18 Weeks of Training... Almost Done!!

Yes!! The big day is right around the corner!! Race Day... the day that no matter if it's your first marathon or your 100th, the jitters always seem to show up!

Questions of doubt like "did I train hard enough?" and "Am I ready for this?" penetrate our mind as we wake up and begin getting ready for what we've been training so long and so seemingly hard for. "What's the weather going to be like... I hope it's not going to rain!", "Is that a stomach ache? No, please don't be a stomach ache... I hope I don't have to poop during the race.. " and "When does this race start again? How far am I from the start line... ugh!!"

But moments from the gun, we stand tall, proud of the work we've done.. "This is MY day! I've earned it! I have come to kick ass and take names!! Yup! I've got this!!" And then...

"BANG!!!" We're off! Nothing left to do but RUN!!

Sound familiar?
Or is that just me? :)

My training for my 21st marathon commenced on July 5th, 2016... and it commenced.. ALONE!!
I know... poor me, what a bummer!! But this lone runner of the past who never had a running partner found himself with two just the previous training cycle while training for Emerald Isle (April 9th, 2016 - 3:20:44) our spring marathon and ultimate Boston Qualifying Race!

The three of us all made it to Emerald Isle.. whole and in great shape. We all qualified for Boston. We took home age group awards!

After our race... Heather and I were to run a 50 miler just 4 weeks later in Philly named The Dirty German. Unfortunately, it did not happen. 3 Hours into our second long run, two weeks out from the race,  Heather was feeling severe pain from her hip... this ended up being a stress fracture of the femoral neck. She was out. I called the race, not wanting to run it alone.  This was in late April early May.

Emily, our newest training partner was moving as her husband Mike was taking a new job in another town. She would no longer be able to train with us. A sad day for sure.

As Heather was continuing to heal I had to choose a fall marathon. I decided on the Philly Marathon. I took most of May off, not running a whole lot and giving my body a rest. I ran a little bit more in June but still kept the mileage low. To get a solid 20 week training plan in, I would have to start on July 5th. Heather was still not ready. No running at all at this point in her recovery.

She's Smart.

I was worried.

There's something about running with a partner, someone who runs your pace, shares your passion and strives to be the best they can be. Someone who is not afraid to train hard, inspires you, encourages you and NEVER misses a workout. Someone who you can count on.

That's what I had.

And now on the cusp of a new training cycle.. I've got no one.

And we don't train by just running miles. It's a 6 day a week plan for 20 weeks that is specific in purpose and in build up. It would be third cycle of this nature and one that has proven to improve my running ability more than I ever thought possible.

Base, PreMarathon, Marathon and Peak.

So yes, I was worried.. would I be disciplined enough to get out the door each morning? Wake up at 4AM most mornings to be out the door by 4:45AM? It's different when someone is coming to pick you up or waiting on you. You KNOW you have to get up and be there. Someone is depending on you.

But when no one is waiting...

That is when discipline NEEDS to set in! You have to look at your end game. You have to want it and know WHY you want it!

And when those tough mornings show up and you want to just stay in bed... you have to remember WHY you are doing it and you do it. Don't even think about it.

Get up, Get dressed. Get out. RUN!

..and so I did.

And as Heather started to heal up she began to run a little... and then a little farther... and even farther.
Although we are not in the same place right not conditionally, she is doing great and joining in when she can and however she can.

I'm thankful for a running partner. even if it's part-time!

I ran countless mornings by myself and I still do sometimes. I've learned to embrace it again. It can be a time of solitude and reflection. Alone time in your head to put life in perspective. I must have solved the worlds problems a dozen times on a run but only to forget the solution afterwards.

No Nobel Peace Prize for me!

Anyway, I have two weeks left and it's off to Philly where I will stay with some great friends for a few days and then head to NY to see some relatives for Thanksgiving!

Heather is now completely healed (we hope) and we will begin Boston Training just after I return. It will be good to have her back and be on the same schedule!!

We do miss our Emily, but we will be running a long run with her this Saturday as she is back in town for a couple days! We never miss an opportunity to get re acquainted via a long run and some post run coffee time when she is here!!

Thanks for reading this spur of the moment post and I'll be sure to throw up a Philly race report when it's all said and done!!

Take care,
Shane



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