11 weeks to go until the biggest challenge of my life! 72 days – that’s NOT A LONG TIME YOU GUYS!! It’s coming really fast in my opinion… I’m starting to have doubts… will I really be able to do this? It’s not just that it’s my first ever marathon 26.2 – as if that’s not challenging enough, I have to be a freaking glutton for punishment and go all out and sign up for all 4 races in 4 days… seriously, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!
A Couple weeks ago my training plan called for 15 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday. Instead of the 15, I ran 16.3 because a local running club was hosting a “Metric” marathon, that’s 26.2 kilometers, which equates to about 16.3 miles. I figured it fit in nicely and “what’s an extra 1.3 miles anyway?”. Well, that went well, I have to say. I felt really good during and even after that. I have a new hydration pack that holds 2 bottles for water so I put regular water in one and water with “Tailwind” in the other. I had some energy chews during and all went well.. no biggie.
After that came the Army 10 miler. Didn’t really need 10 miles, training only called for like 5 or 6, but I had signed up a very long time ago with a bunch of friends to dedicate our run to a running friend’s mom who served and was injured in the Army. The race itself was great, the camaraderie amongst friends, the support along the course, it really was a pretty great race that I would easily sign up for and do again. The weather this year was just AWFUL though.. it was extremely hot and humid, out of the ordinary for this time of year. There were a lot of calls for support as people were suffering from heat related injuries/illness. They ended up cutting the run short by one mile (for those closer to the end – I had already passed that point so ran the full 10), then they called it a fun run and said everyone’s time wouldn’t count because they basically cancelled the run, but didn’t really communicate that well on the course. Many people were angry, but I didn’t do it for time or anything, so I didn’t really care. Here are a few pics from our group!
So far so good right?!
That brings me to this week and hence my beginning to freak out… even thought it’s just a little.
This week, training called for 7 miles on Sat and 17 miles on Sunday – well, really this was supposed to happen last week, but I had a race on my calendar for this week so it fit in better this week. I flop flopped the days and decided to do the 17 on Sat and 7 on Sunday because my race on Saturday consisted of a 5k and then a Half marathon, which would yield me 16.2 miles by combining those 2 on the same day. And it never fails, no matter what race I do, it always seems like the course is slightly longer than it is supposed to be, so according to my watch, these 2 combined gave me 16.5 miles by the time both were said and done. I know… a half mile short, but you know what – close enough. Especially considering all the walking to and from the light rail station and in between, etc.
It was a pretty hot day. I had run this exact race in the past and I’ve always needed long sleeves, long tights, but not this time. Warmer than usual and humid. Again. I repeated my system from the metric marathon a few weeks before – tailwind in one bottle, water in the other and gummy chews for fuel since it worked out so well last time. Oh – and I ran intervals, which I also did during the metric marathon. That’s 3 minutes running and 30 seconds walking, so a very short walk break, but just enough to bring the heart rate back down just a tad. I ran straight through for the 5k on this morning, but used the intervals on the half. The course this year was changed a little from pervious years so it was a little more challenging, I really struggled about half way through and had a moment of thinking – what the hell did I get myself into and “This is stupid!”. At this point I felt like my mom was watching me and cheering for me to finish. I got a little emotional and had to get myself back together. Overall, the crowds in Baltimore during this race are always on point. That’s why it’s probably one of my most favorite races. The residents along the route come outside, they cheer for runners, and make signs, some of them give gummy bears and starburst along the route, they are playing music and it’s like a giant party almost the whole entire race, it’s pretty awesome!
For the most part, the run itself went ok, I picked up my loads of bling and headed home a little sore and stiff. I soaked in Epsom salts for a bit and tried to nap, but that didn’t really work out too well. That brings me to the 7 that I had to run today. I really wasn’t sure I would get through it all. I’m super sore and stiff, but I powered through and got it done. I came home, soaked in Epsom salts again, used my foam roller for a bit (I still don’t know if I’m using that thing right or not) and haven’t done too much more than that. I’m sooooo tired. I didn’t nap, as much as I wanted to… I just feel so guilty because I feel like my house is being neglected because of all my training…. (it needs a REALLY GOOD cleaning y’all). Lol!
Anyway, seeing how I’m pretty sore and stiff now and so, so tired, after this weekend, I just can’t imagine how I’m going to feel after the 4 days.. and longer distances, and waking up even earlier. Thankfully, next week is an easy week, 6 miles on the weekend, but my next long run after that, when that comes up, will be 20. That will be my first really long run where I didn’t have a race or some type of organization to tack onto like I’ve been doing so that I have company. That will be interesting. I did download Kevin Hart’s book on Audible so I can listen to that during a long, lonely run. I figured it would be something different besides the same old music and Kevin Hart is funny as hell, so I’m kinda looking forward to that.. Just not looking forward to how I will be feeling afterward. I need to find a good recovery method or something. IDK.
I usually take more pics along the route of this race, but I was just trying to power though this year. I snapped a few of my favorite signs, but there were a ton of good ones. I’ve attached some highlights in the photos below!
Until next time!