Well, the marathon keeps getting closer and somehow that has not hit me yet. I suppose having to run 20 miles this past week should have knocked some sense into me, but I still haven’t yet grasped the reality of running my third marathon in a little over a month from now.
Thursday, Ran 5 miles
Another busy week where I had either work or church Monday-Wednesday evenings, so I didn’t run until Thursday. My last run had been the 10-miler on Sunday. Ran this 5-miler at a slower pace than the 10-miler for some reason, maybe because it was after work and I felt sluggish. I have been really bad about having any planned paces for my runs, and obviously I have not been running as much as my plan has called for. This probably will lead to me merely finishing the marathon and not achieving any particular goal, but there is still time to work toward getting better. I am not completely discouraged though, because my 20-miler on Saturday was pretty encouraging.
Saturday, Ran 20.15 miles
I did a recap of the half marathon that was encompassed in this 20-miler, which covers most of the run – I fueled correctly for the most part, although I didn’t have my second energy gel until 14.5 miles. I will definitely take one sooner in the marathon. The race itself was tough at times because there weren’t many break opportunities, but I did take my time walking through each water stop and the milestone of a race finish line helped minimize the daunting task of running 20 miles.
After the race, I returned to my car for another gel, to dump off my bib and medal, as well as drink some Gatorade. From there I headed back to the lakefront and took the last 5.5 miles slower and more leisurely, with two bathroom stops and a Gatorade stop at my car every two miles. I was pretty tired there at the end, but I was still motivated enough to run an extra 0.15 to my car, rather than stop immediately at 20 and walk the rest of the way. Of course, my legs being incredibly tight and feeling better running rather than walking contributed to that. But at least my breathing was good and I felt like, with even more fueling (an earlier energy gel and then at least two more over the course of a marathon) I would be OK on race day.
Total mileage – 25 miles
So after a two-run week and a goal to run 3-4 times the next week, I fell back into the two-run rut again. My problem has been waiting too long into the week to get my first run in, and also having lots of night activities thanks to church and work. I know there is no reason to make excuses regarding that, as I can always get up early and run before work. I just haven’t found the motivation or energy to do that. I think my goal for the next few weeks, which include long rungs of 15, 14, 20 and 15 miles, will be to run enough the rest of those weeks to have at least 26 miles at the end of the week. My second 20-miler week, I hope to get up to 35-40 miles. I know this is low mileage for most people, but I think my goal for this marathon will simply be to finish under 5 hours. I may try and do a second marathon in February or March and set a goal for that, but right now I value my sanity and high mileage weeks on top of my busy life are just going to burn me out.