Thanks to a solid run on Monday, this was a good mileage week for both Ryan and I. This week brought out some emotional aspects of training that I wasn’t necessarily expecting. We all have our ups and downs when preparing for demanding physical feats. When I signed up for my first marathon my only fear was could I really run 26.2 miles? Would I be physically strong enough? Would my body hold up to the miles and the pavement pounding? What if my muscles tired too fast? Little did I know physical challenges are often the least of my worries when it comes to training, or they had been until this training cycle. My mind was often the biggest thing to overcome in past years. This year it seems to be both a physical and a mental battle I’m fighting. If it’s not one, then it’s the other. On some days it’s both.
Monday-17 miles, long run (both of us)
Monday’s long run was supposed to happen the day before (Sunday), but social choices got in the way. Monday’s weather was absolutely, freaking gorgeous, so I’d say it worked out in the end. At lunch it was 52 degrees and the sun was shining. I went for a drive with the windows down, sun roof open, radio blasting, and a large fountain drink in hand. It was a great fifteen minutes.
Post-work Ryan and I got down to business to get this 17 mile long run completed. We busted out the shorts and had an awesome run in the 59 degree weather. The bare leg feeling made us both feel like we had just started for the first 13 miles. We finished our run in 2:25, which was speedier than I’d expected for a long run. Bare legs just felt that good. Ryan tested taking GU’s earlier in this run so he is prepared on race day, and because when you start a long run at 5:15 after work and have not had dinner yet fueling is super important. The GU’s went fairly well and held our hunger over until dinner. We were both starving post-run. Remember to make sure to fuel with protein and carbs within 30 minutes of your long run to start the recovery process in a positive way.
Wednesday-easy 5 miles (Sarah)/8 miles (Ryan)
I was still sore as I did not drink hardly any water on either Tuesday or Wednesday. I did not do my body any recovery favors…oops! Sometimes I need the reminder though that being sore doesn’t always mean you need to skip a workout. My legs felt better than before the run after knocking out this easy pace recovery run. I contemplated skipping this run for about 20 minutes, but thought better of it. I was so glad I came to my senses even though it was back to running in the teens outside. As for my foot, that is another story. Damn that foot.
Saturday-8 miles (Sarah)
Sunday-18 miles (Ryan)/10 miles (Sarah)
Sunday’s run started off on the right foot, that is until my right foot started hurting again. The pain is hard to describe, but it is constant when running and walking. At mile six I was questioning if I should continue. I decided to head out for one more loop, but at mile eight I tearfully admitted to myself that it was stupid to push through the pain I was feeling. I handed Ryan the Garmin, and turned back for home defeated, upset, and feeling sorry for myself. How could the marathon runner be having worse training weeks than the first-time marathon trainer? I still feel frustrated by this, but have had an hour to mentally come to terms with today’s disappointing run. Monday’s run was awesome; no pain. Today-Grrr.
Sometimes training is great and other times it’s a bitch. But, I guess that is what training is for. It prepares you for the mental and physical rollercoaster you might have on marathon race day. I’ve ran marathons that have felt easy and effortless. I’ve ran marathons that felt difficult and challenging from mile 11 on. I’ve ran marathons where I ranged from jubilant to wanting to quit to ecstatic in a matter of miles. Sometimes the highs are high and the lows are really low. We come out stronger and prouder for taking on and overcoming the challenge. That is what the marathon is about.
No matter how many marathons I train for and run, I feel like I learn something new about myself, my body, and my spirit. It is a journey that is not always rainbows and sunshine, but what great things are always great? I need to focus on the quote above in the coming weeks. It is so frustrating to want to do something and have your body not want to. I know my mind wants to run the distance. My body just has to come along. For now I am busy scrunching a towel with my toes, stretching the foot, rolling arches with a soup can, foam rolling, and doing yoga stretches.
Tip of the Week-When aches and pains start (and they will!) foam rolling will be your new favorite love-hate relationship. The pain it brings is worth the pleasure in the end. I use my Trigger Point Foam Roller, which I bought on Amazon. I love the different spaced pressure points that allow you to vary your foam rolling experience. No idea how to foam roll? See the graphic below to get started.
Ryan’s Total Miles-43 miles
Sarah’s Total Miles-40 miles