Last week totally got away from me. I’d planned to post a book review on Thursday, but got pulled in 10 different directions at work and barely found the time to sleep, never mind blog. But rest assured! I’ve got next week off, so I will have some real time to pre-write a few emergency posts for weeks like last week. And then, after that, i’m planning to jump back in to my 3-posts a week schedule! Yay!
Speaking of jumping back in….I had to jump back in to training this week post-flu. I was super nervous about it for several reasons. Firstly, I was still pretty stuffy-nosed at the beginning of the week. 2. I had run exactly 4 miles since my 16-miler over a week before and 3. I had an 18 miler scheduled for this weekend that I needed to prep for. 4. Sleeping was not my friend this week.
Here’s how the week went down:
- Monday: 4 mile hill run (1 mile warmup @10:30 min/mile, 2 miles hill repeats, 1 mile cool down @10:30 min/mile)
- Tuesday: 30 minute swim
- Wednesday: 20 minutes spinning + 30 minutes strength training (Leg Lift)
- Thursday: 4 mile run ( 9:45 min/mile)
- Friday: 30 minute swim
- Saturday: 18 miles @10:30 avg. pace + 60 minutes yoga
- Sunday: Rest!
- Total Weekly Mileage: 27
Anyone who has ever trained for a full knows that the 18-miler is a big threshold. I think I’ve said this about 85% of the long run distances I’ve written about on this blog, but this one can seriously mess with your head. 18 is a big number, firstly, and many training plans max out at 18 miles (mile takes me up to 21 miles next month). I personally had a terrible experience the first time I tried to run 18 miles.
See, two years ago I was training totally alone and I was still figuring out the difference between half marathon training and marathon training. When I train on my own for half marathons, I carry a hand bottle on runs over 10 miles, and that teeny little bottle is enough to keep me going. I carried that hand bottle for my longer marathon training runs, always finished them by mile 13, then spent the last couple of miles feeling really rough. This came to a head on my 18-miler when I got so dehydrated and fatigued that suddenly, about .25 miles from my house, i couldn’t figure out where I was. All the houses looked the same, and panic set in. I couldn’t spot a street sign in the dusky evening light, and my phone was dead because of the cold (this happens during most of my runs this time of year) I stopped running and walked until my wits returned to me.
So I was a little freaked out about yesterdays run. But I knew I’d have my team’s coach with fuel along the way, and friends to chat with from my team. And I knew I was more ready now than I’d been then. So I put on my Ray Bans and my compression socks, and I got out there.
And it was AWESOME. I took the first two miles a little quicker than I’d meant to (about a 9:45 average pace), but I was still able to settle in to a comfy 10 minute mile from miles 3-8. At mile 8/9 we hit some icy patches so my teammates and I ended up walking on and off until mile 11. We do an out-and-back loop along the actual Boston marathon course, so we’d already taken on Heartbreak Hill in the other direction on the way out, and had to tackle it A SECOND TIME from miles 12-15.We ended up with about an 11 minute pace until Mile 15, when I got a second wind and hit a couple of 9:45 miles to finish out the run. With water and photo stops the whole thing took about 3 hours and I felt so strong at the end!
Getting out of my head and onto the course was the big challenge of yesterday. For the first few weeks of marathon training it was easy for me to gain confidence because I’d already run one marathon before. But now I’m coming up against some doubts because this is kind of the section of training that didn’t go so well before my first marathon. Two years ago I was less muscular, less well-versed in the importance of fueling, and less mature overall. I struggled so, so hard through the 6 weeks of training, and the marathon itself wasn’t what I’d hoped for. I was still proud of myself and happy that I’d finished and happy that I’d been brave enough to get out there.
After my run, I didn’t really have time to chill out, because I had scheduled one of my charity events for that afternoon! Just a plug: I committed to raising $7500 for the hospital where I was treated for thyroid cancer as a teenager. Brigham and Women’s helped me get better and stronger, so now I’m helping it get better and stronger by raising money for their new Stepping Strong Center! Yesterday I recruited a couple of friends and organized a donation-based yoga class at my fave local studio. Together we raised over $200 towards my fundraiser, AND got a terrific stretch on:)
Thanks for reading!
Now You Tell Me….
- Fave yoga pose?
- SONG SUGGESTIONS? I have exhausted the Chainsmokers.
- FUNDRAISING IDEAS? Seriously, send ’em my way!