Marathon Training Week 11: Never Give Up!

As far back as I can remember, I was taught to never give up.  When it comes to things that truly matter to me, quitting does not apply.  During this past week of training and life in general, I was reminded why this is such an important thing to always remember.

Over the past week, my Dad’s illness has progressed.  I held his hand and watched as he literally fought for his life right in front of my eyes.  I have seen him have seemingly endless hours where I wonder if he wants to give up fighting and moments where I know for sure that he won’t.  Things are always changing.  Nothing is predictable.  It has by no means been an easy week in this sense.  He is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night.  Through it all though, I know in the deepest part of myself that he will never stop fighting.  I know that he will not lay down unless he has nothing left to give.  I know this because he never has.  I know this because he is the one that taught me to never give up.

never give up

I tell you all of this not for your sympathy and not to bring you down.  I share this with you all to remind you that no matter how hard something in life may seem, if it’s truly worth it to you, you’ve got to keep fighting.  If you’ve got a goal to achieve, whether it be getting off the couch to walk around the block or completing your first marathon, giving up can not be an option. Remind yourself to take one small step at a time to progress.  Focus on the positive.  If you experience a set back along the way, don’t let it defeat you.  Learn from it, work through it, and move forward.  That is what separates  those that actually reach their goals from those that sit wishing they had.  Be the person that has no regrets.  Know that you gave it everything you had.  In my own words, finish on empty.  I repeat this to myself when I am preparing for a tough workout, a new distance, a long race.  I want to leave my all on the course.  I don’t want to complete that workout, that distance, that race and wish I had tried a little harder or wonder “what if”?  I want to know for damn sure that I finished on empty.

After this past week of training, I can say for certain that while there were some challenging moments where I thought about giving up, I did not.  I worked through them and I did not quit.  I absolutely finished on empty and felt so good doing it!

finish on empty

Here is my recap.

Monday-  Rest Day

Tuesday-  I headed out at 5:30 AM for a solo run in beautiful weather and got in 6.7 miles to start the day.  It gave me the positive energy I needed to head back into Boston and spend time with my Dad after seeing him struggle the day before.  That positivity stayed with me all day as I watched him slowly come back to us, open his eyes, and speak.  I couldn’t have asked for more!

Wednesday-  I was having some slight foot pain so I opted for a treadmill run to stay in just in case I ran into issues.  Thankfully, I did not and I got in an easy 4 miles.

Thursday-  Was due for 10 but when I got on the treadmill, I was already exhausted and knew my body was in no condition for the full 10 that day, so I swapped out for a different workout I had this week and did another easy 4 miles.

Friday-  The stars aligned because my kids napped at the same time early in the day just long enough for me to bust out my 10 miler.  Unfortunately, I was on the treadmill again, but I was just so happy to get these miles in.  I broke this workout down in my head as three 5K’s and then the rest (another 0.7 miles to finish).  Each 5K was progressively faster with the last 0.7 miles at record speed for myself so that was pretty sweet!

Saturday-  Rest Day.

Sunday-  Headed out around 6 AM with some great company including a running buddy, Nicolasa,the face behind Shoe Laces and Bibs.  Check her out!  I ran the first 17 miles with friends and then continued on for another 2.8 miles to hit 19.8 for my long run.  I was 0.2 miles short of 20, but totally O.K. with that considering my phone died and I had to guess distance for the last 3 miles.  I was pretty psyched when I drove the route after finishing and found out how close to target I actually was.  The best part about this run (other than the absolutely perfect weather!) was that I finally found a fuel combination that worked for me.  I did not feel like I was tiring around 15/16 like I typically do.  I felt awesome the entire time.  I never eat breakfast before my long runs in the morning because it’s so early already and I can’t bear the thought of getting up even earlier just to eat.  Today though, I changed that.  I ate oatmeal before this run and I’m pretty sure I’ll be eating oatmeal before all of my long runs now.  I fueled at 6 (Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews) , 12 (Honey Stinger Gel Gintsing), and 17 (more chews to hold me over).  At mile 10, I took two Hammer Endurolytes.  To aid recovery, I used the Hammer Recoverite (chocolate flavor).  This combination worked perfectly for me and it was by far one of the best long runs I have had in terms of energy and recovery.

Total mileage this week:  44.6 miles

How was your week?  Did you finish on empty?

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