Today I will be linking up with Thinking Out Loud. I am going to talk a little about my thoughts (mostly anxieties) heading into my first marathon. Those of you who have run marathons, feel free to chime in and tell me that this is normal (or not). In fact… I think everyone should just conclude that I am going nuts.
So… What happens after mile 20? I have run two 20-milers and they were HARD. I felt like I could have kept running, but the run was 45 seconds per mile slower than my goal pace. I’ve been warned that a marathon is a 20-mile warm up for the worst 10K of your life… but I didn’t feel 10K racing worthy after my 20-miler. I felt like eating a ton of bananas and sleeping. Do I hit “the wall” after mile 20? And how do I run through the wall? Does race adrenaline REALLY get you through another 6.2 miles after you have already run 20? Seriously… I feel like at mile 20.1 that I my legs will go into self-destruct mode and I’ll end up walking the last 6 miles.
I had a few great weeks in my training… but not every week was great. Sometimes I cut runs short because I felt over-trained or that an injury could happen if I pushed stuff. I don’t feel like I was completely consistent in my training. Should I have pushed a little harder? Will those missed miles come back to haunt me? Ok… now I am just sounding crazy.
The first week of my taper calls for 40 miles. THAT’S A LOT OF MILES! Am I tapering enough? What if I am not properly rested? I don’t feel sore or anything from last week and my peak week was 55 miles, but I still feel like 40 miles is a lot. I’m worried that if I don’t taper enough I am not going to be able to finish this marathon. Next week I hit 28… which is substantially less and makes me feel a little better, but I feel like if I don’t taper enough this week that I am not going to be well rested enough come May 15.
I’ve been pouring over race equivalency charts (yes, I’m that crazy) and based on my half marathon PR and other times that I’ve run during this cycle, they predict that I should have no problem cracking 4:00:00. But I am not so convinced. I know that people are often unprepared for the mental battle that happens towards the end of the race. I’d like to think that my consistent yoga practice will help me remain focused and present, but I am not so sure. I am worried that I’ll crash and burn and potentially not even be able to finish. There are plenty of people with better half marathon PRs than me that have not run a marathon in less than 4:00:00. 26.2 miles is FAR… like farther than I like to drive, no less run! A lot can happen in the course of 26 miles!
These are the crazy worries that I have been having. I know… this is the taper crazies, but I feel like they are real. These are real problems heading into the race and I want to have a good time. I don’t want to hit the wall and end up crawling my way to the finish. I go through moments where I am thinking this will be no problem… that I’ve trained hard and I’m prepared. But then I remember that no one is REALLY all that prepared for their first marathon. This is a really hard race and a really long distance that I should respect and not take for granted. I keep going back and forth… seriously… This is four days into the taper. I am already going nuts!
Thanks Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting Thinking Out Loud and thanks to all of you for being so encouraging throughout my training ups and downs.
What are your taper crazies like? Do you find yourself doubting your training as you head into a big race?
Last week I conquered the 20-mile distance for the first time. It was hard and ridiculous, but I finished it. I still have one more 20-miler left before the taper, but at least I know what to expect now. Since it was such an interesting experience, this week for Thinking Out Loud, I am going to list 20 thoughts that went through my mind while I ran. I was having a lot of trouble shutting my brain off and it was going a little wild. I imagine I will have even more fun thoughts while I run Colfax, but for now, here are 20 thoughts I had running my first 20-miler.
Holy crap! 20 miles is so far… I wouldn’t drive that far if I could help it.
I really hope the Hansons are wrong and this 20-miler isn’t going to kill me.
Why did that person just pass me? Clearly they must NOT be running 20 miles.
Oh, I am totally going to own this marathon.
20 miles isn’t that far.
It’s so nice and wonderful out. I love running.
Why do I do this to myself? I hate running.
Sing it P!nk!! (while listening to So What)
Almost half way!! Not too bad.
Oh no… I’m only half way.
Elly knows where it’s at! I should be sleeping next to her.
Make it to 13.1 and you can eat some really gross Gu.
YEAH!!! EAT THE REALLY GROSS GU!!!
So, this would be the second half of the marathon. I can totally do this!
Why did I route myself to a hill on the 15th mile?
I am circumnavigating Manhattan… I am like Magellan. I bet he couldn’t run 20 miles.
Oh F*ck… Why do I do this to myself? There is no way I can run a marathon.
Tell me I can do this… I can do this. Tell me I can do this… I can do this.
I am the hungriest person in the world.
I just ran 20 miles!!!! Marathon training is the best!!!!
At least I know I can run 20 miles! I think at the end of it, I could have run 6.2 more… if I had to. Seriously, though, I wouldn’t want to.
I am going to try something new this week! I’ve never linked up to “thinking out loud” and I figured I’d give it a try. There’s no theme, just random thoughts and ideas about running and whatever else I’m thinking about.
This week has been a recovery week in my training, however, I feel like I am not doing anything at all. I feel like I’ve come so far in these past 10 weeks and I really want to keep going hard and running fast. It’s been really fun to see these big improvements so quickly and all I want is to see more! It’s like addicting. It is taking every bit of my reasoning (and fear of getting injured) to not push this week… to lay low, chill out, and give my body some time to reset. I also only have a few weeks of heavy training left before the taper. Three to be exact. The next two weeks will be 50+ miles, and then I have another recovery before the biggest week of this training cycle.
And to bounce off of the thoughts in number 1… I am pretty proud and impressed that I have remained strong, on top of my training, and injury free. Even thought the injury was not running related, getting hurt heading into Chicago definitely messed with my head. I am just happy that things have been going smooth and that it seems like I am going to make it to this start line ready to go!
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT QUESTIVAL!! I head out to Dallas on Friday before the start of the adventure race. I have no idea what to expect! There will be lots of stuff to do, pictures to take, and very little sleep. This is my kind of trip!!! For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I tend to cram lots of stuff into my weekends, like insanely long hikes and weird little travel stops. I feel like I have been training for this adventure race for my entire relationship with Frank. This is our thing! We have two other friends that are coming with us… and I’ve already warned them that there will be no sleeping and lots of fast paced travel. We probably wont win… but darn it… I am going to try! Also, our team name is “Bat Llama”… long story.
In other travel news, pending good weather, we are going to be heading out to Colorado in a few weeks to summit Longs Peak. This is a notoriously tough 14er within the bounds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The weather out there is frequently bad, but if things look good, we’re going to go for it. The only problem is… This is during the peak week of my training. I have not decided if I am going to cut back a few miles to accommodate this tough hike. The thing is, I am usually pretty good at doing stuff like this. I am not bothered by altitude and I’ve been going out to CO for 14er climbing for a while now. I feel like, although it will be challenging, that it wont disrupt my training. The end of the climb will also kick off the beginning of my taper. I am not sure if there is a better way to do that!