Last we left off, I had just finished the Erie Marathon, running a PR of 3:48. I took some time off after that race for a few reasons and only recently have I started training again. One of the main reasons was having a tubal ligation a week after Erie. It was my first time having a surgery (albeit outpatient) so I was a bit nervous. Everything went very well though and I was happy to have overcome the fear of going under anesthesia.
I took a total of 19 days off from running, post marathon and surgery. It was a much needed reprieve physically and mentally. I started back with run/walking segments and within a week and a half, I was back up to running 20-30 minutes continuously. At first, it felt as if I had lost quite a bit of fitness but by week 3, I was feeling chipper again. I wondered if the break had actually caused a boost in fitness.
I ran a turkey trot 4 miler on Thanksgiving to test some of the fitness I had gained. I had expected to run around 7:45-8:00 pace per mile but to my surprise, I averaged 7:22. And the course was accurate! I went into the race with the plan to be patient miles 1-3 and then on the 4th, embrace the hurt. I did stay with the pain but struggled a bit mentally and I believe that hurt my kick. One thing I plan to improve next time is being more present under pain. Instead of thinking, Ugh! I have 600 more meters to go!, I plan to try to focus on each step as much as possible, rather than looking too far ahead, assuming it will still hurt.
I am training to run two 5ks in December and then some other shorter races later in the winter before beginning training for a spring marathon. Yep- I swore I would never train for a spring marathon because the winter weather can be brutal but after Erie, learning the marathon has become my goal and any chance I can get, I’ll take it.
My training to date has been a bit modest, focusing on building strength first. This coming week we will start to shake out the legs with some faster speed work. One of the best things to happen after Erie was feeling a sense of patience. Instead of feeling like I only had a certain amount of time to qualify for Boston or get faster in shorter distances, I now feel like, what’s the rush? I think part of rushing was trying to prove I can qualify for Boston based on my other PRs but when we try to prove something, we usually end up tired and worn out. Enjoyment of the process comes first and that’s where I’m at!
Here’s this past week’s training and a slide show below highlighting the last few months since I couldn’t pick just one picture.
Monday: 61 minutes in windy rain. Pretty depressing run but good exercise in mindfulness. I did 30 minutes on the track and focused on how each section of each lap felt depending on the direction of the wind. The remaining 31 minutes were on wet trails.
Wednesday: 81 minutes with workout on the treadmill. Workout was a 5 mile tempo at 8:14 avg pace. I think tempos intimidate me more than intervals. The pace is easy enough to sustain focus but challenging enough to tempt you to quit. I didn’t quit and felt great after finishing it.
Thursday: 70 minute recovery run and lower body strength training. I dreaded this run, it sounded long and boring. My newfound discovery of podcasts helped though!
Saturday: 63 minutes with 3 x mile at 7:47 pace. Still tempo-ey miles but these felt even better than Wednesday’s workout. Lifted upper body after the run.
Sunday: 1 hr 46 minute long run (approximately 12 miles), mostly on gravel path. I focused on staying present when I became bored or felt a little soreness – this is going to be my biggest challenge in the new year and a reason I think I under perform.
Total: 6 hours, 21 minutes running (approximately 38 miles)