Hello, runner friends! It's been a while, but I am still here, chugging away at marathon training. I'll give you a quick update, as I'm currently at the halfway point (week 9!) of the training.
Honestly: right now I feel like I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Up to this point, my longest run has been 12 miles, and I kind of just feel like I'm half marathon training. I actually have a half marathon scheduled this weekend (Shoreline Half, part 3 of the Four Seasons Challenge), which I am treating as a regular slow-paced long run. After that though...things get serious! Some weekday runs will be up to 7 miles (eventually as high as 10), and my long run the weekend after Shoreline is 15 miles--the longest I will have ever done. EEEKKK.
Things that have been helping me out so far in marathon training:
1. Getting enough sleep! Almost all of my runs are still being done at 5-6am, so I am really trying to be good about getting to bed at a decent hour. I don't always manage it, but I'm doing well enough that I don't feel completely exhausted (yet).
2. Eating right. I still gorge on my faves sometimes (cookies, ice cream...hey, I'm burning mad calories over here!) but I have been VERY good about getting enough protein and fruits/veggies, which makes a huge difference. I've also cut back my alcohol intake, and usually will not drink at all before a long run. I'm no alcoholic, but seriously, summer drinking time? It's hard to turn away a Sam's Summer these days!! :)
3. Good stretching/cross training/recovery. I have tried to be very diligent about foam rolling regularly, doing yoga 1-2 times a week, and not ignoring my cross training days (as I used to do). Biking, swimming, and strength training are my friends!
I am also LOVING compression socks lately for recovery. I had a few pairs already, but recently got a chance to review SLS3's Butterfly Compression socks, and became an instant fan:
They felt great on the run, and I've been using them for recovery post-run as well. I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be wearing pink running wear (let alone with butterflies on them), but seriously, these are so fun (and they do have other colors!). I got a few compliments from other runners while wearing!
SLS3 has them available in their Amazon store HERE, so if you're looking for some fun new running wear, check it out.
Things that have not been helping me during marathon training:
Only 1 thing. Injury.
Yeah, the last 10 days I have been battling some sort of lower-leg ailment. If I had to guess, it's a calf strain (I've had trouble getting in with an orthopedist, so Dr. Google is diagnosing for now), though I have no idea what brought it on specifically. July 2 I did a 12 mile long run that felt AMAZING...until I got home. And then my lower right leg hurt, a LOT, but mostly when running or going down stairs. I took the holiday weekend off, only doing yoga. Walking in sneakers vs. flip flops helped ease it as well. Tuesday I tried the 3 mile run that was on my schedule, and while it didn't feel amazing, I was able to finish it. However, Wednesday (the 6th) I tried a 6-miler, and had to call it quits after 4.5. Pain was getting worse and starting to radiate up my hamstring.
I haven't run since then. EEEEKKK. And yes, I do have a half marathon this Saturday that I am running (or walking? at least finishing) come hell or high water. In the meantime, I have been giving my leg lots of rest, ice, and compression. I've also been cross training (biking, swimming) to keep up fitness. Do you know how long it's been since I swam laps in a pool? EIGHTEEN years ago on the JV swim team. You know what though? Turns out I forgot how much fun it is. So I guess the upside to injury is that I'm rediscovering my cross training options. I MAY have said the T-word (triathlon) recently to my husband, and he MAY have looked at me like I'm crazy. That's for another day...
|Getting ready to rock the YMCA pool. I know, the swim cap is super hotttttt.|
I'm really hoping that this injury has a quick recovery period, because if I have to take too long of a break, this marathon is probably not a good idea for me right now. I know there are marathoners who have cross-trained their way to the start line, but that's really not the way I want to get there for my first one. I will cut back to the half marathon if I have to, though the thought makes me sad/frustrated/NOT happy. I am SO looking forward to this first 26.2. But I know running through injury isn't smart, so if I have to put it off for a while, I (reluctantly) will.
So, 9 weeks down...and the next 9 weeks should be interesting!