It's been six weeks to the day since I posted about the start of training for the Richmond Marathon and, I haven't posted since.
While I should have spent the month of September building up the mileage in preparation for a strong peak in October, I barely ran at all. Labor Day weekend, I ran a strong 15 miles and then went to Australia, where I ran twice and then came back with a terrible cold that kept me off my feet for almost two more weeks.
Last weekend, I got up and set out for a 10 mile run to gauge how I was feeling. 12 miles later, with an enormous smile on my face, I came home and realized that I might actually still have a chance at running the marathon.
I was so sore last week it was ridiculous, sorer than I've been after some of the marathons I've run, but I still ran. I didn't do anything else, because, quite frankly, I was too sore and I didn't get high mileage in, but I made it a point to get out there and run.
Sunday: 12 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Friday: 4 miles
Sunday: 16 miles
This Sunday's run was hard. My legs felt great but I was battling strong winds and it the last few miles felt impossible. Doubt started creeping in until I finished. I spent some time doing some research and finally found a plan that I think I can work with. Sarah from Once Upon a Lime posted abut a 5-week marathon training plan that I think perfectly works with where I am in my own training.
My long runs for the next 4 weeks before Race Day will be 18, 20, 20-22, and 12 miles. Each week, I'll do one mid-week long run that's roughly equal to have the distance of the long run plus speed work, an easy run, yoga, and cross-training.
I know what's at stake in this race. I ran Chicago one year ago today and it was the worst marathon I've ever run. I wanted to quit at Mile 14 and I have no idea what pushed me across that finish line. I don't want Richmond to feel like Chicago. I know I'm not going to run a PR, but I want to run a better race than I did in Chicago...physically and mentally. I know that for the next 5 weeks, I have to be more committed than ever. I need to keep a balanced plan - running, cross training, core work, stretching, etc. I need to stay focused and keep myself healthy and if I put all of this together, I will cross the finish line of my 7th marathon on November 12th.
Wish me luck!