This past week completed my tenth week of marathon training. While I have trained for marathons in the past, things this time around have been different. A very generous friend of mine put together the training plan that I am using and I am loving it. Every week the workouts change and I have implemented drills that I have never done in the past. In a way, it’s been a shock to my body and the response has been nothing but positive.
Coming into this week, I was just coming off of the high from my 20 miler last Sunday, which meant that my body was tired. I wondered how my body would respond with a heavy training schedule to get through. I honestly wondered if I would get through the week feeling good. I had to remind myself to take it one workout at a time. When I saw that I had an extra rest day built in though, I knew it was just what I needed. I’m a fighter. I don’t give up easy. I knew I would make it through the week and I did…with a little help from my friends.
Here is my recap of week 10.
Monday – A much needed rest day after the 20 miler. I focused on stretching and hydration to prepare for the week ahead.
Tuesday – I was tasked with 10 miles. My legs were still a little sore from the race Sunday and the thought of 10 miles was daunting. I knew it had to be done and I knew I could do it. I just had to prepare mentally, which I did before setting my alarm Monday night. I met up with my running buddy, Jillian, and we did it together. We started out early as always, in the dark, and very slow, both of us moaning asking the other why we were doing it. In typical fashion though, by about mile three, we were just running in stride with one another enjoying good conversation. It was a beautiful morning and when we finished, it felt good. Thank God for friends to get you out the door!
Wednesday- My extra rest day…wahoo! Usually on rest days, all I think about is how could I manage a run. Not today. I welcomed the extra rest day and again focused on eating to fuel my body, continue to recover, and hydrate, knowing what lay ahead the following morning.
Thursday- I was up by 5:30 AM for another round of Yasso 800’s. If I’m being honest, I was dreading these Wednesday night. Mentally, I was drained because on Wednesday my Dad had taken a turn for the worse. Every minute of my day was spent thinking about him and my family and worrying. It was exhausting. I barely slept Wednesday night so physically, I was also exhausted, but there was work to be done and I was going to do it! I did a 1/2 mile warm up, 10×800’s with 400 rest in between, followed by a 1/2 mile cool down. By the third 800, I was feeling great and had no doubt I would finish the workout strong. I managed to cut my average 800 time by three seconds. It doesn’t seem like much, but this told me that I am capable of hitting my marathon goal once again and that was the mental reinforcement I was looking for!
Friday- My final rest day for the week. I debated going out early for my long run, but knew my body needed the rest. I had spent Thursday in the ICU with my family and barely slept again Thursday night. Still, as a runner, it’s hard to restrain yourself sometimes from just ignoring the rest days and running instead. You have to hold back though and be smart about things. The body needs time to recover.
Saturday- It was time for my long run. I made plans Friday to meet up with some running friends for 12-14 miles. I was due for 18 based on my training schedule. I figured I would get in 4 solo miles before the group run. That way, if we ran another 14, I’d be at goal. If we ended up doing 12, I would still have 16 miles under my belt and be happy with that. I was up at 4:30 AM. I was tired, but on the treadmill by 4:50 AM for my solo 4. Those 4 miles seemed like a million. I just wanted to meet the group and run with my friends. I made it through at a pretty quick pace though and then headed out the door by 5:30 AM. That’s when I realized it was raining out. It didn’t matter. I had committed to meeting my crew and I wasn’t backing out now. We took off together by 6 AM and the rain stopped. It turned out to be the most perfect weather for a run. Exactly 12.2 miles later, as we peaked our final hill to the finish, the rain started to come down hard. The timing was uncanny. We all agreed someone up there must have been looking down on us. I had managed to complete 16.2 miles for the day with some great friends and no regrets.
Sunday- I happily completed just 4 easy miles on the treadmill to end the week right.
Total mileage for week 10: 38.2
Just like life, running comes with its’ own set of ups and downs. As I write this, I am sitting in the ICU with my Dad. I am reminded to do things while I can because life comes with no guarantees. I am reminded how important it is to never stop fighting for what you want and to never settle. I am reminded to always work my hardest to overcome obstacles. He taught me these things and continues to remind me of them, especially now. Never give up on yourself or your goals. Now is the time to reach for the stars. Don’t wait. You CAN do it!