Tag Archives: marathon training

Running Hiatus Comes to a Screeching Halt

I just booked a flight to Chicago.

To run 26.2 miles.

When I woke up this morning, this was not part of the plan. Up until a few days ago, this marathon was not even on my radar. But through a series of fortunate events, encouraging friends, enticing ticket prices, and available race bibs, it has manifested into a concrete event that will actually be taking place in my life on October 7, 2012. This is real life.

I know, I know…I realize I said never again. In fact, upon completing my first marathon, I believe these were my very words:

Two days later, I am still in a world of pain; every fiber of my being hurts. Walking is difficult, the act of sitting makes me grimace, and going down stairs nearly brings me to tears. Even sleeping hurts. Once I am a bit more removed from the pain I might feel differently, but as of now, I declare that I am not running another marathon. I’m told my feelings on the matter will change as I regain mobility and forget the discomfort, but as for now, I am hurting, and I am not inclined to even entertain the idea of putting myself through another round of torture.

So yeah, call me crazy, but I just committed to another dose of this. On purpose.

Which means, coming off a much-needed running sabbatical, I am back in full-force training mode in preparation for the Chicago Marathon.

After achieving a half marathon PR in Mississippi, I gave myself permission to take a guilt-free break from running, and it has been so, so good. My body loves me for it, my mind loves me for it, and my social calendar loves me for it. For roughly two months, I haven’t run more than ten miles total (with the exception of this past week, which marked my official comeback to the running world). The hiatus has not only given me a chance to focus on some other areas of fitness – weightlifting, yoga, core, biking, and various other activities – but it has also relieved my mind of the demanding and somewhat monotonous rigours of routine running. Not only that, but I firmly believe our bodies deserve seasons of rest. It is both physically and mentally draining to continuously perform at a high level, and every now and then you just need to settle down for a little rejuvenation.

Fortunately, time off has made me miss running just enough to where I am pumped to begin marathon training. Good thing indeed, because I’ve got 16 weeks of intensive training ahead of me, and the mileage adds up quickly.

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Marathon Training

We are 6 short weeks away from the St. Jude Marathon, so I thought I’d give you a little update as to where I am training-wise. It’s hard to believe race day is right around the corner — seriously, where does the time go??! I’ve been reasonably diligent with my training, occasional lapsing (hey, rest days are good for you!), but otherwise I’ve been generally on top of things. Well, running, anyways. Can’t say the same about the pile of clothes I’ve yet to hang up, or the Pumpkin Cake with Whiskey Whipped Cream I intend to make, or the bed end bench I plan on reupholstering, but you can’t do everything at one time now, can ya? I’m saving those items for a rainy day.

Just this past weekend, Allie and I ran a solid 16 miles without walking a step. At a 9:30 pace. The whole way. If you told me that story several weeks ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. It really is amazing how much progress the human body can make when exposed to consistent training. I remember the days when I was maxing out at 7 miles, and now I consider that to be an easy day. Now that I’m running 13+ miles at least once a week, I’m afraid half marathons just aren’t going to satisfy me anymore. At the same time, though, I’ve promised my body that I’m only going to put it through full marathon training once. I can already feel myself getting addicted to these longer distances, but I know how burdensome they are on your body, and I do want to have functioning knees when I’m 50. So if ever I start talking about running another full marathon, give me a good shake and remind me of all the reasons why I shouldn’t. Please and thank you.

At some point during my productive hours of web surfing, I came across this blog post detailing the St. Jude Marathon route mile for mile.  The guide gives you a taste of what to expect as you progress throughout the course, and it really made the fact that I’m actually running a marathon tangible. It is an excellent source, and I highly recommend everyone running the race check it out, not only for the informative aspect, but for pure inspiration. I literally teared up as I envisioned running the 26.2 miles on that cold December morning, and more importantly, my reason for doing so, which you can read more about at www.mystjudeheroes.org/melissam.

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