Marathon Training – Two Weeks to Go

Well, we’re almost there! Just a couple of weeks left between me and the marathon.  I’m starting to get very anxious, but more on that later.

This week has been a good recovery week.  My focus this week was to start getting my body recovered from peak week and ready for the race.  Almost every day I foam rolled and stretched both in the morning and night, but I definitely wasn’t eating as good as I should be at this point.  I also tried to have some fun in my training this week since I feel like the past month has been so intense.

Monday: Planned 0, Actual 0 – I really enjoyed this rest day.  I was tired overall, but felt better than I did on Sunday.  I kicked back and read the newest Runner’s World magazine!

Tuesday: Planned 5, actual 5 – it was sleeting here in the morning, but since the evening was going to be clear, I moved my run to the evening.  I ran at Chastain park, which is a very hilly park pretty close to my house.  It’s been a while since I’ve run here.  While I was running I was reminiscing training for my first half marathon.  I used to do all my training runs at Chastain but had to walk a LOT because I was using the run/walk method but also, it’s sooooo hilly.  I felt very strong during this run.  I wore my heart-rate monitor to be sure I didn’t overdo it, but I was able to run all 5 miles with no walking.  Also, I made it to the park before sunset and got to catch some daylight which was nice!

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Here’s the path at Chastain Park.

Wednesday: Planned 8, actual 8 – I made the mistake of not hydrating well on Tuesday and running late on Tuesday meant I didn’t spend a lot of time making a good dinner.  My legs were also tired from the hill run on Tuesday.  This run Wednesday was pretty tough.  My endurance was low and so was my energy.  I was determined to not have a bad run though, so I pushed through mentally, I kept telling myself it would turn around.  And you know what? It did.  I caught the sunrise over Dunwoody as well, which was nice (I’m so glad that the days are getting longer!)

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We had some weather coming in, and the area I live was right on the rain/snow line.  We got out of work a couple of hours early, and Brian built us a fire.  Skipper is always freaked out at first by the fire, but then ends up really enjoying the warmth of it.  Sadly, we didn’t get any snow where I live, but just a few miles north got a couple of inches!

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Thursday: Planned 4, actual 4 – It was still kind of icy on Thursday morning so I moved this run to the evening as well.  One of the guys from my run group, Chris, lives basically next door to me, so we met up for 4 miles.  We recently just discovered that we live so close, and it’s nice to have someone to meet up with without having to drive anywhere! He took me on his 4 mile route which I really enjoyed.  I think it’s funny that we live in the same place but have different running routes we’ve created.  It was a great way to mix up the run, and it was AWESOME to only run 4 miles!!  We were pretty speedy, too…average pace was under ten minutes.

Friday: Planned 0, Actual 0 – Another rest day, thank goodness! I focused on hydrating and trying to eat better today.

Saturday: Planned 12, Actual 12 – Last double digit run of marathon training!!! I ran at the river, two groups I know were meeting here, but none of the slower runners ended up showing up.  However, I really love the river so it didn’t bother me at all to run by myself.  I find the Chattahoochee river just so relaxing.  I ended up seeing a few other runners I know there, and at the end ran into my friend Susan who is my pace.  Her and I met last fall training for the Atlanta Half Marathon, it was her first! She’s coming off of an injury now and has been taking it easy.  We ran the last few miles of my run together.  I’ll admit that I was feeling a bit achy so I was pretty glad to run into her, catching up was a nice distraction!

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Saturday afternoon was an alumni event with the VCU Atlanta Alumni.  I organize events here in Atlanta for our group.  I’ve been slacking on my duties with marathon training, but we wanted to get together for our basketball game vs Dayton University.  Well, it turns out, the Dayton alumni group happened to be at the same bar as us! We ended up joining the parties and mingling.

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Surprise joint watch party!

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Who doesn’t love a good Ram mask?

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Myself and Skye enjoying the game (and some Monday Night Brewery Fu Man Brew)

One of the alumni from Dayton walked in wearing a Hot Chocolate 5k/15k pullover, so of course I went over and chatted her up. I was like….oh!!! Another runner!!

She’s a newer runner so I was giving her advice on training for her first half.  She let me know about an alumni run coming up in August here in Atlanta called AlumnRun.  It looks pretty cool….has anyone else heard of it? You can build teams of runners from your university and your participants tee is in your school colors! Of course, I’ll be working on getting a team together for VCU!

Now that my recovery week is over, it’s for real taper time.  I’m starting to get very anxious for the race.  I’m thinking a lot about final preparations and arrangements.  It’s a weird feeling because training is over.  I have some maintenance runs left, but really, I’m ready….I just have to wait to run! I’m not liking this waiting game.  This week, I’m starting my “must pack” list as well as finalizing my playlists.  I am going to make two – one for the bulk of the race, and one for the final 6.2 miles.  Any suggestions of songs that get you going on your runs are encouraged.  Bonus points for songs that have “champion” or “winner” in the lyrics!

My focus for the week will be on eating better, hydrating well, and mentally preparing myself for the race.  I know I’m physically ready, I just want to be sure the race is as enjoyable as possible!

Any other tips for my final two weeks leading up to the marathon?

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Jess

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