Lots of milestones in these past couple weeks:
- Passed the first month of training mark
- First full week of training in NYC done (in below freezing temps)
- Easy runs at 5-6 miles are actually starting to feel easy
- Longest run yet at 12 miles (in single digit degree weather!)
- Just a few $$ away from raising $3k so will be able to register soon
Today marks the three month countdown to Marathon Day, and I’m finally starting to feel that steady progress. Last week was pretty brutal — getting back to New York a couple days after a snowstorm and immediately navigating 10 miles with ice and snow everywhere was… a choice.
But as much as I was dreading that long run and as freezing as I was in the chilling wind and rain, I did it. And then two days later, I woke up to — wait for it — 0 degrees. And I bundled tf up and went to the track and did my speed run. And then I spent the rest of the week psyching myself up to hit my longest run. And I did it. Every day, with each mile, I feel prouder and stronger.
Last Saturday I did the longest run yet at 12 miles. I actually felt like I could have gone for the half except for the fact that I fully started to feel like my toes might fall off from frostbite around the 7-mile mark. I’m still figuring out the best clothes to wear on these freezing runs, and I should have worn pants over my leggings — my legs were so red when I got back that it looked like I had an awful sunburn. But hey, I’m learning!
Since last week was my transition to doing long runs on Saturdays, I knew I had to take it easy during the week since I was doing two long runs in a week. I went for 5 miles for my easy runs and for the first time, I felt that strength. Not only was my average pace improving but I fully felt at the end of those five miles that I could have easily kept going and done a long run.
It’s not that I wasn’t tired but after five weeks of doing long runs, they just seem more doable? A few weeks ago, when I was facing my first long run, 8 miles felt impossible. Running it felt so hard. Then the first 10 miles felt even harder. But by the second 10 mile run, I started to get that glimpse of strength. And as awful as the weather was during the third 10 mile run, that glimpse expanded. And this past Saturday, as nervous as I was to push myself even further and hit that 12 mile mark (and as ridiculously cold as it was), it actually felt great.
So even though right now — thinking of the next month of training, watching those miles climb on the training plan, looking ahead to the 15, 16, 17 mile runs — it feels so overwhelming and daunting and scary and impossible, I know every day I am putting in the work and every day my body is adapting and getting stronger.
So now I enter week 6 feeling very positive — getting closer to 50% of my fundraising goal, hitting a solid rhythm in my runs, focusing on passing the half marathon mark during these next long runs, adding cross-training back in my schedule. I’m nervous still. But also very, very excited.