Ok, so…..I fully intended on blogging more during marathon training. But then the holidays happened, and vacation, and then marathon training totally drained all the energy out of my body in the evenings and all I do is run, work, eat, and sleep….
Ha! Ok, in all seriousness, marathon training is going well, and I can’t believe we’re just SEVEN weeks away from the big day, which means only five until the taper starts! My training plan is really working well for me and I’m starting to feel very good and strong. A lot of my runner friends have said that you learn so much in marathon training, and boy is that true. So I thought instead of recapping all my runs so far, I thought I’d just recap what I’ve learned so far in training for my first marathon:
1. I will buy things I never imagined I would buy. At the top of this list recently: toe caps. The good news is that by combining these caps with some Injini socks I think I may have solved a serious issue that was happening on my second toes (painful black toenails and horrible blisters).
2. New running routes & friends make training better! I found two new-to-me great places to run in Atlanta. For my 15 miler and 13 miler, I ran along the Chattahoochee river. The path is flat and about 2 miles out…and at the end is a great residential road with beautiful houses that is also flat and about 2 miles out, making one out-and-back a beautiful and flat 8 miles. Perfect! Sarah from Racing Oprah joined me for the first 10 miles of my 15 miler….I really enjoyed having the company!
The second new spot I found is the Silver Comet Trail. It’s a pedestrian & bike rail-trail here in Atlanta and it goes for miles and miles and miles. It’s also super flat and so beautiful. I ran my 16 miler there yesterday and really enjoyed it. Bonus…there are bathrooms and water fountains every few miles!
3. Nutrition is crazy important. I’ve been seeing a nutritionist the past few months but hadn’t really been dedicated to my nutrition until recently. About two weeks ago I had a terrible run after skimping on dinner the night before. Since then, I’ve been eating MOSTLY clean (I still have a cheat meal here and there, but never the day before a longer run). I’ve seen a big difference in my runs and strength since being more consistent with my nutrition.
I also learned that my body can’t take NUUN AND Clif Shot Bloks…..it’s just too much sodium! I felt like crap after my 15 miler and the next morning had a splitting headache. My nutritionist suggested I stick with water during my run and I have to say, it did the trick! I’m starting to figure out what works for my body and what doesn’t.
4. I’m a morning runner through and through. There have been a few days where I decided to sleep in and try to run in the evening, and it just wasn’t that great. I just prefer to get it done, and it gets me in the right frame of mind to start my day.
5. Christina is a big part of my running routine. I didn’t really realize how much she was until the holidays. Our schedules got really out of sync with time off of work on different days, my vacation to the Dominican Republic, and her vacation to Hong Kong. Her and I text before and after our runs (typically, we are running the same distance at the same time, just in different states!). My 5am runs felt lonely without talking to her before and after. I’m glad we’re both back into our regular routines now!
6. This is not going to be easy. Honestly, this thought didn’t cross my mind until the end of my 15 miler, which was my first run longer than a half marathon. I also learned during that run that if I’m doing part of the run with someone else, I should do the solo miles first. Running solo after running with someone SUCKS. Anyways, I was around mile 12 and my legs were burning and mentally I just was having a very hard time. I started wondering if I could do this, and thinking about how far 26.2 miles really is. Luckily, I got over it and have had great training weeks since, including an AMAZING 16 miler yesterday that I ran completely solo and nailed. Still, I know that this is going to be hard…but that’s why I’m doing it! And in 48 days, I’ll be a marathoner!