Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jess Goes Running: Marathon Training: Week 9

This week brought me to the halfway point.  As of today, there are 60 days until the Chicago Marathon.  Um, what?!  That seems absolutely crazy to me, but here we are.  I have to be honest--training has not necessarily gone how I planned.  And it's been hard, much harder than I anticipated it would be in the beginning.  But...  somehow I have stuck with this for 9 weeks, through injuries and changes in plans and bad weather and I'm here, starting week 10, feeling strong and confident.  I am so proud of myself for keeping with the plan and not quitting. 

When I ran the Chicago Half Marathon in 2014, I started out on a plan and gave up after only a few weeks.  I definitely was not as prepared as I could have been and it showed.  I didn't follow a plan in 2015 either, but I was running more regularly in general and felt much stronger.  I have known all along that having a plan in my best course of success for completing my goal--I just want to finish, I want to cross the finish line and know that I have earned every single one of those 26.2 miles.  I'm feeling more in tune with my body and I can tell that marathon training is getting me in the best shape of my life.  I am optimistic for the next 9 weeks and ready to improve even more as a runner!

I ran 3.17 miles to the pier on Tuesday.  Wednesday I ended up making a rest day, but I did go for a walk before work.  Thursday, I ran 4 miles after I got home from work; it was so hot, and other pedestrians were acting ridiculously, and I was happy when it was over with.  Friday, I went for a 3.36 mile run while I was waiting for Tom to get home from work.  I was supposed to go 7 miles, but considering the heat and the fact that I am still recovering (and was planning on running 13.1 miles on Sunday) I didn't want to push it too much.  It ended up being quite a nice run.

On Sunday, Tom and I were down in Kankakee.  He participated in the Two Rivers Century bike race, picking the double metric century route.  He ended up with 130 miles for the day!  I am super proud of him for accomplishing his goal and for all the work that he has done to become a healthier person.  It's pretty inspiring, to say the least!  While he was out, I was planning on going for a run at Kankakee River State Park.  I was excited to check out the park and I felt pretty well prepared to run 13.1 miles, my longest run of training so far.

Unfortunately for me, my body had other plans.  Almost immediately after beginning my run I found myself dealing with some pretty bad cramps that just wouldn't go away.  I was also having some chafing issues with my leggings, which was frustrating because they were something that I had worn before.  All in all, I was pretty damn miserable.  I pushed through as hard as I could, but at 2.5 miles in I gave up.  I cried and threw my water bottle and allowed myself a few minutes to freak out.  Then I collected myself, took a few deep breaths, and started the 2.5 mile walk back to the car.

I was very frustrated, but I told myself that I could try again.  I went back to the hotel and went swimming before picking up Tom from the finish of his race.  We enjoyed a nice evening at the hotel and then, yesterday morning, I dropped him off at work before coming back up to our apartment.  I got coffee with a new running friend, which was so very nice, and then later on the in the afternoon, I decided to attempt 13.1 again.

I'm not gonna lie... It was so hot, and I had a hard time getting my breathing under control, and I had to walk more than I wanted to.  But I got it done, and in a faster time than my previous two runs of that distance.  So even though I was just done by the end of it, it felt good to accomplish it.  Now I'm not so scared of the longer distances, too, because I know I can push my body that far.  I am super sore today and I imagine I will be asleep shortly after I get home from work tonight, but I am so happy I did it and so happy I pushed through.

Halfway through.  Week 10... here we go!

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