I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for quite some time. I feel like every time I sit down to write up a post I look at the clock to see 10:00 pm or even later staring me in the face. Not enough time to write a quality marathon post and get a good night of sleep at the same time. Priorities.
It’s no secret that a big priority lately has been running. I eat, sleep, drink, think, breath marathon training. Especially lately – with a little over two weeks left of active training before the taper period begins – running is consuming me. Not that I’m complaining, it’s just hard when you have a blog all about running. I feel like I’m doing more running than I’m actually blogging about it.
So let’s chat a little bit about how marathon training has been going for the last 12+ weeks.
- I had a good few weeks a while back where I seriously questioned whether or not my body was ready for this. I had a few long runs that just felt a lot harder than they should be – long runs are meant to be the character and confidence building workouts! I felt weak, my legs felt shredded, and I just felt overall blah about all of it. I don’t know what caused me to snap out of it, but I’m sure as hell that I did. Goes to show how important mental strength is when it comes to marathon training. I feel like the ratio is 30% body, 70% mind.
- Despite some sucky runs every now and again, I’m really enjoying training. I look forward to my long runs, and not just because they’re hours of straight girl time with Stephanie. They’re fun, challenging, and big productions. I kind of love the ritualistic aspect of long runs – wake up early, eat and drink the same thing, get your body ready. I thrive on schedules so it’s not surprising that I love it.
- I continue to be floored by the generosity of friends, coworkers, and family when it comes to donations for my Marfan Foundation fundraising. I’ve already surpassed my $1,000 goal and I think I can get $1,500 before the race. Running a marathon is such a big deal and to do it for a charity that I believe in and for a cause that is so so so close to home, is absolutely incredible.
- For some reason, 16 miles felt so much easier than 15 miles. Weird how that works.
- The one downside of training for a marathon in Boston – there is nowhere to go. Boston itself is so tiny. I live outside of the city near Boston College (it’s still technically Boston, but it’s a different neighborhood) and I can run from my house to the North End (the end of the city) in 5 miles. That’s it. I have to get creative with running routes for long runs. I have no clue where I’m going to go to do 20 miles. Steph and I will have to figure that out.
- The parts of my body that used to feel softer (thighs) are now hard as rocks, and the parts that used to be a bit tighter (core) feel softer. But, I haven’t lost or gained a pound at all. Guess that means I’m fueling properly! I’m sure these things aren’t even that noticeable and I’m sure Bernie would say otherwise, but I just feel like my body composition has changed completely in the higher mileage. I’ve noticed chest bones – where the hell did those come from? My upper body has shrunk. I feel like the guy from The Oatmeal comic about long distance running.
- I feel like I hit a pivotal break through in training when I did my 16-mile run. I’m no longer afraid of running the long distances. When I did 14, 15 miles I was so freaked out about running longer than I ever had before. Would my body break down? Would it hurt? Could I do it? Well…I did it…and then I did it again…and I sort of realized, I need to just do it and not think about it. I’m trying to keep that same mentality for every long run going forward. I hope I can keep that mentality for race day, but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll be a nervous wreck.
I don’t for one second regret signing up for the Marine Corps Marathon. Every day I look forward to getting to D.C. and soaking the whole marathon feeling in. I’ve gone to the Boston Marathon expo so many times and I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like to actually BE one of the runners there RUNNING the marathon! Now I can finally experience it. I cannot wait!
Readers: If you’ve run a marathon before, did you ever have a turning point on the distance before? Did you finally feel like you could do it? What gets you through training and keeps you going. For me, my post-run meal is always a good motivator