It’s been a couple weeks since declaring that I’m going to run another marathon. Shockingly, I haven’t changed my mind but instead started to embrace it. It’s no longer, “Should I run another marathon?” or “Should I do a fall or spring marathon?” but “When I run the Carmel Marathon in April…” and it’s all becoming a little more real. I’ve even started to tell people that I’ll be running a marathon in the spring, so I’m basically committed. If only we could finally close on our house so I can open up the checkbook again without feeling guilty, that’d be great.
My runs have started to be a little less haphazard and more planned and my body [good] hurts. I’m not setting myself up with a base building plan like I have in the past because I think that’s a huge part of my burnout in the last cycle. About 12-14 weeks is the maximum I can really dedicate to a straight up training plan. It doesn’t mean I don’t have structure, it just means I’m not looking at something written down for me. I keep increasing my weekly mileage and my longest run for the week, but I don’t necessarily plan it ahead of time. I’m simply trying to make sure it’s a consistent number of days, rest every 2-3 run days, and that I include core, strength, and all the running drills I was doing last year that kept me off the IR (injured reserve, for anyone who isn’t big on pro sports). Other than checking all those boxes, I don’t care how it gets done — morning, night, on trails, around the block 6 times, pace, with the dog, without the dog, etc. I just want to get it done.
With the quasi plan, I also decided to totally ignore my watch. I’m a data junkie so I won’t leave it at home, but pace? It’s gone out the window. I run whatever I feel like. I figured this would keep me from feeling sad when I couldn’t see quick paces again. Here’s the thing, though. CrossFit over the summer apparently kept my speed legs and lungs a little bit more than I ever thought it would. I just went with it for a few runs in a row, whatever pace my legs went, they went, at least until I realized how tight my hips were, but more importantly my posterior tibialis and plantar fascia started to feel terrible on my weak side. Yikes. I now started to pay attention to my pace again so I could slow myself down and it’s already helped my recovery immensely.
Right now, I’ve been running about four times per week, with exception to this week because I put in some overtime at work. I’ve also added in some pre-hab exercises about 2-3 times per week, including self tissue work 4-5 days a week. I had some hip and foot issues towards the end of the Chicago Marathon training and then at the end of the race, so I’d really like to avoid that this time around. I also have been adding some yoga to my days with the help of last month’s Runners Love Yoga Challenge (which I’m also doing another this month!) It’s been so helpful because even if I’m not doing it at the slow pace for meditation benefits, the stretching is incredible and it takes 10 minutes out of my day.
This has been my third week in a row of really starting to focus on running again. It’s been slow, but steady and feels great to be out there for a reason. I started at just over 8 miles, then 10 miles, and I’m hoping to get somewhere in the 10-11 this week with losing that extra day. I’m still tossing around different ideas regarding how to train for the marathon and I’m totally undecided. There are a million and one ideas floating in my head; I don’t think I’ll decide any time soon.