And just like that, I’m past the halfway point in training. It’s scary to think I only have 8 more weeks left before the marathon. I just have to constantly remind myself of all the progress I made in the first 8 weeks and think how much more I can do in these next 8. Because that is actually a long time and I’ve already come so far. Every week gets a bit more daunting, sure. That’s normal as we’re heading into the longest runs of training. But I just have to continue trusting the process and having faith in myself.
Week 10 was a weird one. Since the last long run (the second half marathon), my knee had been a bit wobbly. Not in pain or anything but just that weakened feeling that would come and go. I rested on Sunday and noticed it a bit when I went on a walk but figured I’d be okay by Monday for my easy run. And I was and I wasn’t. My run felt great but that evening it started to feel wobbly and weak again. I knew I had to be really careful, especially since my next long run was slated for 15 miles.
By Wednesday, it felt better but still not at 100%. So I made the hard decision to take a break and not run that day. It sucked because physically I felt great. I wasn’t tired or sore or anything. And my knee felt much better than it had a few days ago. But I just knew it wasn’t totally okay yet. And I knew long-term it would be better to give it that extra rest day than push through and risk it feeling worse as the days went on.
I debated doing a speed run instead or even going on Thursday but looking ahead at the weather, I knew I was going to have to do my long run on Friday instead of Saturday. Friday was forecast as a beautiful sunny day in the high 40s with some breeze. Perfect running weather. And Saturday was going to be much colder, grayer, and windier with gusts up to 20mph. No contest.
So I did my second cross training day Thursday instead so I could be fully ready for 15 miles on Friday. But man I was really dreading that run. I’m really proud of my improvements over the two half marathons I did but I was really at my limit at 13 miles. That extra 2 miles I was going to add this week felt insurmountable.
But I did it. I told myself to not worry about timing and just take it slow and steady. As long as I finished, that was an accomplishment. I just enjoyed the beautiful weather and explored some new routes and finished in 3 hours exactly! Not bad at all and definitely on track for where I want to be. Eventually my goal would be to finish 16-17 miles in under 3 hours so this wasn’t too bad for the first time and purposely taking it slow.
Plus I did the Williamsburg Bridge for the first time to add some hills and man was that brutal! Great for training but definitely slowed me down a bit going uphill!
I know I can easily do 16-17 in under 3 hours because my second half marathon I finished in 2:25:00. If I’m able to shave off another 5-10 minutes off that time, I’ll definitely be on track.
So it’s a new week. I’m feeling strong and ready for my easy runs. I’m feeling terrified for my long run (17 miles!!) but I know I can do it.
In the meantime, I only need a couple hundred dollars more to get to $5k in my fundraising by the end of the month! If I can achieve that, I’ll feel like I’m on track for fundraising too. If you’re reading this, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Every little bit counts!
Until next time, happy running!