I’ve been doing a lot of writing here - for myself mostly because it’s pretty mundane. But maybe someone has a lot of free time on their hands and enjoys sifting through my mess. And my return-to-running training log is here for the spreadsheet lovers.
Week 1 - 2
Week 2 - 5.6
Week 3 - 12.4
Week 4 - 18.4
Week 5 - 23.7
Week 6 - 19.5 (10 miles on Monday of Week 7)
Week 7 - 39.5 (10 miles from Week 6)
Week 8 - 28.2
Week 9 - 26.3 (taper-ish for Augusta 13.1 race)
Week 10 - 66.1 (Hinson Lake 24 Hour - lots of walking)
Week 11 - 21.0 (reverse taper)
Week 12 - 42.6
Week 13 - 38.7
Week 14 - 27.0** projected
Week 15 - 39.2** projected race week
It’s been years since I’ve felt truly invested in a marathon cycle. The first Boston Marathon I ran in 2015 was likely the last time I truly had a focus on marathon-specific training. After getting into ultras, the specific workouts of road racing were speckled throughout my running, but I relied mostly on mileage and experience to get me feeling confident at the start line of a 26.2 mile race.
I am excited!
When reflecting (& reading) about how I felt in late March and mid-July, I wish so badly to go back and tell myself it will be okay. Even the time between boots were filled with trepidation. Things weren’t clicking.
And if I really reflect back about consistently feeling good about my training, it was late spring of 2017. 18 months is a long time to feel eh about running. Sure, I had some fantastic races and great experiences in those 18 months, but I also remember it just not feeling as good as it does now. I’ll pin the blame on overracing and overtraining, but that doesn’t mean I’d change any course of events.
I’d hop in my Delorean and do the exact same thing. Stupid? Maybe. But I am not apologetic about my experiences that led me to today.
Back when I was still in the boot, I made a couple of versions of my training plan to get to the start line of the NYC marathon. I gave myself plenty of fluidity in mileage, time frames, and workouts. They were all modified versions of the lowest mileage Pfitzinger plan - the same one I used for Boston 2015.
The podiatrist said it would take about 5-6 weeks for things to feel good again. And up to a year of random injury site pain - some real, some phantom. It was hard to navigate the first few weeks because I became anxious with everything that didn’t feel great. And honestly, a lot of things didn’t feel great.
Slowly, things started to return to normal. I noticed the first day I stood at the sink and brushing my teeth felt normal. I noticed the first day that I walked across the gym and my stride felt normal. I noticed the first day that I lifted weights and I could bear weight on both legs. I cross-trained between running and walking. I ran paces that were 3-4 minutes slower than my typical training paces. I exercised as much patience as I could stand.
And things started to change. I felt stronger and happier. My stride returned to normal. Things were clicking again.
Every milestone in the recovery process has seemed almost like the first time I’ve done it. Workouts that I’ve done hundreds of times suddenly gave me butterflies. And I loved having that feeling again!
20 milers were a dime a dozen in 2016 & 2017. But suddenly I had to remember how to do them again! Do I bring gels? Do I bring water? Is it better to do 2 out-and-backs or 1 longer followed by 1 shorter?
It was like falling in love with running all over again.
And here I am, less than 2 weeks from standing in Staten Island with 50,000 other runners, feeling ready to tackle 26.2 miles.