where the shoes hit the pavement

I’m halfway through my marathon training. Friday I completed my longest run ever and in the next five weeks I’ll be able to say that three more times. I will have double digit runs every week for the next six weeks. I will get up to a weekly total of more than 40 miles. This is the part of training I’ve been dreading while knowing that this is the part of training that will prove to me that I can pull this off.

Friday was both my most discouraging and encouraging run of training so far. I was hoping to do 14 miles but I only made it to 13.4. That was the discouraging part. And honestly, I would have pushed to finish the 14 but I had this shooting knee pain pop up in the last mile and my friend / running partner made the call that stopped me. Literally, she called another friend to come get us. And she was right – I could have finished but it just might have really hurt something and that would be far worse than coming up .6 short on my target.

The encouraging part? I was hardly even sore. Last year immediately after the half marathon (13.1 miles) I could barely walk. I literally had to pick my leg up with my hands to get it in the car. I was sore for days – and I don’t just mean stiff, I mean so sore that I winced every time I sat down, or got up, or walked up the stairs or down the stairs. This time my muscles were tired. I could definitely feel that I had done a long run. But I wasn’t really sore. There was no wincing involved and just a day later I was moving around as if I hadn’t run at all. The increase in weekly training miles has definitely made a difference.

I suspect the coming month will have many of these discouraging/encouraging moments. As long as I can get these legs, hips, knees and ankles to toughen up enough to get me through 26.2 on June 4th it will all be worth it.

The countdown to a significant personal goal has officially begun.

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