Less than six weeks to go in my Part VI review of my Chicago Marathon Training! I am reaching the APEX of my training, hitting 19 on Saturday, scaling back this weekend, and I’ll be back at it for the big 2-0. *GULP*
I actually felt great this past weekend. For whatever reason, 17 miles felt waaay harder than 19. I guess that means I’m in good shape!
I’ve honestly been doing my best with the training plan, following as much as I can, but I’m also being realistic about the heat, emotional and physical burnout, and spending time doing things that make me happy in the summer. I don’t think I will ever follow a training plan perfectly, and that’s okay. So long as I don’t go too long in between runs, and make the most of each workout, I will stay on track.
Things I’ve learned this time around in training for my second marathon:
- Calendar: you are constantly looking at your training plan against your weekly obligations and social calendar. Things can get bumped, rescheduled, moved around, but you are ALWAYS thinking about your next run.
- Weather: you will check the weather at least three times a day. And sometimes it will force you to rethink your plan, but more often than not you’re running in it anyway.
- Apparel: I’ve learned to just wear the least amount of clothing possible. For me that is a tank top, and spandex shorts and/or capris with pockets. And I use deodorant EVERYWHERE to avoid chafing, though inevitably I get into the shower and shriek every time in pain. Doesn’t marathon training in the summertime sound fun?
- Patience & mental stamina: marathon training requires you to run for long periods of time. Longer than most car rides and domestic flights when you think about it. Breaking your run up into sections helps mentally. Get yourself out the door. The miles will ebb and flow. Just ride the wave and soon enough you’re halfway…more than halfway…five miles to go…etc.
- Reward yourself: On the run I like to switch up my music, hit up pharmacies along the way for Gatorade, splash water on myself at the nearest fountain, bring new treats with me. When I get home I shower immediately, stretch it out, and catch up on all my shows from the week with a delicious homemade lunch (avocado toast, or grilled cheese, or leftovers!)
- Remember why you started: When times get tough or I feel sick of training, I try to remind myself why I signed up for this damn thing in the first place. Personal health, well-being, and achievement. Everything worth doing takes work. And you have to look at it one step, one mile, one run at a time.
With less than six weeks to go, the end is in sight. I am going away this weekend but when I return it will be September and I will be ready to churn out one more month of hard work before go time.
Thanks for reading and until next time, Will Run for Disney!