This Runner's Trials

Marathon on

Posted by runnerstrials

Last Sunday afternoon, after my DNF, I thought I’d never make another marathon attempt. I believed the distance wasn’t for me, and I’d stick to half marathons since I’m in love with those 13.1 miles.

But I also wanted redemption. Even if 26.2 wasn’t my best distance, I still put in 14 weeks of training and knew I was more than capable of finishing the race.

I had a decision to make. A mere 13 days after my DNF, I was registered for another marathon.

Do I try for 26.2 or drop down to the half?

The half seemed tempting. I’ve run it the past 2 years and enjoy the course. But I always have these big PR dreams for this race, and I’ve never PR’d there. I really didn’t want that pressure.

I didn’t make any hasty decisions. Instead, I wanted to see how my stomach did this week. Now that I’ve found GU, could my stomach handle that better? Would my new low dairy, lower fiber diet keep my stomach settled? Did the acupuncture I received twice this week (I’ll do a separate post on this) cure me?

I certainly felt better during the 7 miles I ran on Wednesday. I still had my cramps, but not too bad.

I felt so confident at the Lululemon party, that I decided to make it my goal to finish a marathon by October 30. 

But there was only one way to know if I was really feeling better: do a long run. Longer than I have done recently.

My most recent 18 miler was 4 weeks ago and 20 was 6 weeks ago. So, honestly, I also wanted to go long to see if my legs could still handle distance.

I set my sights on 16 miles. Why 16? Because it’s longer than the twelves I’ve been doing but not crazy long like 18-20. And I wanted to see how my stomach did taking in GU every 5 miles.

Now, it is not smart to run 16 miles 8 days before a marathon. But I needed to do it. I’d be a wreck at the start line next Saturday if I didn’t do this test run.

The plan was to take it slower than normal in hopes that my legs would recover quickly.

I felt pretty amazing during the run. I had slight cramping, but my stomach handled GU wonderfully. In fact, I looked forward to my little 5 mile reward packs of icing :)

16 miles at 9:05 pace

And my legs felt spectacular. I can’t believe I doubted them. My hamstrings felt tight around 14.5, but no big deal. I actually ran the last 5 miles faster than the first 5. And this was only my second over 15 mile long run that I needed no walk breaks!

So game on. I’ll be running a marathon a week from today :)

Note: if I don't feel well again next week, I will drop down to the half or just be a spectator.

Now I must figure out how to quickly recover and taper all over again… in 7 days. I'm thinking lots of time off my feet this weekend, ice, naps, and only short easy runs this week.

Any more advice? I need all the help I can get ;)

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