Welcome to week infinity of marathon training.
There are only 25 days until the NYC Marathon, which make sense seeing as I’ve been training for this race since the dawn of man (or 14 weeks, tomato tomato). This week was a “drop down” week which is an insulting way to say I only ran 14 miles this weekend. I don’t think I’ll ever be so tough that I’ll put a decreasing modifier before “14 miles.” 14 miles is far. And it was hot and humid and hard.
I can’t change the weather, but I can distract myself with music. In consequence, a big interest of mind these days is having a strong soundtrack on training runs (and eventually during the big show on November 5). To that end I made a 7-hour-plus playlist on Spotify. I want to be able to hit skip when I’m not feeling a tune and still have a new songs to listen to.
The playlist includes current rap, hip hop, 90s pop and maybe even a song from Rent, you’ll need to listen to all of it to know for sure. Ok yeah, definitely La Vie Boheme is there. Feel free to use it. I’d also love any additions you have to make it even better! Please leave song suggestions in the comments.
On to week 14’s workouts.
Good morning. I conquered a 16-mile run last weekend. (The new longest run of my life.) Regular readers know, this is my first time training for a marathon. I knew the mental part of training would be hard, but I don’t think it’s possible to truly grapple with it until you’re in it. The physical challenge is easy enough to predict. Of course running for hours is grueling. Running for 20 minutes teaches you that. But the mind stuff? That gets exponentially tougher with increased time/distance. (You know, for me at least.)
It was so easy to write down the distances to create a training plan. Super easy – fun even – to add them to my Google calendar and to map out routes on Strava. But the night before I was slated to run 16 miles, I was in a state of disbelief. My 15-mile run was TOUGH even though it was entirely flat. The idea that I was going to run 16-miles in the Berkshires with no bathrooms and tons of hills seemed, quite frankly, preposterous.
running from MA to NY (and back)
On Saturday, the morning of the run, I woke up with no desire to get out the door. But I did, of course, get out the door. I committed to running the first miles at a very slow pace and that was very necessary since the first 3+ miles were straight up hill. I stopped a ton those first 3 miles.
Do you use a mantra when you run? I don’t. On an ideal run, my mind is blank. For those Harry Potter fans out there (and no spoilers please, I’m on Book 6), I think I may have a knack for Occlumency, that’s how empty my head is when I run (at least when I’m lucky).
But I know other people who use motivational phrases to keep themselves positive during a grueling workout. An NBC affiliate in Chicago has 26 suggested mantras (one per mile, as it were) in advance of the nearing Chicago Marathon. Has anyone tried something like this? Does it work? How do you possibly remember 26 lines while you’re running?
Here’s last week workouts:
Marathon training makes you do crazy things.
I’m headed to a wedding in Bermuda this weekend. I heard it’s pretty impossible to do a long run outside in Bermuda because the roads have no shoulder. In order to stay on track with my training plan I decided to run 10 miles before work on Thursday. Maybe you’re an early riser and this isn’t a wackadoo concept to you. But for me, waking up at 5:30am to do anything other than catch a flight is either a miracle or a mistake. This is my story.
Thoughts by mile, start time: 5:55am.
This is the route of the run so you can follow along. Yes I did run through water. There is a lot you don’t know about me.
We are now entering “longest run of my life” territory. The longest race I’ve run to date is a half marathon (13.1 miles). Up until last weekend that was the longest distance I’d covered, too. We’re over the halfway mark of marathon training. The marathon is less than 8 weeks away. From here on in, all long runs, save for cut back weeks, will be at least 13 miles.