August 24, 2015

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 9

Last week was about so much more than my long run but here I am, Monday night, still sore from my long run that was two days ago.

I had a great week last week. I nailed all of my runs except for one (an easy 3 miler which I'm OK missing) but my long run did me in in more ways than just exhaustion.

When I headed out for my run this weekend, I was looking forward to it for the first time. I convinced myself not to dread this run...and I felt good! One of my friends agreed to join me for a few miles and met up with me around Mile 3 and ran me through Mile 8...making the first 10 miles fly by. Around 12, I ran out of water and didn't find another water fountain until Mile 14. My quads were still sore from Thursday's run and started hurting by Mile 6 and by Mile 14, every run felt like a step down stairs the day after a marathon. I ran Mile 16 in 15:15...ouch. 

The last time I headed out for 18 miles, I made it 12 miles into my run before my knee gave out, taking me out of the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. This was the first time I've run that distance since March of 2012...when I was training for Madrid.

This training cycle has been different than any cycle I've ever been through. It's so much harder than it has ever been before. I'm getting the miles in, but I haven't been able to just take off and run more than 9 miles without stopping...I guess at least I've made it that far, but I'd like to get a long run in without stopping. I keep blaming the heat, and yes, it has been hot, but my overarching feeling this training cycle just hasn't been great.

I miss the days when running 15 miles felt challenging while still allowing me to get into a rhythm and feel good. I came into this training cycle saying "I get to run" but mostly, it hasn't felt like that. I'm not ready to give up, I'm just waiting desperately to have that good long run.

9 weeks down, 7 to go. 
These next 2 weeks are meant to be the hardest of training.
If I can get through these, I can run 26.2 miles.
Then again...I've already done that a few times. 
I just have to keep that in mind. 

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