Hi February, Bye February!
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?