North Country Trail Marathon in Michigan was my 26th marathon. It was supposed to be just for fun, just my husband and me on a little trail racing adventure. I left marathons and all serious racing in 2013, as I was aiming for the Olympic Trials. Unlike my build-up for #25, I did not have a big mileage base, wanted to ride bikes more than run, and my idea of fast was very different as I prepared for marathon #26. Still, my competitiveness wasn’t completely gone; I wanted to race, whatever that meant that day.
My husband nailed every workout on our FIRST training plan, but I was not as successful. I struggled with fatigue or lack of motivation in the middle of the training cycle and bagged several workouts in favor of doing more hills or going by effort with no watch. Cross training also slipped towards the end, but I went into race weekend relatively optimistic because by the last few weeks of training running seemed more natural. During race week I was pleased to feel that familiar prepared feeling I used to get before a marathon; the feeling that I’m fully rested and holding myself back from doing all the things you’re not supposed to do because of your upcoming marathon. Read more >>