I doubt anyone has been following my marathon training all that closely, but if you did you would have noticed that I didn’t really post about it the last two weeks. The reason for that was that my ankle was hurting after the 23 mile run. I decided to rest it as much as possible. I did a couple of short runs but nothing really worth blogging about it. But now, for the week with the last long run, I got back into it.
This week had two short runs and one very long run. A lot of people I know training don’t do the full 26. Some only go up to 23, and others only 20. I think those last 3 or 5 miles make a big difference though so I wanted to do more. My goal was to get to 24 or 25 – so further than I’d gone before, but not quite the full marathon (I’ll save that for January!).
My first short run I did on Monday. I was all set to go to the gym because it’s been so cold and gross in Pennsylvania. But when I stepped outside on Monday morning it actually wasn’t that bad – so I ran outside instead! That was nice, even though I kept my pace slow due to my ankle and it being the first time I’d run in over a week.
My second short run was on Wednesday at the treadmill. I was feeling better than Monday so at least it was like I was making progress!
My last long run was going to be Saturday. And then the weather forecast came. Not just cold, but sleet, ice, and snow. I can run in a little bit of rain. Maybe I could even run in some snow. But ice is definitely a no-go. I knew I couldn’t risk injury this close to the marathon. I thought about taking off on Friday and running but it was going to be really cold and I do not handle the cold well. So that’s when I did something crazy – on Wednesday I bought a plane ticket to Orlando for the weekend! I arrived on Friday afternoon and I’m here til later tonight. I had amazing friends who were willing to let me stay with them, and they even pointed me in the direction of a really nice running trail to do my long run on Saturday morning.
It started off wonderfully. I started around 7am and it was still cool and a lot of the trail was shaded. It was very pretty to look at and lots of other people were walking, running, and biking. I did the first 14 miles with pretty much no problem. Later on in the run it got much hotter though. Not that I’m complaining about the heat – I’d rather have it than the cold – but it definitely makes running more challenging. Around mile 15 I noticed a lot of chafing on my thighs, which I’ve never had before. Like to the point of blood, which was a little disconcerting, but I pushed on.
By mile 19 I was miserable. My back was really, really hurting, which I’ve never had before. Maybe it was because of my hydration pack on my back? But I’ve worn it on a number of long runs before (including my 23 miler) and never had an issue before. I ended up taking it off and carrying it which helped. I also sat for just like 3 minutes and honestly, that did wonders for me. I was able to regain a little energy and push on to the entire 25 miles.
If I had been near my car or my house I probably would have stopped earlier. But I had plotted out 25 miles and the only way to get back to my car was by doing 25, so I had no choice. I guess that’s good since I won’t really have a choice for the marathon either. But it was miserable at the end! I walked most of the last 5 miles. But I got through it somehow, and still with a decent pace.
We’ll see what happens in 3 weeks at the marathon! Honestly, I’ll be glad when it’s over!