Tuesday, October 16, 2012

36 vs. 41: Keeping It Real

Sorry about the radio silence this past week. I found myself in a bit of a funk and didn't want to write post after post of blubbering about my woes.

To keep a story short, my woes began the day after, or more like the day after that, I rocked my 22 mile long run on Sunday, 10/7!

But first, I have to tell you that I was way nervous about hitting a 22 mile run during this round of marathon training. I've mentioned before that the training program I am following is only 16 weeks and caps out at a 20 mile run. With my past marathon experience, I felt it was super important, maybe even just for my mental health, to hit a 22 mile run. I was plagued with trying to figure out how/when I would be able to incorporate it without screwing myself.

So on the 7th I was scheduled for a 20 mile run. I entered it saying that if I can hit 18 again great, if I can make it to 20 then I hit my goal, if I can push it to 22 I will have money in the bank. I've been having back pain/issues for the past few weeks which I have been able to manage and still keep on running. So I was hoping for a good run that day.

As you can see below, I hit the 22:

It took me 4 hours and 43 minutes (trail running slows ya down) and it started to rain on me during the last 2 miles, but I did it! Even better, I didn't experience any back pain. Just had some normal aches associated with long runs.

The day after I had my normal aches, along with a sore/stiff lower back. The day after that I was still dealing with back issues. And actually I didn't attempt running until Thursday the 11th. My back was still giving me some issues, but I got up to attempt a run with my honey that morning. I can tell you that run SUCKED! I was in discomfort from the very beginning of the run and it didn't end until 4 miles later when I was finished. I did hit the gym for an additional 3 miles to bring my weekly mileage to 7 miles. Ugh!

At this point (so much for a short story) I was becoming very discouraged about even finishing the marathon. I was questioning whether my 41 year old body was gonna make it to the finish line.

I didn't run again until this past Sunday. I successfully ran 10 miles. However, that 10 miles felt like 20! I could tell that my terrible running mileage (barely existent mileage) from the week affected this run. So my mental state was still not that great about heading into the marathon in 3 weeks even though I rocked the 22 miles.

I took yesterday off from running. (Enter stiff/throbbing back). This morning I got up for a run (even though I wanted to say screw it and stay in my toasty warm bed) and approached it very differently. I decided that I was going to force myself to run almost 1 minute slower on my pace per mile. Guess what? I ran 5 beautiful pain free miles today. Yippee!!!!

So where is my mind now in regards to the marathon?

I have to accept that my 41 year old self is not the same as my 36 year old self. I am older, heavier and slower (which I think is a direct reflection of my current weight - I have lost 15 pounds since May, but I am still 30 pounds heavier that I was when I ran the marathon the first time at 36) than I was 6 years ago.

I have to accept that I will not finish the marathon in the same amount of time it took me in 2006.  I am going to run this marathon with a slower first half (probably around an 11:40ish per mile pace - this pace keeps me pain free and gives me the hope I can finish) and increase my speed to what my original race pace of 10:52ish per mile for the second half of the race.

I am accepting that I will finish in over 5 hours this year even though my young heart wishes it could be faster. I will be proud of myself no mater what to just cross the finish line on November 4th!


  1. Finishing the marathon will be a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself no matter what. Forget about your time and just have fun!

    1. Thanks Rachel! That's exactly what I am going to do. I want to enjoy what may potentially be my last full marathon for awhile and not stress over what time I will finish!