Road to 26.2
Sunday, December 22nd- 8 weeks to go
Eight weeks until my first marathon! Seems so close and so far away! I feel like I have been training forever, yet I also feel like I need more training time!
I first had the idea to run my first marathon after I ran two halfs within three weeks last winter. I turn 40 in 2020 and I thought it would be a cool accomplishment. I wanted to be able to say, “ I ran my first marathon and turned 40 this year!” Plus, I wanted some serious bling! My running buddy ran the Austin full while I ran the half last year, his medal (which is also a belt buckle, because Texas) is SO MUCH BIGGER than mine! So it was decided! I needed the big buckle!
Where am I right now?
I began my training in July, running three times a week, plus 2-3 days of working out with my trainer. I used my friend’s training plan, which I had used his half marathon version last year and loved it! Running during the summer, in Texas, is a beast. Hydration and electrolytes are seriously the name of the game.
In late August, I had a pretty intense glute injury that required some tweaking to my running and training program. I worked with a great physical therapist/chiropractor, in addition to work in the clinic, he gave me daily exercises and stretches. My personal trainer is incredibly knowledgeable, and was able to not only rehab my injury but pinpoint how it happened and strength my weaknesses to prevent future issues. A good friend of mine is a running coach, so I also ran a lot this by her as well. By early September, I was back to running and had added in more mobility work before and after runs to keep my glutes healthy.
I was slated to run a half marathon at the end of October, however due to my glute injury and tendency to overtrain, I chose to turn that into a 5k and just had fun. My friend, the running coach, helped me choose a new training plan that is directly targeted at beginners and those coming back after injury. My current training plan is 20 weeks, 4 run days and 2 cross training days.
In November, I had another pretty intense injury, my psoas which is the heavy hitter of the hip flexor muscles. It’s not a muscle you pull or sprain, and the injury is not common. Lucky me! I worked with a chiropractor who specializes in work with professional and amateur athletes. Healing is ongoing! An important part of my training that I overlooked is stretching and rest. My glute and psoas literally made me stop in my tracks and learn these lessons!
At this point of training, I switched up the cross training from lifting and Crossfit-style with my trainer, to yoga and more low-impact body work. Last eight weeks, best eight weeks. I know my body so well, and I understand how to take care of her so much better. I’m grateful for the pause these injuries gave me and taught me about how to rest, not quit.
But, really, where am I right now?
I’ll be honest, November was ROUGH. I was down for the count for several weeks with my psoas injury and illness. Not being able to run really messed with my mental health.
Think about wading into a river. When you step in, the sand is disturbed and swirls around. If you keep walking in, the sand keeps getting kicked up. However, if you settle yourself, the sand settles and the clarity of the water returns.
Running is like that for me. Running helps me settle myself. Running helps me get clarity on whatever I am processing. I often tell people who are going through a tough time, a stressful time, or just trying to work out a solution to a big problem, GO FOR A RUN. Train for something you’re not sure you can do. I promise you, you will find solutions out there on the road.
Last weekend, I ran the longest distance ever in my entire life, 14 miles! Most of the run I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew the miles would put me down. I knew I would never finish. However, I kept going and by the time I finished, I knew I was strong enough for whatever gets thrown my way. If I can do 14, I can do 16, if I can do 16, I can do 20, if I can do 20, I can finish 26.2. Because here’s the thing, the training is not just for your body. It’s for your mind. Training for a big physical goal makes you show up, even when you don’t want to. It makes you believe in yourself, it makes you get creative and positive to deal with that monkey brain, it makes you prioritize your health, it makes you a clearer version of you.
I’m looking forward to my short runs this week and my long run this weekend, I can’t wait to see how much I learn on those runs and I’m excited to share with y’all.