth task is incredibly intense. I have zero doubts about the distance, or this goal.
Other days (they are few and far between), I think there's no way I'll ever make it round to the finish at the marathon. There's no way I can continuing with this training for another month and a half. I started running for one reason, I wanted to lose weight. I didn't set out to be some long distance runner. I had no desire to run races, or half marathons, marathons, etc. I didn't even want to be a runner, not really. I just wanted to feel good in my skin. I wanted to go into a store and leave with single digit clothing in my bag. That's it. Period. I had no grandiose ideas about my athleticism. There wasn't anything deep or life changing going on in my head when I set out running for the first time. My goals were shallow and simple, I wanted to be thin and feel good.
During my mammoth 18 mile training run, somewhere around mile 16.5, I started thinking How did I get here? I'm not doing this for weight loss anymore, running has taken on it's own agenda within me. I don't even feel it's something I have control over anymore. It's just what I do. A part of my weekly routine like grocery shopping, checking the mail, and dropping off the dry cleaning. One question plagued me the remainder of the run, Why am I doing this? Rounding the corner and bringing it home after 18 miles, I had only one answer: It feels incredible to prove to myself, that I can, and I will. Dreaming bigger and working harder has never felt so good!
5 Miles & Strength
Stretch (30 Minutes)
5 Miles & Strength
Cross Training & Strength
13 Miles OR Rest (TBD)
Half Marathon OR Rest (TBD)