The most exciting moment of my marathon training thus far happened yesterday.
Because on Sunday, April 1st at 10:43 AM CST, I wrapped up 16.5 miles.
Which means that the marathon is officially cooked!
For non-runners: God only knows where (or in how many different places) I read this, but apparently it is accepted that once you make it past the 16 mile mark, crossing the finish line is within the reasonably acceptable realm of possibility.
Obviously I still have…74 days left of training. So, while I celebrated a little bit at the end of my run yesterday, the hard work is only just beginning.
But let’s go back to yesterday’s run.
With Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 plan, you’re scheduled to do your long run on Sunday. But on Saturday, you’re scheduled to do a run that is 1/2 of your Sunday distance at marathon race pace. There are many-many reasons for this, the most important being that you condition physically and mentally for the fatigue you will experience during the marathon. Specifically, the back half of the course.
I got so fixated on the fact that I would be running 40 miles last week, that what I totally neglected to process was the fact that I would be running 24 miles in about as many hours between Saturday and Sunday.
I most definitely had manged to do that math by the point I got to Mile 9 of my 16 mile run and my legs were just dead.
As I wondered to myself (and much less eloquently) Body, why must you fight me so? the grand vision of Hal Higdon’s Operation: Fatigue was fully realized.
FINE HAL, I GET IT. THIS IS ME, HEADED STRAIGHT FOR A WALL I DIDN’T SEE COMING. AND THIS IS ME, MAKING IT THROUGH THE WALL AND REALIZING THAT I DON’T ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT BIO-MECHANICAL PROCESS IS ALLOWING MY LEGS TO CONTINUE MAKING FORWARD PROGRESS.
When I got home, I called Marcus and asked him to bring me home four bags of ice so I could soak in the bath. This was not something I had originally planned on doing for the obvious reason that I totally failed to do the mileage math for my weekend.
You see, on Saturday night we went out for his birthday with a mess of friends and when midnight rolled around, I decided to take myself home. Marcus decided to keep the party going. We agreed that since I would be running, he would find his own way home in the morning since there really wasn’t any point in time where I would be operating a motor vehicle.
So when he informed me that he was at a
hangover post-birthday brunch in NE Minneapolis and would be unable to source me ice for at least another hour?
It was a low point in our marriage.
I don’t want to say it was The Lowest Point, but it was probably close.
First-time marathoners, I’m only going to say this once because I don’t want to totally destroy the shiny, newness of your first marathon. Because you are going to go out there, take on 26.2 miles and come out on the other side.
BUT when your feet feel like slabs of raw meat, you literally can’t feel your legs and you know where every single joint in your body connects (if you’re feeling especially daring, you might consider trying to cough) you will start to wonder just how large of a lie you have been feeding to yourself for the last 12-18 weeks.
Answer: It is huge.
At this point in time, you might be thinking Kat, you don’t need to do this. Actually, I want you to stop doing this. You don’t know how my race is going to go. I’m not the same runner as you are. My training methods are totally different and more “right” for me than yours are, so you don’t need to tell me how to live my life.
When you get to Mile 22? Call me. I solemnly promise not to tell you how to live your life. But more importantly, I solemnly promise not to tell you that I Told You So.
The upside to all of this pain and insanity is that we’re now at the part of the show where I can Eat All The Things. Having that extra slice of homemade pizza or the larger baked potato is The Right Decision.
No, that doesn’t mean that my life more closely resembles the Old Country Buffet than the Whole Foods Salad Bar (how far apart are the two, really?). But in the interest of having enough energy be able to run, go to work and be a generally productive member of society, we hit the feedbag.
Frosting will be happening, and soon.
What did you do to enjoy the early spring this weekend?
Runners: What is your training plan for the week?