So, yes, I am running the Chicago Marathon. And yes, I realize that most people are on week 4 or 5 at this point. I’ve had a gradual build up of miles (the first time I’ve EVER done that) and this is working really well for me. I feel strong physically and mentally and I am seeing running in a WHOLE new way. More on that in a bit – I’ll give you a rundown of this past week first.
MONDAY 7/20: Day off. I did an ab and arm burner workout at home. Nothing special, just a little something to get moving. Mondays have been tough lately. I’m working overnights again, so Mondays I am usually dog tired!
TUESDAY 7/21: 7 miles PLUS 10X100m strides. I am LOVING strides. They make me feel so strong at the end of a workout. I ran the easy portion around 9:45, and the strides I ran around 7:30 per mile (I didn’t keep exact track, I did a little number crunching and went on feel.)
WEDNESDAY 7/22: 5 miles recovery. I always feel like 5 miles is going to feel a lot shorter than 7+, but somehow it doesn’t feel that much shorter. Either way, I felt on this run that I was finally getting used to this overnight schedule. (This was week 3 for me)
THURSDAY 7/23: 8 miles. I ran this through Rock Creek Park in DC. That is quickly becoming my zen spot for running. I love running along the C&O Canal on the way in. It feels like my own little secret early in the morning. I even like the most dreaded Calvert Hill. From my house to Calvert Hill is basically 4 miles, so I get to run up that bad boy and back down. I think I averaged just under 9:30 for this run, including the hill of doom on the Custis trail heading back up to my apartment.
FRIDAY 7/24: I had great intentions of going to yoga, but my mom was having some minor surgery, so I spent the day at the hospital with her and my dad instead. I didn’t get to sleep until 7pm or so … which played out in a not great way on Saturday.
SATURDAY 7/25: I had 13 miles on the books – 5 at an easy pace and 8 at marathon goal pace. I woke up feeling completely hung over. Mind you, I can’t tell you the last time I had an alcoholic beverage (actually, I can. It was a few weeks ago at my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding.). I felt sick to my stomach. I felt lethargic. I felt headache-y. I felt like I was on the verge of a migrane. No bueno. I still managed to eek out 10 miles – 2 for a warm up and 8 at 8:34 avg pace. By the end of my run I was CRAVING red meat, which is weird. I don’t usually crave it. I decided though that it was my body’s way of saying that I needed iron in the form of a Burger. So I hit up Ray’s Hell Burger. Saturday night I met up with my fellow birds Prianka, Courtney, Jenny, and Kathryn for the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. I ran those 3.1 at an easy pace (9:22 avg, but I ran neg splits!). So I ended the day with 13.1. Woot.
SUNDAY 7/26: Easy 5. I ran these on the treadmill because it was oppressively hot outside by the time I got up. I ran these miles around 9:30. My legs were a bit sore, I’m guessing from the 8 at 8:34 yesterday. So I tried to show them a bit of love with some foam rolling before I went to bed for my pre-work afternoon/evening nap.
Total Mileage: 38, which will be likely be one of the last times I see mileage in the 30s until after the marathon. Bye 30s, it was nice knowing you!
So I mentioned that I have been feeling strong mentally and physically. I’ve been keeping track of my runs in my Believe journal. This has been immensely helpful because each day there is a spot to rate your runs. I give it a – – if I feel AWFUL, and a ++ if I feel AMAZING. More often than not I feel okay, to pretty great and that is with working from 11pm-7am and running as soon as I get home. So I’ve been really glad to see that I’m not the doom and gloom runner I thought I was. Journaling my running has given me perspective on just how many bad days I actually have as well as how sleep and nutrition affect my runs.
Which reminds me …. I’ve also been trying to give myself a big time break on the body image front. This is something that I think all runners and all women struggle with. It makes me feel like less of a feminist and less of an athlete to admit that I struggle with it too, but I do. I am trying though to talk through these irrational feelings. I don’t have to lose weight to run my goal race. I don’t really have to lose weight. My priority is feeling strong, feeding my body fuel for my runs, and just being a general badass. Runners truly come in all shapes and sizes. At the end of the day, we all are trying to improve ourselves. It’s time that I honor the body that gets me through so many of these races, instead of belittling it. My Believe journal is helping with this too.
Looking forward to this week of running – I’m going to definitely try to get to yoga at least once. (Hot yoga helps SO much.) And I’m going to work on the sleeping on Friday thing. Sleeping helps so much too.