Saturday, June 17, 2017

Jess Goes Running: Marathon Training, Weeks 1 and 2

Wow!  Here we are!  Somehow this came up more quickly than I thought it would; May was a busy month, though, so it's no surprise that all of the sudden, I was finding myself at the start of Marathon Training.  Again.  Oh man.  Knowing how things ended for me last year, I was, and am, bound and determined to not let it end that way again.  I am trying to really listen to my body and not be so hard on myself this year.  I really want this to be a success and I really want to cross that finish line in October.

Week 1 did not start out with a bang.  In fact, to my dismay, it ended up being a week of walking.  Long story short, I twinged my knee the Wednesday before training was set to begin.  On Sunday, which was supposed to be the day of my first miles, it was apparent that running was not going to be an option.  So... I did the next best thing.  I walked instead!  Miles are miles, and these early ones are all runs that I can handle and do regularly, anyway!  What was important to me was getting active while still allowing myself to heal.  For the long run?  I walked just about 5 out of 6 miles, still a workout to be sure!  As I progressed through the week, my knee bothered me less, but I still didn't want to push it that much.

It would figure that at the start of Week 2, just when my knee was starting to feel better, I came down with a summer cold.  Ugh, it sucks to be sick any time of the year, but when it's hot out, it's even worse.  I definitely didn't feel up to running through that, so I walked 3 miles on Sunday and took an extra rest day on Monday.  Tuesday was a planned rest day for me anyway; Wednesday I was supposed to do 3 miles, but I decided I would push it to Thursday as I still wasn't feeling the great and the weather wasn't particularly nice.  (Tom was supposed to run that night, too, for his own marathon training plan, but decided to postpone to Thursday as well).  Even that night, and into the day on Thursday, I wasn't really confident that I would be able to run on Thursday.

Except I knew I had to try.  I was starting to feel better from the cold, and my knee was feeling back to normal.  So I went out and did it.  3 miles, at run/walk intervals, and pretty slow (which I expected, as it was my first run in a few weeks), but I got through it and was no worse for the wear!  It was a pretty lovely sunset and I enjoyed it even though it was still pretty hot out.

Yesterday, the last day of Week 2, called for a 7 mile long run.  I really didn't think trying to run all 7 miles at once was a good idea, though, given I hadn't been getting that much distance the previous few weeks.  So, I went for what I figured was the next best option and split it up into 2 parts!  The first 3.5 miles took place in the afternoon, during the height of the heat and humidity, and it was pretty miserable.  I got through it but I wasn't sure if I really had it in me to do another 3.5.  I decided I would wait until later on in the evening, until it hopefully cooled down a little bit.  And sure enough, there was the most perfect cool breeze blowing in off the Lake.  The second run went much better, much more smoothly; I really enjoyed it!  The kind of run that makes you happy to be out there, doing it.  I ended up with 7.13 miles for the day and I considered that a smashing success!

Though it was not an ideal start, I am pleased with the effort I put into the first two weeks of training and the progress I have made.  So far, so good!  I expect that I will be back to running without walking intervals this week, and I'm looking forward to getting in the miles.  I'm feeling confident and ready for the work that lies ahead.  

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