26 Before 26, Running

Marathon Training, Week Ten

Besides these awesome “motivational posters” that I found this week on runnersworld.com, it’s been a tough week of training. First, we had the freak snowstorm at the beginning of the week, which prevented me from going out for any kind of run until Wednesday. And then, when Mr. Winter finally decided to cut me a break (and I went out on my run feeling all high and mighty and like ten miles wouldn’t be an issue), I immediately got one of the worst sideaches of my life not even a quarter of a mile into the run, and I actually had to WALK when I hit mile two. People, I have not walked since the second week, I believe. And it stunk. I had been planning on doing ten miles that day, but because of the side stitch, I had to cut it down to a measly four. And then I ran nine miles the next day to make up for it.

Walking must have been the order of the week or something, because yesterday, when Matt and I attempted our first 18-miler, I had to take little ten-foot walking breaks every half-mile for the last six miles to drink my Powerade (since I’m not coordinated enough to drink and run at the same time, unless I want to look like a two-year-old just learning how to drink Kool-Aid). And let’s face it–I needed to take the little 10-second walking breaks because I thought I was going to die.

I really did.

Saturday was the warmest day we’ve had yet on a run-day, and it was kind of awful. I’m used to running in 40-degree weather (or colder), so almost-70-degree weather was killer. I got thirsty MUCH quicker, and I felt out of gas MUCH sooner than normal. Usually, I wouldn’t start to hit a wall until Mile 13 or 14 or so, but I was really feeling bad starting at Mile 10. And then the weirdest thing happened—during the last five miles or so, I started to get very emotional and had to keep distracting myself so I wouldn’t cry (because then my throat started to tighten up and I couldn’t breathe). I think it was because I started to get this thought in my head that I wasn’t going to make it, and I’ve never hit against failure yet in my training—I’ve pretty much been able to do everything thrown at me. Long story short, Matt and I both were able to finish the 18-mile run, but both of our times were WAY slower than what we’re used to. I mean, earlier this week, I’d shaved 21 seconds off of my time, but then on this last run, I was only doing my miles in just under 11 minutes. It was discouraging, to say the least, especially since I’d done the 16-mile run last week in pretty good time (and with way more energy).

But there’s always next time.

I will say this though–Matt’s mom was waiting for us at the six-mile point on Saturday with orange slices and these little gooey squares (I forget what they’re called), and let me tell you, those orange slices were the BEST thing that I have ever tasted.

Anyway, this next week, we’re taking a little bit of a break and doing a 15-mile run on Saturday instead of kicking it up to 20 like we’d originally thought. I’ll also be starting to go swimming on some of my cross-training days (hopefully), so that should help to keep me in top shape.

Only a month and a half until marathon day…

High Point: Easily completing my 9-mile run on Thursday, and then discovering that I’d run each mile 20 seconds faster than I normally do. Awesome!

Low Point: A toss-up between the sideache of death and the last six miles of Saturday’s run—both just made me want to keel over and give up. Or die. One of the two.

# of Miles Run: 31

Avg. Time Per Mile: 9 mins, 39 seconds (for the mid-length run), a little under 11 for the long run.

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