The real reason to train...
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!

5 thoughts on “B+”

  1. Clea, I think your training was perfect! Speed or not speed, 4 20’s and all the other things will make up for it – wishing you best of luck!

  2. Okay, so based upon your criteria, I get an F-.
    I had ONE 20 miler (with lots of water stops), a couple of 16-18s and my longest mid-week run was 5 miles (with an average of about 3.5, two-three days each week). KC is pretty hilly, so I get a fortuitous B+ in that category. No core work. No yoga. But no injuries either (despite the fact that my schedule SHOULD have resulted in injury). I didn’t run at all last week (including skipping my long run last weekend due to moving and Bill having a work conference all week).

    We will see how this goes, but I suspect that my finish time is going to make you cringe and I hope you will forgive me if you guys have to wait around at the end for a while. My goal is to try to keep up with you for 1/2 and then try not to die between there and the finish.

    There is supposed to be beer and BBQ at the finish, so maybe the waiting won’t be too bad . . . .

    All this being said, I’m excited to see all of you. I have no doubt that I would have gotten a better grade if I had running sisters in KC all the time.

    1. I should add in the career advancement dept I get an F. I work part time and just have one little child, so I have a lot more free time than you do. Mike has also been out of town for a big chunk of the training which leaves me a lot of solo time in the evenings for things like yoga. And in the natural talent category another F. You and Steve will be waiting on me…you guys are much more talented than I am. I agree though, the main goal is fun, but a little part of me would like to avoid the 5 hour marathon for just a few more years at least. I’m so excited!!!!!

      1. Lol. Natural talent declines with lack of training :-). I think you won’t have to wait 5 hours on me. Not this year, at least. No worries if you need to speed ahead to achieve a goal either. If you have put in the work, you deserve the reward. We can all celebrate our respective accomplishments when it’s done.

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