Marathon Training is Hard

I am so tired. For the past couple weeks I haven’t been sleeping as well as normal, which I’m pretty sure is the cardinal sin of marathon training. Sleep is equally as important — no, more important — than all the miles and all the food. 

My favorite running buddy!
When I trained for Chicago, I had a decent base because I had just run the Buffalo Half Marathon. My legs were used to 10+ miles and long, hard efforts. This time around? The legs are so not used to it. When I run 8+ miles, my legs feel like toast all night and while my body is exhausted, my mind is awake and then I finally go to bed and end up with restless legs all. damn. night. Top that off with dreams about the POTUS (maybe I shouldn’t look at twitter after 6pm?) and I’m downright exhausted! 

I modified last week’s workouts from the plan because of said exhaustion, plus with that week off from being sick, I was trying to bridge the gap a little. 

I was happy to put some miles in on my new sneakers – New Balance Vazee Pace. I’ve been running in the New Balance Zante, which I love, but as I got up to 7+ miles, I got some gnarly blisters and could feel soreness all up my arches. So I bumped up from 4mm drop (which is the max I’ve had for years!) to 6mm and the feel of a little more cushion. It’s working well. 

Last week, I had two easy run days – one with Dunkin outdoors and one on Saturday, when I started to do my long run on the treadmill and realized mentally I couldn’t handle it. I was supposed to have a recovery run Wednesday night after my CrossFit in the morning but… exhausted. So I opted to nap and walk Dunkin instead. 

Tuesday I had the most solid workout I’ve had in a while. After a mile warmup, I had 24 minutes of 2:00 hard (8 or 9 effort) and 1:00 easy, but not recovery. I was cruising at 6:45-7:20 pace on the hard efforts and 9:00 on the easy. I felt in control throughout the entire run, though on the verge of vomiting all over on the last set. My cool down was brief solely because Olive Garden was waiting for me upstairs, oops. 

CrossFit for the week was something I really enjoyed. It was a recovery workout for everyone which is why it suited me so well. I didn’t have to modify too much and felt like the strength really helped my running. Our warmup was single leg Romanian deadlifts, which I already include often in my program. I always like when we do single leg things because I succeed at it when the people who focus on CrossFit struggle, mostly because they don’t spend as much time on one leg. We also worked on our cleans. The workout was a 10 minute workout of deadlifts, power cleans, and push-ups; it also didn’t leave me too sore to exist. 

Sunday Running Buddies (can you spot them?)
Since I moved my long run to Sunday, I ended up going outside and spending quality time in a few inches of soft snow. I had 14 easy miles on the calendar which I knew was a stretch from the 11 the previous week, plus with the snow, effort felt like more. I ran 12, however, 6 of which felt like sand and made my legs shake by the end. It was hard! I felt good with my 10:00 average overall, considering the snowy miles were closer to 10:30.  I tried to focus on fueling this run but I’m still not running long enough for it to make a huge difference.  I plan to use Honey Stinger chews again but I may experiment with their gels in a bit, we’ll see. I hate how they leave me sticky because I’m a klutz when I open and eat them!

I had to laugh a bit during my run because I listened to I’ll Have Another podcast and the conversation was surrounding a bit of running and CrossFit, which you basically can’t be good at both. It made me think more about my training and how I try to fit it in. I’ve found what works mostly for me, but it definitely is hard. I know I’m not super fresh for long runs sometimes, or I have to plan carefully with my modifications to ensure I am, but I wouldn’t have it any other way right now. If I’m 5 minutes slower because I wanted to keep up with CrossFit, I’m okay with it because it keeps me sane, healthier (no injuries if I keep it up, injuries when I don’t), and happier. 

One more hard week (and with my planned CrossFit on Sunday — Murph, FINALLY!), I am so looking forward to a recovery week next week. 

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

7 thoughts on “Marathon Training is Hard”

  1. I’ve been sluggish lately–mostly because I don’t do well with cold weather, lol! My bones ache. I feel like an old lady, jaja!!! Hope your sleeping improves!! It’s an area I struggle with also

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  2. Wow, funny that I found your blog this morning, because I feel like this week my marathon training has really hit me hard. I have also struggling with quality sleep, and I have started having some stomach stress issues. Icky.

    Not sure which marathon you are training for and how far along our are in your training, but good luck. I look forward to following you.

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    1. Thanks for following! If it makes you feel better (and I’ve been a total slack on updating), after the week of feeling like everything sucked — training turned a corner and fitness feels like it clicked. I hope the same is coming for you! I’m training for Carmel in April. How about you?

      Liked by 1 person

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