You were warned – we have to reminisce a little this week.
The first marathon I signed up for, I didn’t make it to the start line due to injuries. Something compelled me to sign up for another one anyway.
I qualified for Boston 1 year, 4 months and 5 days ago. The California International Marathon – It was my first ever marathon. It was a magical day. Magically painful. In the best way. You can read the race recap here – sorry in advance there are no pictures. That was when I was even worse at blogging tech stuff than I am now and I accidentally deleted them.
This was the race that taught me to believe in myself as a runner. Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to try. You just never know what might happen.
In retrospect, I think Chicago was where a lot of the hypothrydoism symptoms reared their ugly little heads. At least the fatigue and the cramping in my fingers. More on that in a minute. Chicago taught me a lot. Mostly it reinforced pacing and that you celebrate a marathon finish no matter what kind of a day you had. You ran a marathon, damnit.
Revel Canyon City taught me that just because you can’t do something perfectly, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. Sometimes getting a little scrappy and fighting through a messy situation to get what you want makes it so much sweeter.
I really didn’t intend to race 3 marathons in 14 months. Yet, here we are! After Revel Canyon City, I hired a coach. Initially, post marathon – I was doing more running than I would have thought would come from a coach. I would have thought more resting would have been the plan after two back to back marathons. Yet, after that initial recovery period, I wasn’t being challenged in my paces. I was getting slower and having to work harder for those slower paces. The slower I got, the more my coach thought we should back off.
Two months prior to Boston, I got the hypothyroidism diagnosis. My coach wanted to slow down and back off even more. I ended up taking that as an opportunity to step away from a coach, mostly because I truly did not believe that anyone could tell me what my body needed except for me in that moment. While I appreciated the caution, I wanted to put in what work I could to get ready for Boston.
For the next two months, I worked as hard as I thought I could push my body without it breaking. Probably something only I could determine. It was sort of new territory after the diagnosis and getting on the medication, so I did my best to push while still treading carefully. I never really felt like I got in a groove with training this time around, but I know I put my whole heart into it.
Some of the things that I am really proud of myself for doing this training cycle:
- Prehab – more rolling, stretching, icing and compression became a part of my routine
- I did more specific running workouts than I ever have before. Example: run 1 mile warm up, 2 miles goal marathon pace, 1 mile half marathon pace, 1 mile recovery, repeat – vs. run like a bat out of hell until you can’t anymore.
- Nutrition – although I didn’t eat as squeaky clean as I could have, I did a great job of having balance. I enjoyed food and got better at loving my body and not restricting.
- Cross training – I stayed consistent with my swimming, and took my bike out for a spin in the afternoon a lot – even if it was for 15 minutes. I loved having my bike this cycle. I never rode it very far, but I sure did have fun getting more comfortable.
- Plyometrics – I incorporated a lot more of this into my training. Single leg squats, jumps, leaps, and other explosive exercises. And I kept lifting weights of all kinds.
- Sleep – usually I am fine off 6 hours of sleep, but recently I have been working a little harder at getting 8 hours if I can.
I also had my best sales month at work in the peak month of training! Sometimes that didn’t mix so well with the sleeping piece – but you can’t win them all every day.
I am mostly just so excited for my victory lap of Boston! I don’t know how I am going to sleep the night before the expo.