September 22, 2019

The Not-So -Fast Runner

Tomorrow begins week 11 of my training plan for my first marathon!  I'm excited and of course nervous, because when I have a long run of 12 miles and feel like death by mile 10, I wonder, How the F am I going to run 26 miles?!  Well, we just do.  We somehow make it work.  And that's pretty much how I have been taking this training, one day at a time, making it work, even when I am so exhausted from adulting and moming during the week. 

Next Sunday, the 29th, will be my 3rd half marathon.  I'm looking forward to it as I did this one in Ocean City, NJ three years ago.   I recall it was  HOT day and that's what I am dreading the most.  It being a hot, humid day, sun beaming, etc.  I don't care about temps, but if the sun remains out the entire time, it's an issue.  Most runners don't care for that.  I'm hoping it's overcast.  Cross your fingers for me or say a prayer.  I would say so far, most of this training plan has been actually pretty great.  I have been sticking to all of my runs, but the past two long runs I had to cut short by 2-3 miles because I .WAS.SPENT. Running puts a ton of stress on your body, and while mainly my diet has been pretty great, mostly healthy foods and fueling correctly, it's still  a lot of stress on the body.

I'm up most days by 530.  I prefer to do all of my runs early morning, that's honestly just how I have been since having a kid.  I like starting my day before the rest of my family is up.  It can't always go that way though, so I make adjustments when necessary. I also HATE eating before a run and that's a big struggle for me because with no fuel in your body, running more than 5 miles/over an hour, you're going to start depleting your muscles and fatigue will set in.  But I have stomach issues and sorry if TMI, but running makes you poop.  A LOT. You are literally sloshing around your organs and the bowl movements get irritated, hence, you'll need to use the bathroom at least twice.  I carry water with me sometimes, but I don't at a race because there are water stations everywhere.  Thankfully, while training, a coffee shop near my house offers free iced water in a pitcher.  It's glorious.  So aside from needing to use the potty on most training runs ( mainly only my long runs) and needing to stop for a bite of bagel and water, I have been feeling like I've been kicking some ass.  This Saturday however, was a different story.

 I was supposed to run 12 miles.  I ran 7.76 miles.  Most of those miles sucked.  I wasn't feeling the run at all and my music kept getting messed up.  I also wore a bulky jacket that isn't even meant to workout in, but it was 45 degrees when I started and I wanted something to cover me.  I also didn't have anymore gum, so I had to suck on a cough drop.  It was gross but did the job.  I like having something in my mouth while running so my mouth doesn't get dried out. Anyway, I called it for what it was, I felt tired and annoyed and pretty much burned out...and I still 9 WEEKS! to go until the marathon.  HOW THE F.....?!  Send help.

But getting to this point and with that run being so far, the only run I truly dreaded and was not into, that's actually not bad.  It's about to happen at some point.  I have only been running three days a week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for long runs.  Everyone is different, and this schedule works for me, with two days typically being a 30-40  min strength circuit.  Resting at least two days.  I only ran on Tuesday this past week and did one 30 min strength.  I was hoping I'd have more stamina by Saturday and fresh legs for 12 miles, but it just didn't work out that way, and that's OK.

I might be getting 'stonger' with all the training, but I am definitely not getting faster.  Part of it is definitely my age, not getting even close to an 8 min mile like I did four years ago.  I'm averaging 9:45-10:30 min  miles.  It's all good and honestly , I feel that's a great pace.  I try not to start out too fast, but of course, it's hard not to because I haven't exerted myself that much yet.  My goal for my half marathon is to break my 2:20 and 2:18 times; hitting just 2 hours would be amazing.  But my past few longer runs aren't showing that.  My best run yet was 12 miles at the end of August hitting 12 miles @ 2:03.  Which would bring me to 2:13 for a half marathon.  I'd love to get under 2 hours but we will just see what the day brings! 

For my first marathon, my only goal is to get across that finish line.  So I'm not stressing about time and it's been very liberating.  I would, however, LOVE to get close to Oprah's time, yes Oprah!  She ran her first and only marathon in DC in 1994 at age 40.  I'll be 37 in another month and my only goal was to complete a full marathon before I'm 40.  Oprah clocked in at 4:29. with a pace averaging 10:17.  That's an amazing time and pace and one I hope to match!

Here's to doing you! and not worrying about anyone else!  This is one mantra that I try to tell myself every single day and I'd be lying if I said I don't have negative, shitty thoughts about all of this and doubt myself.  Running is so mental, but oddly, I feel better running now, even after taking last year off from races, than compared to when I started running four years ago.  My diet is much healthier (80% of the time) and keeping up with weights really does help with strength. Comparison is definitely the thief of Joy as they say, and even though I'd be lying if I said I didn't do that, I'm learning every day to worry about myself and do what's best for me!

I may be three margaritas in, but it's Sunday Funday.  Enjoy!

Cheers!  and good luck to any one racing this year!!