The real reason to train…
Yesterday was my last big run for KC. I ran a very hilly 16 miler. It ended up a little slower than I would have liked, but I am blaming this on the fact it was pitch black for about 90 minutes of it. Does anyone else feel like they run much slower in the dark? I also modified my route to change it up, and I was slowing up to look at street signs to not miss my turns. Excuses, I know. But, I got it done. A hilly 16 miles, solo, at 5:30 am still deserves a pat on the back.
Marathon training cycles are a bit of a way to reflect on the passage of time. It seems like it went fast now, but I look back and realize I started at the beginning of the summer,and training followed an entire summer of life events.
So how did I do? I give myself a B+. Here’s why:
-I did 4 20 milers, a couple 18 milers, and several 16 milers. 4 20 milers is good for me. What I didn’t do was go over 20. I really think that helps for race day. Next time…I still need to figure out how to book enough time for long runs, as it was a mere matter of “timing out” However, all but one of my long runs was in really hot, humid weather. They were not pretty. I don’t know how well a 20 mile death march will translate to race day.
-I get an A+ for running hills. I did hills most weeks mid- week and most of my long runs were hilly.
-I get a D for speed work. I ran once a week with my neighborhood friend and called that speed work. She is a little faster than me, so it was always a tempo run. As far as mile repeats or anything that really helps, I did zero. I suck at doing speed work in the heat and humidity. Need to work on this.
-I get an A+ for injury prevention. Over the last year, I’ve solidified a habit of spending about 15-30 minutes most nights on a short yoga or strength routine. I also added daily planks, push ups, and hip and hamstring strengthening. There are many nights I do not want to take 15 minutes to do a core video, but I’ve made myself do it. I can feel a difference. I do my best to make it to a weekly yoga class, but some weeks it’s impossible, so I try and do a little more at home. Jaspy also loves to go to childcare at the Y now, so when time allows, I try and make the core class, which is fantastic. When you are old, you just have to do this stuff to keep up your running.
-I get an A for flexibility. I shuffled my long run day and off day around based on what was going on at home. It’s really easy to get into a rigid pattern when you have a big goal on the horizon. It was really nice to not try and cram a long run into days that were packed to the brim. It still happened sometimes, but better than in the past. I also had 3 weekends where I couldn’t do a long run, and made them work in the schedule and didn’t freak out.
_This was my first marathon in a very long time without stroller miles! Crazy, my last couple marathons had the bulk of their miles done pushing the stroller. I miss it and don’t miss it all at once.
I’ve run enough marathons that I don’t really worry about finishing, but I don’t want the last 10 miles to be agony, and I want to have fun. This marathon is primarily being done for fun, but I don’t want my friends waiting on me at the end. I’d like to keep up with them. I’d also like to keep up a respectable pace, and finish with a time that won’t make me cringe at the end. Hopefully my work was enough to achieve that. Despite a lot of really hot runs that took a lot out of me, I enjoyed the training. It kept me motivated and I can tell a difference in what I can do now versus back in May.
Now, lots of treadmilling in the next two weeks, and trying to avoid any illness germs. Then it’s time to get to #32!