Woah. It’s been a while, hasn’t it. I haven’t posted since February 1. I guess it’s lucky it’s leap year, so it means I haven’t gone a full month without posting? Sorry about that…
A lot has happened during my nearly month-long hiatus. When we last talked, I had just run 20 miles, and I was feeling a little achey/sore/tight/nervous, but life was under control. Four weeks later, I’m still feeling a little achey/sore/tight/nervous. I had some pains in my knees and hips that I’m pretty sure were just symptoms of overuse. Either way, the past month has been a running rollercoaster, as evidenced by my map my run workout log:
I wound up taking a week off in the middle of the month because of my knee pain, which was hard but I think necessary. I remember how I boldly announced at the beginning of this whole extravaganza that I was going to do speed workouts every week and run three 20-milers, and I’m amazed at how overly optimistic I was. The lesson I learned during my final full month of training (Aaah the race is in 18 days! Aah!) is that training for a marathon is HARD. It does not go as planned. It takes its toll. Just like when you start a race too fast, ramping up mileage to fast and setting too high expectations early on only means you’re going to wind up with regrets later on. Looking back at my mileage logs, I think I ran too many 16 and 18 milers too soon, and wound up burning out early.
Going into my taper, I’m not sure how prepared I feel for this race. My body definitely doesn’t feel like it’s in such good shape. Even though the knee and hip pain have cleared up a bit, they still tend to show up on longer runs. I’m nervous about only ever having done one 20 miler (though I’m going to do a 15 miler this week, which is untraditional for a taper but will make me feel better prepared, I think, since my last really long run hasn’t been since Feb. 11). But at the same time, I know I can do it. Mentally and physically, I’m confident that my body is capable of a marathon. Between the adrenaline rush and the crowds and the knowledge that March 17 will be culmination of four months of hard work, I know I’m going to have a blast on race day. There will be parts that are hard (going to sleep the night before, miles 18 through 26.2, to name a few) but it will also be amazing and exciting. The ability to run a marathon feels like an incredible privilege and an intense adventure, and I can’t believe that it’s all happening to me.
In case you were worried that the only thing I’ve spent the past month doing is worrying about the race, here are just a few of the other things that have occupied my February:
1. The newspaper and impending elections. I’m planning on running for a senior position and my thoughts about the election alternate between confidence, anxiety, and overwhelming dispair. Kinda like marathon training?
2. Midterms. They suck. End of story.
3. Eating salad from Sweet Green: this local chain makes a salad called “Chic P” which has falafel, spinach, chickpeas, peppers, cucumbers and a tahini dressing and if I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life it would be this:
(This is an extremely attractive picture of me eating Sweet Green post-run. Ha, FALSE.)
Other than sleeping and watching episodes of Downton Abbey (I’m a nerd and this show is way too addictive. I discovered it two weeks ago and I’ve already caught up with the current season) that’s pretty much been my month.
QUESTION: How has YOUR February been?
Whewh! The past couple days have been so crazy, it’s easy to forget that it’s only Tuesday and that I ran 20 miles just a few days ago. That is, until I try to sprint up the stairs to my Economics class, and my legs start to yell at me.
After spending most of the day Sunday snuggled in my bed alternating between napping and reading for classes, I definitely felt pretty stiff Monday morning. I probably should have moved around a bit more Sunday afternoon to keep my muscles from getting tight, but at the time I felt too tired to do anything other than lie down. And consume massive amounts of bananas and peanut butter (I think I might have eaten five bananas over the course of the day. Is that too much?)
I went for a short 2.5 mile recovery run Monday morning (at what might be the slowest pace I have ever run) before jetting off to class. Mondays are always super hard because I have class without a break straight from 12 to 5, and then directly at 5 I go to the newspaper office for production, which ends at 3 a.m. Not exactly the kind of “down day” you’d like to have after a brutal 20 miles.
Today I ran an easy 4.5 miles around the Potomac with my friend K- (she of the goose chasing fame). We’ve decided to make our Tuesday afternoon runs a weekly date (which meets one of my new years resolutions, running with friends, so SCORE!) which is awesome because my runs with K- always feel really therapeutic and fun. Plus K- always convinces me to do abs work afterwards, something I’m not usually motivated to do on my own, helping me to meet another one of my new years resolutions! Today we did a 20 minute workout on the grass in front of the Lincoln Memorial halfway through our run, since the weather was so nice and there was a nice breeze off the Potomac. Crunches with Abe Lincoln and a river view? I wish all ab workouts could be like that!
I’m trying to get to bed early tonight in order to fit in an 8 a.m. run before I meet with a professor tomorrow morning to talk about a paper I’m writing. (It’s for a super interesting English class on empathy and activism, and whether literature that evokes empathy is beneficial or manipulative when you’re trying to rally people to a cause. Right now we’re talking about all this in the context of the abolitionist movement and the 1800s, and then we’re going to work our way forward to the anti-human trafficking movement today. It’s awesome!) Which is all a super long winded way of saying that I don’t have time to write up a Best of the Web post tonight. 😦 But count on it for tomorrow!
How do you recover from long runs? Do you like bananas and peanut butter? (I think I eat at least one a day)