Zydeco Marathon Training, Weeks 1-2

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With five weeks in between marathons, I am hesitant to do too much or too little. I am trying to maintain my endurance while also working on speeding up just a bit, but I may be in need of some extended rest or therapy judging on how badly my 20-miler went on Saturday.

I hadn’t run for speed in a long time, so my two runs of 2 and 3 miles where I kept under a 9:10 pace for both was somewhat of a challenge to myself and really wore me out. I thought since they were shorter runs that the quicker speed wouldn’t do any harm, but when I set out for my 20-miler on Saturday, my legs were just tired and sluggish, making completing the distance really difficult.

I expected it to be warm and expected to be tired, but I was just surprised at how slow I was going at times. It didn’t feel that slow and yet I’d look down at my pace and be shocked to be running slower than 11-minute miles. I thought about quitting at 16 and 18 miles, but I couldn’t bear the thought of not finishing what I started. I knew I’d be disappointed in myself and feel like the whole run was a waste, so I pushed through, even though the last five miles included several walking breaks and really slow hobbling.

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Maybe it also didn’t help that I did the 3-miler the very day before the 20-miler. I don’t know. I am also dealing with morning congestion and have a sore throat as I type, so maybe rest is best right now. Nonetheless, while I was sore the rest of Saturday, I woke up Sunday with absolutely no soreness.

With three weeks until the Zydeco Marathon, I am planning to do a 15-miler this Saturday and a 10-miler next Saturday. I am very relieved to have that 20-miler done. I just hope I can still incorporate some speed work without making my long runs miserable and killing my legs.

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