Saturday, August 27, 2011

Twenty Miles. times two.

This whole marathon training thing is an interesting monster.
Some days you totally have it under control.  It's an incredibly energizing inspiring thing.
Some days it totally controls you.  You feel like a slave.  You wonder if you'll ever get to just run what you want.
For the most part, the past 13 weeks have been awesome.  Aside from the IT Band issues (Active Release Therapy is *amazing*!) and the Peroneal tendon thing (again-the ART-I had them addressed at the same time. Miracle!), physically things have been awesome.  I'm thrilled with how my body has taken to the increased mileage.  I'm thrilled with my weight. (I know!  When does that happen for women?!)  I'm super thrilled that I can eat as much as I'm eating now. That part is great.  I like food.  A lot.  As long as I remember to adjust accordingly when I'm not running 40 miles a week....

Pushing new distance may be my favorite part of this whole thing.  As my long runs have gotten longer, I feel so much more confident about this whole thing.  I've now tackled 20 miles twice.
The first time was four weeks ago when it was supposed to be an 18 mile run.  But when I hit mile 18 I was still over a mile from home.  It made no sense to walk that far so I just kept running.  And, well, 19 just didn't sound right so I wove around the neighborhood a little to hit 20.  It was really pretty exciting.  I felt good at the end of it.  While I was tired, I wasn't totally spent.  That's encouraging when you know you still need to tack another 6+ miles onto that distance.

I love that my body seems to find it's groove around mile 6, and then really settles in for the long haul around mile 10.  Wow I am in love with that feeling of just letting my mind wander, soaking it all in, and just running for hours.  It's magical when it all clicks.  And I'm really hoping I find that groove come marathon day......

The second time was the week after that when I actually had 20 on the schedule.  I felt good the whole way again, I feel like I have the fueling and hydrating down pretty well, and I felt good at the end.  I would have been able to finish that second 20 miler almost 5 minutes faster than the first one, but I was getting a little tightness in my leg around mile 16 so I walked for a few minutes.  I'm ok with that.

Last week I hit a mental wall.  I felt totally burned out.  I went so far as to skip my Saturday run completely.  It was a drop back week so it would have only been a 12-13 mile run, so I'm ok with missing it.  I think it did me better both physically and mentally to stay home and sleep in for a bit than it would have to fight through a run.  
I've had to push to make it through this week too.  That frustrated me after taking some days off last week.  I've had to revamp my training schedule, going from five runs a week to just four.  Between kids in school and Aaron gearing up to go back to school (late nights studying-boo), my time for running has suddenly become very limited.  Add to that the fact that it stays darker later in the morning now and gets darker much earlier at night than it did a month ago, and I'm trying desperately to adjust.  I've run on the treadmill three times in the past week-more than I did all Summer long.  As much as I hate the treadmill, I'm grateful to have one.

I really needed to just have a good running week this past week.  Thankfully I did!  Even with the treadmill runs, it was good.  Today I had the opportunity to run a leg of a trail relay and that was really just the icing on the cake!  Suddenly running was more like a game again.  No longer something on the schedule, but one big fat party.  Gosh I love races!!  I was able to sneak in a couple more miles, but have decided not to log another 10+ this evening to round out what should have been another 20 mile day.  With two under my belt already I know I can go the distance.  I'll make my drop back long run next Saturday a little longer than my scheduled 12-13 miles.  And then I'll be all ready for a 20+ in two weeks.  And that will leave me just three weeks to the marathon.
It's finally getting close!
34 days from today I'll be hanging out in St George.
Countdown is on!!



Rheanna said...

Even though I think you are completely crazy (and love you for it!), I think it's fantastic that you set a goal and you are well on your way to achieve it! So excited to hear how it all goes!

Kelsey said...

koo koo

Ashley said...

I think that it's completely normal to feel the 'ups and downs' of running...I have been a 'down' for a few months now and I am JUST FINE with it! I do miss it and miss the 'cruise control' feeling that I used to get around mile 5, love that refreshing runner's high!
I love all the things that you learn about yourself while pounding pavement, for me, they are lessons never soon forgotten :)
You are totally going to ROCK the marathon! You are an amazing person! :)

XLMIC said...

So exciting!!!! I love that it is all going so well for you :) It is so good that you paid attention to the need for a little time off. Can't wait for you to do it!