I’ve been training since July for my very first marathon – the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th. It has certainly been a journey so far, beginning with the race registration process. I think I’d rather run a full marathon than have to go through such a stressful race registration again! Why did I pick MCM as my first marathon? It’s flat (that part was essential), it has a great reputation, the route goes by many DC monuments and sites, and it doesn’t hurt that Marines are waiting at the finish line to hand out the medals. I especially don’t hate that last part.
For training, I’ve been following Hal Higdon’s intermediate 2 plan until two weeks ago when I switched to the intermediate 1 plan because it was taking a toll on my legs. I think the first plan was a bit too aggressive for my goal, which is to finish. No time goals as of right now, I think finishing a marathon for the first time is an achievement in itself. Training had been going really well until a few weeks ago. Recently I’ve been struggling with my long runs mentally and it’s been frustrating. I think running is 60% mental and 40% physical, mindset makes a HUGE difference. I had a rough 17 miler three weeks ago and then mother nature decided to give me lightning and thunder when I tried to redo it a week later, which bummed me out even more. I needed a solid long run badly to regain confidence and energy in my training – and I got it with a great 18 miler this past weekend!
I purposely made it a slow 18 miles to make sure I wouldn’t feel like I was burning out too early on. I live near the Boston Marathon route and this past weekend was the Jimmy Fund Walk which is a fundraising walk for cancer research along the entire 26.2 route. There were so many walkers out there for a great cause, it was amazing to see and got me so excited to run along side them. The run felt good, slow but calm and controlled. On my way back around mile 13 I ran by members of the MIT police department taking part in the walk with “Collier Strong” t-shirts. Seeing them out there supporting a cause and reminding us all of Sean Collier along the marathon route gave me major goosebumps and I was easily fueled through the last 5 miles. I was definitely tired and glad to be done by the end of it, but was more thrilled that I had gotten things back on track. Full steam ahead now! As for the rest of this week, the miles are less than normal since I have the Allstate 13.1 half marathon coming up on Sunday.
What’s going on with you this weekend? Races? Training runs? Something completely crazy awesome?