In just under one month, I’ll be a marathoner (and hopefully, recovering nicely from my 26.2 mile journey around Newport — fingers crossed!). And after 13 weeks of training, I am really looking forward to crossing that finish line. The last few months have been emotionally, physically and mentally draining. I feel like everything I do, eat and think revolves around running that elusive 26.2, so I’m looking forward to Columbus Day — a day when I’ll finally be able to relax fully for the first time since I started my training in June.
I thought that I’d have more time to blog about my experiences along the way, and I fully intended to, but found that by the time I got around to writing each day, I was too exhausted. Running around after the girls, coupled with sticking to my training plan while trying to get the most out of the summer left my mind empty. It wasn’t until my 15k run around Block Island last weekend that the fog finally lifted and thoughts about how marathon training has effected my family and myself surfaced with a vengeance. So, I figured with a month left to go, and Clara now in school full-time, I’d finally be able to share what I’ve done to prepare over the last few months and what’s to come in the last month leading up to what I’ve been referring to as the “big dance.”
Backing up a bit…
It all started on New Year’s Eve 2013 when after enjoying a couple of glasses of champagne with my dear friends and fellow evening companions, Bernie and Brianne, I signed up for the Newport Marathon. As I pushed the “Register” button on my phone’s display, I felt a rush of emotions — more so than usual on account of the bubbly I’d been drinking. Running a marathon has always been an item on my bucket list, but it becomes particularly real when you input your credit card info and officially sign up for the biggest race of your life while pre-gaming at a local bar on New Year’s Eve.
My plan was to start training in April as I had heard that taking six months to prepare would be sufficient. The spring flew by in a flash and before I knew it, it was June. Oops. I figured that since I’d just run my fourth half at the beginning of May and still was in half-marathon shape, 17 weeks of training would be plenty. Thus, I started gathering supplies (i.e. hydration vest, Clif Shot Gels, compression socks and sleeves, red badge of courage, etc.) and found a training plan that would fit into my current workout regime and marathon finishing goal.
The plan for the last three months has been as follows:
*Weekly 8-mile run
*One day of Yasso 800s (half-mile sprints) — eventually increasing from 2 to 10 per session (I ran my 10 yesterday!)
*One Tempo Run — a one-mile warm-up, anywhere from 5-10 miles at Race Pace minus 15-40 seconds, one-mile cool-down
*One long run — ranging from 8-22 miles
*Two days of cross-training on the recumbent bike
*Three days of strength training — gotta work other muscles besides my legs!
*One yoga workout per week
It’s no wonder with less than one month to go, I’m exhausted and a bit burned out from running. But, each week I’ve been plugging along with very few adjustments. You have no idea the thrill I get when I cross another week off of the list. After this upcoming weekend’s 22-mile run, which will be the longest distance I’ve run to date, the remainder of my training will begin to lighten up significantly. I.CAN’T.WAIT.
And as I sit here typing away and stuffing my face full of popcorn — the first course of my nightly snack routine — I’m excited to share the good, the bad and the ugly of marathon training with you in the coming weeks. I have been mentally keeping up with this blog for the last three months (no lie!) during my long runs (what else is there to do while you’re running for over three hours at a stint?) and finally have the energy to share what I’ve been pondering during the many, many miles I’ve been running by myself.
The question is where to begin? ;0)