Momentum

Training for a marathon is all about momentum. When things are going well, it’s easy to follow the training plan, lace up your Brooks and hit the pavement. Conversely, when things start falling apart, it’s easy to trade in your Brooks for a bowl of popcorn and a Property Brothers marathon. And you rationalize it by telling yourself it doesn’t matter, that you don’t really care that much. Which of course is a big fat lie.

Things started unraveling around week 8, when I was having shin and ankle problems and took five days off from running to let my achy body heal. I lost my momentum, and I tried to regain it in the following weeks, but in week 11 I took another five days off from running because I was sick.

From weeks 8-11, my running was so off. I still stuck with my training plan and got most of my key runs in, but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t feel like running, and I resented my training plan and my weird desire to run marathons. All I could think about was how I couldn’t wait until Eugene was over. Running was miserable and I hated it.

When I started week 12 of training after getting sick, my goals were to get my runs in, to have fun, and to not take this thing so seriously. I have a tendency to take marathon training way too seriously, which inevitably leads to burnout. My first few runs were a little rocky, but I stuck with it and ended up having a pretty good week.

Week 13 built off this momentum and culminated in the Dizzy Daze, a silly race that lets you run as many laps around Greenlake as you can/want in 12 hours.

Dizzy Daze

My goal was to run seven laps, and I ran seven laps (22.35 miles). It was my longest training run ever, and it was one of my favorite runs this training cycle/ever. I was worried that I would get bored running laps around Greenlake, but I found it to be enjoyable and not mentally taxing. I especially enjoyed the aid station that was stocked with delicious food, including warm-off-the-griddle chocolate chip pancakes, rice krispy treats, soda, potato chips, and much more. I think I ate a little too much food and ended up getting a stomach ache around mile 18.

Being surrounded with other runners who are way crazier than I am (two people ran 23 laps – 73 miles! and many others ran 10+ laps) was exactly what I needed. The race directors did an excellent job organizing this run, and it’s one I plan to run every year that I’m training for a spring marathon.

I followed up the Dizzy Daze by trying out cupcake flavors for our wedding. My friend Alison is an amazing baker and recently started her own cupcake business, Bites. It was tough to decide because they were all so good, but we decided on peanut butter and chocolate. Yum!

So many cupcakes. So little time.

So many cupcakes. So little time.

Now in week 14 and less than two weeks away from taper, I finally have my momentum back. Not only are my runs going great, but I actually am excited to be training and can’t wait for Eugene. I’m counting down the days not because I want it to be over, but because I am so excited to run this race.

Details for weeks 12 and 13:

Week 12:
Monday: 1 hour yoga
Tuesday: 5.5 miles (49:50). 2 laps around Greenlake and my first run back after five days off. My legs were confused, and I was pretty sore after this run.
Wednesday: 9 miles (1:35:32)
Thursday: Easy 4 (43:47)
Friday : 1 hour yoga
Saturday: 10 miles (2 hours). Dad and I tried out new-to-us running trails in the Redmond Watershed Preserve. It was a train wreck. We got lost; it was cold and rained; and our legs were tired. We were supposed to run 20 miles, but we waved the white flag after 10 because we both weren’t feeling it. But on the bright side, I now know my way around these trails!
Sunday: 15 miles (2:22:41)

Totals:
43.35 miles + 3.5 hours yoga

Week 13:
Monday: 1 hour yoga
Tuesday: 7 miles treadmill – Fartlek/grab bag run
Wednesday: 2.8 miles –  very slow around Discovery Park (31:37)
Thursday: 10 miles on treadmill  – 2 mile warm up + 4 miles at MP, 1.5 at 8:20 pace, rest, little over 1 at 8:08 pace, .9 mile cool down at marathon pace or faster. Stomach felt terrible and ankle hurt at slower speeds. Legs felt good though!
Friday : 1 hour yoga
Saturday: 22.35 miles (3:40:55)
Sunday: 5.6 miles around Discovery Park (1:02:26) + 1 hour restorative yoga

Totals:
47.75 miles + 3 hours yoga

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One thought on “Momentum

  1. When you have momentum, life is sweet and graceful. That is why the practice of “gliding” can be so educational. During the course of a long run, during the day to day ups and downs of a training cycle, during the victories and defeats of daily life–what a gift it can be to feel as if you are moving forward EFFORTLESSLY, pulled and pushed by a Power greater than yourself. It has been my experience that momentum always and inevitably ends. That is the moment when courage and faith and good old fashioned perseverance are required. It takes concentrated EFFORT to build momentum once again. Over and over and over again, one breath at a time, one stride at a time, one word at a time, one day at a time … this is our Practice; just like any other muscle, our faith and courage and perseverance grow stronger, and we find that we spend more time “gliding” through this adventure of our lives.
    Instead of complaining about the many little “crucifixions,” we can embrace the truth of our “resurections,” and we can “allow for the possibility of limitless expansion.”
    I’m hitting the hilly trails this afternoon. I sure hope I can find a few moments of gliding bliss.
    Happy Easter!

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