Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Start to Marathon #2 Training


In my wildest dreams I honestly never saw myself running a marathon, let alone enjoying one or training for TWO back to back, but here we all are, and thus begins the first week of marathon training for race #2! Dun dun duuunnnn.

I know enough now from training for the first one about things that worked (and didn't), such as:

What worked: 

  1. Sticking to a schedule. I found a good beginner schedule and just tried my best to stick to it. This was important especially around taper time and when I wasn't really sure that a 20 mile long run would allow me to successfully finish 26.2. 
  2. Never skip a long run. Even if I had to miss a short run day, I tried my hardest not to miss a long run day. 
  3. Diet - keeping properly fueled and limiting "junky" foods made a BIG difference in recovery and performance. 
  4. Not trying anything new on race day- everything I used was tried and true, old and somewhat beat up.
  5. Getting enough sleep. I LOVE to stay up late at night, but for the last few months I forced myself to go to bed at a good time, and it definitely helped when I had 8-13 mile runs scheduled after work! 

What didn't work:

  1. Training for mileage over speed. While I was able to finish my race, my time wasn't as great as it would have been had I been incorporating speed workouts. 
  2. Not cross-training or switching anything up. After awhile it became solely about mileage, and I began to get dis-enheartened and bored. I'm all about the cross training now, because after all, we do this for FUN. 
  3. Not running anything past 20 miles prior to race day. I know now that 20 miles is the distance you need to hit to ensure finishing the race, but let me explain. My shoes didn't seem to like me much after 20 miles, and now I'm dealing with a toenail with an uncertain future. That said, if I had run 21 or 22 miles, I might - MIGHT- have noticed the issue before hand. As of now I will be trying out a different shoe for the longer distances for awhile. 
  4. Worrying. Way too much. Trying anything new for the first time comes with some anxiety, and this was one of those occasions. However, I put way too much pressure on myself and didn't feel that pressure loosen its grip until I was on the route. I'm not really sure why I was doubting my abilities in the first place. When I was doing the race I really enjoyed it, but even the night before my stomach had some major butterflies. I think this is one of those "hindsight is 20/20" type things. If I could do it again I wouldn't be nervous, just content with the thought that I would try my best and whatever would happen would happen. Que sera sera. 

Big Sur is going to be a WHOLE new beast, hence the "I'm never going to learn not to be nervous" hindsighty thing I talked about above- but maybe I'll be a little LESS nervous and that will be very helpful. This marathon is big on elevation, so lots more hill training will be involved. I also have to make sure to keep up my pace, since the time limit is no joke (for me at least).

That said, I'm excited to train for it and to incorporate cross-training and speed-work into the mix. I'm running the innagural Heroes and Villains 10k this Sunday (I get to run as a VILLIAN - woohoo!!) and the Woodlands Half Marathon after that (my code is ERIN15 if you want a discount😊), so it will be good to see where I am time wise. I'll be blogging about my journey in the meantime, mostly because I like writing and I like to have something to look back on for progress. I also love reading other running blogs and following other's along on their journey as well.

A few months ago someone told me that while we enjoy succeeding at things we work hard to attain, a good part of the enjoyment lies in the journey, and to that I couldn't agree more. Here's to the next races, the next daily runs, the next everything and to the journey above all!

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