Marathon Monday: The Miles to Boston Pt. 4
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9 Mondays Until Boston!
This week of training, I struggled with some doubt and body pain, but ended the week with greater confidence. It is amazing how in one mile of a marathon you feel terrible and are questioning everything and the next you feel like you could run that pace forever. Things change quickly in marathon racing. You go through so many different emotions in the course of 26.2 miles.
Last week of training, reminded me of how fast things can change, even when it comes to training. It reminded me to not get overly concerned when I have one bad day of training. Early on in the week, I really struggled with body fatigue and foot/hip pain. These aches and pains are all too familiar. The good thing about now running for over a decade of my life is that I am very attuned to how my body works. I know exactly what I need to do when I start feeling hip or foot pain. Maybe this is the reason the pain does not seem to linger too long. At least not for this week.
Tuesday, I felt literally terrible. However, by Thursday, my body felt entirely different and my 8-mile run did not feel nearly as painful. Things change quickly. Painful days and the days full of doubt don’t last forever.
The interesting thing with feeling so terrible is that last week was actually a slight down week. We have been slowly building since January, so this week was a 4-mile drop. I have noticed that in down weeks, my body usually doesn’t feel the greatest. This pattern also helps me not feel overly concerned with the lower engery and pain I experienced in the past week.
The doubt of questioning my goal time, mostly came out during my Wednesday workout where pace simply felt way harder than I was expecting. Doubt is something I really struggle with on and off the run. It is werid to even admit this because faith is such a large part of my life and who I am. Faith in God and faith that He has me in His hands comes much more naturally to me (all thanks to grace). The doubt is more in the form of doubting myself. I trust God with my whole heart, but it is my own abilities that I often lack faith in. She is faster. She is smarter. She is better. A small glimpse of the dialogue that is contantly running in my head. Not to get overly reflective and spiritual, but I do believe the Lord uses running in my life as a way to help me work through these seeds of self-doubt.
I want to believe that a 2:48 or faster is possible. I want to believe that I am in good fitness. I want to believe that I can be competitive come race day.
- 6 miles with the jogger
- 6 miles solo
- 10 miles. 3 mile warm-up, 3 miles of 20-seconds faster than goal race pace, 4 mile cool-down. 6:02, 6:10, 6:09 (supposed to be all 6-flat). At least, I tried. Also after a mile, I was fully recovered, so this is still an encouragement!
- 8 miles with the jogger
- 5 miles solo
- 14 miles with Lance with 3 miles thrown in at slightly faster than race pace
Still dealing with some mileage comparison and anxiety that I am too low in mileage. I trust Lance and I know he knows me best when it comes to running. Mileage is not crazy high, but I know the quality of work is good. And there is still so much time to build and get those 20-milers in.
What I am Listening To
Last week of training, I spent most of my miles listening to the “Love on the Run” series of Ali’s show. She released a new episode each day of last week with an interview with a professional running couple. I loved it!
I especially enjoyed the conversation with Aisha Praught and Will Leer. They might be way faster, but even professional runners struggle with being annoyed at each other on the run. For Lance and I, we have had way too many fights (always revolved around pace being too fast) while running together, so this very much resonated with me.
I also loved the conversation with Steph and Ben Bruce. I am such a Steph Bruce fan and especially loved hearing from both of them. I am definitely inspired by the way their marriage really functions as them being such a team on and off the course.
How I am Fueling
- Hudson’s Z-bars
- Coconut water
- Protein shakes
- Heart-shaped sugar cookies and chocolate (the best part of running just for fun: no limits on sugar cookies)
- Post-long run sushi!
This week, I really focused on my feet! Pain in my feet have really flared up (I am pretty sure I have a bone spur in my left foot). If you were to look at my feet, you would probably be deeply concerned. They are not looking so hot right now. The left foot is in especially bad shape with what looks like a bone spur and a good sized blood blister. All this to say, my feet hurt. My strength teacher I go to, used to be a dancer, so she had a lot of good foot exercises for me to do.
- Rolling out with a ball and/or frozen water bottle.
- Foot strengthening exercises, like using toes to grab towel. This basically just gets me to curl my toes and I can tell this is drastically helping.
- Yoga toes almost every night seems to also be providing relief.
Along with foot recovery, also got some jacuzzi and pool time in after our long run at the hotel we were staying at. We basically went back and forth from the hot tub to the pool. In the pool, we swam and kicked our legs around. It felt so good after our long run earlier that morning. Perfect afternoon recovery.
Continuing with my 2 strength classes per week. My goal for the coming week is to start incorporating more plank work. Hopefully that will happen!
What I Keep Telling Myself
The pain is temporary. The pain is temporary. The pain is temporary.
This week hurt. It is easy for me to let the pain takeover my mind. I am really trying to focus on the fact that it is temporary. Whether it was a regular run dealing with overall body fatigue or a tempo that felt uncomfortable, my brain needed to remember that it is temporary. The workout on Wednesday was initially discouraging to me because I did not hit the right pace. I also ended with hands on my knees, breathing HARD. This was just about 14-seconds off my goal race pace. That really shook me. This should feel WAY easier! I focused too much on the pain, I do wish I could have dug in a bit more and remembered the pain is only temporary. Next time.
High + Low
- Long run with Lance
- Completing the workout, even though I almost stopped when I was hurting and off pace.
- Overall body pain and fatigue
- Feet really hurt!
- Tempo pace is feeling harder than I would like.
The Long Run
It is funny how your perspective with mileage really begins to change as you begin marathon training. 14 miles right now feels like not even a legit long run. As I mentioned above, this was a down week. Especially after a week of not feeling great, it was good timing to have a shorter long run. Lance and I went on a staycation in Newport Beach last Saturday, so we ran in Orange County, instead of our typical PV long run. We ran at Aliso Woods Canyon. This is a beautiful trail and one of my favorite spots to run when we are further south. We even saw deers on the trail! Since it was a shorter run, Lance decided to run with me. We actually did not have a single argument on our run, which is a big deal. It was a great way to start off our weekend together!
It turned out to be a nice run, especially on the way back. It was not as hilly and the last few miles we stuck to the road and Lance paced a portion at my goal race pace (6:24). He paced it perfectly, despite me complaining all 3 miles of it telling him it was too fast at parts and too slow at parts. Even though I grumbled through it, those 3 miles at race pace were a good encouragement to me. For most of it, my breathing was extremely controlled and conversational. We hit a 6:21, 6:22, and 6:14. Even in just these 3 miles that would still give me 15 seconds of wiggle room.
The long run in numbers:
1 hour 40 minutes
7:10 min/mile average
Fastest Mile: Mile 11, 6:14