Last time we chatted, I had just finished Week 9. Currently, I am about to finish up Week 15.
Whoopsies, can we still be fwiends? I have a newfound respect for people who blog regularly and people who have babies, super demanding jobs, commute 10 miles to work by foot uphill both ways etc. In my defense, training for a marathon, lawyering full time, and snuggling with Mrs. Yellow Snuggles Maniac McGoo is hard work ! Rather than recapping the last zillion 6 weeks, I will stick to the highs and lows.
Let’s start with a low – the Unplugged 1/2 Marathon! Also, home to the. most. unflattering. pictures. of. me. ever! There is a special place in Hell for whoever decided that taking professional pictures of people during a race is a good idea. Let’s start with the beginning, shall we?
Before the race even started, my stomach was on the fritz, but I attributed it to nerves – hoping that once the gun
horn? whistle? I don’t remember went off, my stomach would settle down. Unfortunately, the opposite happened. From the very beginning to the very end of this race, I felt like a million little drummers were having band practice in my gastrointestinal tract. I could not get my breath under control and I never got into the groove. By the end, I was just trying to finish without walking. This race was the epitome of a sufferfest. I finished in 1:47:13, which I was not happy about AT ALL until I realized that I finished the same race last year in 1:57:13. Kinda funny/awesome that last year I was thrilled to simply break 2 hours, and this year I am bummed about finishing 10 minutes faster! I also felt happy about simply finishing the race, because doing so definitely build mental strength that I will be able to draw upon during the marathon.
Let’s contrast the above negative experience with a positive experience, shall we? On Thursday, as in 2 days ago, I PRed in the 5k! The 5k is my arch nemesis. I hate 5ks for many reasons, including that 1) They hurt, 2) I cannot breath, and 3) I want to die the entire time. Obviously, I do not train specifically for 5ks so I never know what I’m capable of. My M.O. is that I generally go out way too fast and then crash and burn. To date, my 5k “PR” occurred during the Sodom Pond 4 miler last summer (7:14 pace the entire way YO). For stupid reasons
like the fact that a 4 mile race is not a 5k, the aforementioned 5k “PR” does not count. Until Thursday, my 5k PR was 22:56 and it was strangely set at the Leaf Peepers 5k, aka the hilliest 5k ever. My new PR is 22:33 and it was set at the Corporate Cup, aka the most crowded and turny-est course ever! Perhaps I run best in the face of adversity?
Other highs included:
- My highest mileage week ever! 60 miles! Running an average of 10 miles per day (I took one rest day) is super time consuming. Also, the following week my body was like: “Hi, let’s never run again, ok thanks.”
- The most 20 milers of any training cycle – 3!
- Getting to the taper completely injury and niggle free. This is a first.
- Finding the last pair of Brooks Purecadence 3s in Women’s size 9 on Planet Earth. I plan to put 20-30 miles on these babies before the marathon, so they will be still be fresh
and so, so, so beautiful.
- Some really awesome Spring/early Summer runs! It is soooo much better running in shorts than snowsuits.
- I purchased a Spibelt to hold my phone, fuel etc. It is basically a fanny pack (nerd alert), but it is amazing! Goodbye forever, arm band. I will miss you a whole NOT AT ALL! (Sorry, that was mean. Just kidding arm band. We had a good run, but now you must die.)
- Track practice is back in my life! I am incapable of running fast on my own, so it is so, so nice to have an organized track practice once a week with speedy friends! I always feel amazing after pushing myself around the track.
Other lows included:
…but that’s pretty much it for lows! All in all, this has been a GREAT training cycle. It started off rough and there were a few low points along the way, but I also had some TERRIFIC runs. I started this blog to track my progress as I attempt to qualify for Boston. Do I think I will BQ at VCM this year? No way. A lot happened over the course of the last 15 weeks that was outside of my control. It would be imprudent to shoot for a BQ at this point. While I am certain that I could run 8 minute miles for the majority of the race, it’s not like at mile 16 I could say “well this doesn’t feel good, let’s drop it down to 9 minute miles.” That’s not how marathons work. However, do I think I can capitalize on the positive aspects of this training cycle and PR the *&$# out this race? YES. And I am NOT giving up on qualifying for Boston. Assuming I can stay injury free, I will shoot for the BQ this Fall. Boston, I am coming for you…
Except first, I am coming for you, Vermont City Marathon! You better watch your back.