Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!
I’m especially excited to share my workouts from last week because I had a pretty eventful weekend — I earned my green belt in Taekwondo, and I also tackled my longest run to date: my first 15-miler!
Mon., Sept. 30: Rest
Tue., Oct. 1: 3 miles
Wed., Oct 2: 8 miles and Thai kickboxing class
Thur., Oct. 3: 2 miles
Fri., Oct. 4: 6 miles and Taekwondo class and graduation
Sat., Oct. 5: Rest
Sun., Oct. 6: 15 miles
Total weekly mileage: 34 miles
As I know I’ve mentioned here, I started my martial arts training with Muay Thai back in 2011, and then last year I enrolled in Taekwondo…a very, VERY different experience than Thai.
To continue advancing in Taekwondo, we have to memorize these increasingly-difficult combinations and forms (most of which are set to music…GAH) and a whole lot of different kicking and punching techniques, all of which are insanely precise and have to be performed just right.
It’s obviously not quite as physically demanding as running in that it’s centered more on flexibility and agility, and yet I do still find it challenging — mentally and physically, especially because the stretching hurts my poor, sad runner’s legs LIKE HELL — so it’s exciting to keep progressing towards my next belt! It is my goal to become a black belt someday…it’ll probably take me forever, but, that’s okay.
After a relaxing fall-fun day of apple and pumpkin picking on Saturday, I decided that this weekend should also mark the first of my LONG runs in my marathon training plan. Gulp.
I was supposed to run the Jersey Shore Half Marathon this weekend, but it was cancelled due to all of the government nonsense that’s going on right now since it’s held at a national park (Sandy Hook). I’m not pissed off about that at all.
I had to do a bit of rearranging on my Hal Higdon Dopey plan, and this weekend ended up being the perfect time for my next long run: 15 miles.
Since I’ve never run anything longer than a half marathon, and I decided to count my half marathon in Providence as my scheduled 14-mile long run (not ideal, I know, but there was really no other way to get that one in!), I thought it was time to embark on my longest run of marathon training on Sunday.
Todd decided that he would run 10 of the miles with me, and I was greatly relieved, believe me…because the thought of taking on that kind of distance for the first time on my own was a whole lot of overwhelming. I was pretty damn scared, not gonna lie!
I decided to try to mentally break up the distance in my mind — a tactic I read about all the time, and that I know a few of you have already suggested — so as to try to stop being so ridiculously scared of these long marathon training runs. I tried to convince myself that I would be running three 5-mile runs. Five miles isn’t scary at all to me anymore, but 15 miles sure is!
I have to say, it WORKED! I went out on Sunday morning for the first 5 miles on my own. I was actually feeling kind of pumped, and it was cloudy with pretty cool temperatures, so I kept having to force myself to slow down…my goal was to hover somewhere between a 10 to 10:30/minute mile for the majority of the 15 miles.
After I was done with the first five miles, I swung back to Todd’s to pick him up — and take a bathroom and Honey Stinger break — and then we did five more miles together. I was feeling pretty strong and actually having fun. I may or may not have been jamming out to Disney music the whole time…
At the 10-mile mark, I took another quick bathroom break, refilled my fuel belt with Powerade and took few Clif Shot Bloks with water, and went out for those last five miles. It was in the last leg of the run that my calves were really starting to tighten up — I’ve been having some soreness for the last couple of days — and, sorry for the TMI, but it’s also my special time of the month, so I was also dealing with some oh-so-pleasant cramping and pains that made me really, REALLY hate being a woman.
I did everything I could to distract myself from the discomfort I was starting to feel in those final miles, whether it was making idle chit-chat with Todd, repeating “Dopey” over and over again in my mind, or obnoxiously singing my Disney songs out loud — HA, not even joking — and when it was finally time to complete that last mile, I booked it all the way back to his house. I was so happy (and proud) to have conquered those 15 miles! I also took some victory photos, too, of course.
I was actually quite surprised that I was still feeling as good as I was — I was SO ready to be done (and I needed to eat something, pronto), don’t get me wrong…but I was glad that the 15 miles didn’t hurt quite as much as I had feared.
I’m still nervous about taking on the Dopey Challenge, but tackling this run — and still feeling strong at the end — definitely helped give me the confidence that I might just survive this thing. I can feel myself getting stronger with each of these longer runs, and I’m hoping that as long as I stay consistent and disciplined and just keep plugging away at this training plan, that I WILL be able to call myself a marathoner in just a few short months!
What are some of your tips for mentally (and physically!) getting through those LONG training runs?