We are officially under one month to go now. In (checks calendar) 25 days, running 26.2 miles for the first time. In some ways that is really exciting, and in others it’s sorta dreadful.
I won’t say I’m terrified or scared of the marathon. I know I can do it. I knew when I signed up this spring that I can do it… I just need to train for it. This is the last week of building up mileage, a killer 40 miles this week. I just finished the the much-anticipated mid-week 10 miler (in some unseasonably humid and hot weather. Thanks for that, Mother Nature. You suck.) 20 miles on the weekend. When I printed out the Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan months ago, I have always looked at this week in disbelief: Will I really be able to run 20 miles??
The highlights of training so far? Well, until this training, I’d never run past 13.1 miles, so having a few runs that were new personal records in distance was fun. It’s a nice feeling to go farther than you’ve ever gone before, and a good confidence boost that I can still push limits. I’m mostly running with my training buddy and friend Brittany, which is awesome! We’re both first time marathoners and it’s fun to get to know someone new over these long runs. I’m really thankful we found each other! And, I suppose I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, which is sorta cool. I feel really strong running most days. It’s a good feeling, and when I’m all lazy in a month after the race is over, I might miss being able to go do a “quick 5 miles” and feel good.
But it’s not without its hardships. I’d be lying if I said it was all fun and games. I’m tired and hungry ALL. THE. TIME. That’s probably my fault; I don’t think I’m doing a bang-up job on refueling with great food. It’s okay, but not like almond butter and carrot sticks and super healthy crap. I eat veggies, but I also have sweets. Did I mention I’m ALWAYS HUNGRY? And tired. My poor family.
I have toe blisters like whoa. I talked with some shoe store running experts and we’re pretty sure it’s not my shoes, perhaps socks and/or my toes are weird and the crazy mileage brings it out in ’em. Either way, my blister peeled off and now it’s a callous. I WAS SO EXCITED, and, for some reason, when I shared this excitement with my husband I got a blank stare. (The tip that has helped me the most, was first from my friend Regan to put Body Glide on my toes. The shoe store guy took it a step -har har – further and suggested Aquaphor and THAT, my friends, has been the miracle cure.)
The time commitment has become so huge too. Like the other weekend, we finished our 18 miler at NOON. In the spring, when I was training for the half, my long runs would end maybe 9/9:30? It’s a blow to miss half a damn day. And it’s harder during the work week too. With the sun rising later, early mornings are out, and that makes getting all my work hours in tough. And with the tiredness, I have had to motor through a lot. Yesterday, for instance, I really didn’t wanna do it. Like, considered just getting into my car and driving somewhere rather than run. I just had to MAKE myself do it, because there was no other option. Ended up being a great run, but I’m just tired of it in some ways. I fantasize about when the marathon is behind me and I can… not run.
It’s a tough experience to summarize, and perhaps I should blog more often to capture the ups and downs of it. It’s awful and a time-suck and so physically demanding, but it’s also fun and challenging.
Anything you guys wanna know about my training & experience so far? I’m hoping to enjoy a little energy when the taper comes (NEXT WEEK!! WOOO!) and have so many good intentions to resurrect the blog. 🙂