Sunday, August 14, 2016

Jess Goes Running: Marathon Training--Week 10

So I have to be up front--week 10 was a pretty quiet week for me.  Also pretty tough.  The mileages certainly weren't impossible for me, and I should have been able to meet my goals and get the distance in with little difficulty.  As you may remember from my last training recap, I ended up doing the half marathon training run from week 9 on the first day of this week.  It was as very challenging experience, but I did it and I survived.

Running on Monday meant that if I stuck to the plan, I wouldn't be able to get a rest day in before starting my 3 day stretch.  I made the decision to shift everything forward a day and make Tuesday one of rest, then run on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, after I woke up that morning feeling so exhausted and so worn down from my long run the day before.  In addition to that, I was also experiencing a milder version of the cramps I had on Sunday.  I felt pretty okay with my decision to wait.

And then on Wednesday morning, it was hot and I ended up having to take care of the car insurance and also had a dentist appointment before work.  It just didn't really happen for me.  I was also still feeling pretty worn down from 13.1 despite trying to hydrate and refuel to the best of my ability.  Thursday, when I was at work, I shifted wrong while I was sitting down in a meeting and pulled something in my thigh, which basically put me out of commission for running on Thursday and Friday.  By Saturday, I was feeling better and ready to run mentally and physically, but totally exhausted from an exciting morning at work where I had to deal with a temporary power outage.  This week was pretty rough on my body and I felt like it took me a few days to recover from all of that.

Which brings us to today.  The long run: 15 miles.  I got up and got ready, got breakfast, and picked up my friend and running buddy V. fot an adventure to the Skokie Lagoons and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  I was excited for the long run and feeling quite good about it!  We had a good pace going as we headed north along the trail.  Unfortunately, shortly after we got into the park, I found myself afflicted with a cramp in my lower left calf muscle--the same side that is affected by plantar fasciitis (which has not acted up in several weeks now, a true miracle!).  Though I really wanted to run, it really just wasn't in the cards for me.  V. was very encouraging of my need to walk, not wanting me to injure myself.

Besides that, the Chicago Botanic Garden was just stunning, and we found ourselves stopping to smell the flowers quite often, so to speak.  There was definitely more that we could have explored, but it was pretty crowded.  Ideally, I'd like to go there earlier, and maybe even during the week.  Eventually we made our way towards the south exit and back on the path on the other side of the lagoon.  All in all, we got in 9 miles total and I walked an additional 2 miles around the neighborhood with Tom after I got home, in an attempt to keep myself limber and stretch out my left leg.  I bought a muscle roller at Target and have also been icing it; just another way that I feel like a true runner.  And even though it was yet another week where things didn't go as I planned them to, I still made progress.

I am a runner.  There were a few times this last week where I struggled with that--it is such a huge part of who I am, but sometimes I don't feel like that's what I am.  Or that I don't think I can do it.  I need to remember that I am capable, that I am strong, that I can and I will if I set my mind to it.  The minor setbacks that I have faced over the last 10 weeks have made me into a better runner, little by little.  Fifty-five days until the marathon...and if I set my mind to it, I will make it happen.  This week, I am going at the very least attempt every run and try to get as close to my daily mileage goals as I can.  Feeling good for week 11!

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