This is it, the final week of marathon training! My heart beats a million times a minute just thinking about it. It has all come down to these last days, and I hope to savor every moment. You only get one first marathon experience. This past week of training was almost nothing. I got bit by the sick bug for most of the week, and had a hard time shaking it. I finally got over it by the weekend, until it showed up again Sunday morning, right before my run. Lucky for me, my whole body was against me because I also woke up during the night with a cramp in my calf. Needless to say, this week was a bust for mileage. Taper fail? Possibly, but the miles I got in were fantastic. I had two strong runs and I felt better than I had for a long time.
Monday: Sick Day
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: 1.5 Miles
Thursday: 2.5 Miles
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Sick Day/Calf Cramp
Total Miles: 4 Miles
So now I’m left with one final week of runs before the big day. I had my ups and downs throughout training, but this coming Sunday it will be all worth it. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how much I accomplished. Even though I had knee issues, I didn’t let it get in the way of my goal. I’ll admit, I thought about backing out after I lost the second month of training. And preparing for a marathon in 8 weeks wasn’t really ideal. But things happen and you over come them. Not every race or training cycle is going to be perfect. It’s the little things that go wrong that will make you a stronger runner.
I certainly had runs that I absolutely hated, and others that I didn’t want to end. I started my training on familiar, flat routes along the lake and ended my training along hilly, unfamiliar territory. These were the runs that made me question why was out there, but these were also the runs that made me confident I made the right decision in running a marathon. Even though I never hit that 20 mile training run, I’m confident that I’ll be able to do it in just 6 days.
What I’ve learned:
- Training for a marathon is possible. I couldn’t imagine running further than 13.1 miles when I started. To know that I’ve done it, and done it more than once makes me think that any length of run is possible. Little by little distance running isn’t so far.
- I love long runs. I’ve always loved long distance running, but I truly enjoyed my weekends runs more than my weekday ones. There was just something there that made me excited to go out and run a half marathon plus every weekend.
- Hills aren’t that bad. I was pretty nervous and upset when I did my first couple of runs after moving. I couldn’t find a single stretch of flat land. I’m still not brave enough to tackle the big ones out in the country, but I’d like to think that the small and medium ones aren’t bad.
- I’m a cold weather runner. The weather was miserable this summer. I’m pretty sure I’ve never sweated that much in my life. To say I was excited for the 50 degree weather was an understatement. But what I’m actually excited for is snow. It’d be interesting training for a marathon during winter…
- I am a runner through and through. This week, this moment is what I’ve spent the last four months, if not longer, preparing for. I’ve brought my running full circle from the 400m in track back in middle school to now with 26.2 miles. I’ve put in the hard work, I had disappointments and moments of pure joy. Running the training runs alone, I learned so much about myself, it’s hard to put into words. I know I’ll learn so much more on Sunday.