But I’m not living on a prayer…yet, any way.
Marathon training is actually past the halfway mark. How crazy is that? I feel like I just started training. I guess that’s what happens when I’ve been so busy trying to tie up loose ends before my daughter begins pre-kindergarten.
I’m actually at the tail end of Week 17 of the 30 week plan. Things are going pretty well, to say the least. So far I have stuck 100% to my plan. This is huge considering the longest I’ve ever prepared for a marathon was 3 months. Even in that case I only loosely followed a plan and hoped for the best. Ironically, I only ran 11 miles as my longest run and managed to run my best time to date. That was a serious case of beginner’s luck.
As I had mentioned in my marathon training plan post, I did re-evaluate where I was at and look at whether the sub-3:30 plan was feasible. After looking at the plan at this point I decided to just stick with good ol’ Hal. I think I’m capable of following that 3:30 plan. However, given the high heat and humidity I know I won’t be able to stick to some of those sub-8 minute paces for long runs. I found out quite quickly that humidity really beats me down. I don’t remember last summer being this humid. If it was, I must have been more insane than I thought running in it while pregnant (even in the wee hours of the morning).
Since the heat has made itself known, I’ve been running anywhere from a 7:45 to a 9:30 pace. I’ve been able to stick around 8:00 for my faster, fresh legs runs, get up to 7:15 on speed work days, and stay between 9:00-9:30 pace for my longer runs or days where my legs feel beat. I ran an 11-mile training run last weekend and and a 12-mile one today and actually felt excellent throughout. Not once did I ache during or after the run. That’s a huge improvement given that in the past, once I went past 10 miles, I would always start to feel it in my feet. The best part? No signs of my shins or any other bones in my legs aching. Last postpartum period I ended up developing a stress fracture in my right tibia that knocked me out for 8 weeks. The sudden fluctuation of hormones, lack of monthly cycle, and nutritional drainage that breastfeeding is caused a deficiency that was conducive to developing a bone injury. I was extremely fearful that it would happen this time around. Thankfully, it hasn’t yet (knock on wood). I hope I continue to experience good health.
In the motherhood department (in relation to running) things have been going well. I went through a period where my son would scream bloody murder every time I left his sight. He developed a sever attachment to me that was both physically and emotionally draining. My husband was a trooper in dealing with him in that state but it often meant either rushing through my run or pushing it off until late in the evening. I also wasn’t getting more than 4 hours of sleep, even at 9 months old. It was exhausting and pushing myself out the door every day was hard. This month it seems that he has suddenly flipped a switch. Suddenly, he’s sleeping through the night or waking up just once at midnight. I get anywhere for 6 to 8 hours of sleep which feels amazing! I did have to move my workouts to the mornings again, both because the heat is tolerable at that hour and because he’s been sleeping until 7:30 each morning. I’m not bummed about it, though, because it gets my workout out of the way early, long before I reach exhaustion at night. It also allows me to accommodate my son’s night routine since his reaction at night varies quite a bit still. He has also started to self wean in some regards. He won’t nurse unless it’s near nap time, bedtime, or during the night. During the day he prefers his sippy cups. It’s been kind of weird but convenient nonetheless. It does mean I have to pump now, but I can pump on my schedule so I don’t have to worry about morning feedings before I run or whether I’ll be uncomfortable during a long run. It’s a good feeling to know I won’t have that pressure as I approach 15+ mile training runs and the marathon.
Things will get somewhat interesting if one of my job applications comes through. I currently am in the pool of candidates for the local county police department, the sheriff’s department in a county 50 minutes south of here, and I put in an application for a position at American Sugar Refining, Inc. Yes, that’s the company my husband works at. I’ll be in a completely different department but working at the same place. Whichever path I choose will impact my training/race schedules in some way, shape, or form. Hopefully it won’t mean missing the Avengers race in November but it definitely means no long trips to CA any time soon.
I’m happy things are going well and I hope it continues this way for the next few weeks.