The Carmel Marathon is this weekend, on Saturday. I’m feeling unprepared and untrained for this race, despite getting in some decent long runs over the last few months. But my training has been pretty spotty and sparse the last 6 weeks or so. Part of it is because Leo’s morning schedule changed and he started waking up during or before my normal running time. Part of it is because I got lazy and started using lame excuses like “I’m tired” or “it’s cold” to skip runs or postpone them (which often ended in them being skipped). And part of it is that I work full-time and take care of Leo and so there isn’t as much time for long runs and there isn’t as much mental or physical energy for it. Still, I want to run marathons, so none of those excuses really hold weight. If I want to run them, I have to put in the work!
That being said, I was really discouraged after my 12 mile run last Friday. I felt terrible during the run – tired legs, cramping stomach – and ended up walking part of it. I seriously considered dropping down to the half marathon rather than going for the full. I questioned my ability – physically or mentally – to do the whole marathon.
But then Monday I decided to go for it and I reworked my running schedule this week to (hopefully) help me out. I’m treating this week as a normal training week rather than a taper week. Frankly, I’ve done enough “tapering” the past couple weeks with low mileage and missed runs. So I’m hoping that if I approach this week as a normal training week, my legs will be ready for a long run – typical for training – this weekend. I may not run the whole marathon, but I’m hoping I’ll be better able to tackle most of the miles.
Monday night I ran 8.5 miles and felt really good, really strong. That was super encouraging. I felt liked I could have kept going, but it was getting dark and I wanted to get to bed. Tuesday I didn’t run because I was out of the house from 6am to 7pm at the office. Last night I put in another 5 miles and this morning 4 miles. All of my runs were around 10 minute mile pace. Tomorrow will be a rest and compression socks day, then Saturday the marathon!
So here’s my marathon plan:
- Run slow. I want to run at a pace where I can breathe very easily. I know this will help me go farther.
- Have fun. Avoid getting in mental games with myself where I start psyching myself out about not being able to do it or permitting myself to walk early because I’ve already said I might.
- Work hard. Push through and push hard.
Have you ever run a race you didn’t feel prepared for? How did you work it out?