My husband and I have started the daunting task of training for a full marathon. We will be completing the Dallas Marathon on December 14th of this year! In the past 6 months, I’ve completed 3 half marathons and a 10K, and I LOVE running, but have honestly never thought I could do a full marathon. Even after doing 13.1 miles I’m always so exhausted and can’t imagine DOUBLING that distance!! So this is definitely an adventure. I wanted to document it on this page as we go through the journey in case you have ever wondered what it would be like to train for one. I am definitely always up for some input and direction, since this is our first time to train for the full 26.2.
Some notes: I also was training for a half marathon in 2011 and overtrained, which led to a stress fracture in my hip. The fracture healed and I’ve been able to run since, but I don’t want to overdo it since I know my hip can be sensitive. This is the first time in 3 years that I will be running more than once a week!
Here’s our training plan:
|Sep 29||Rest||3||6||3||Rest||Rest||Half Marathon|
I’m starting to seriously document this week of September 29th- halfway through the training plan. Here are some pics from my previous runs:
Week of September 29th- October 5th:
I am feeling a little leg pain so I thought I’d take it easy this week, especially since I’m doing the Tyler Rose half marathon this Sunday! I would like to do the race well even though it’s part of the training.
- 3 miles on Tuesday went really well at a 8:23 pace.
- On Wednesday I didn’t want to do the 6 miles since I am running the half marathon on Sunday and my leg was bothering me just a tad, so I had intentions of running 4 miles, but continued on to 5.6 at a 8:32 pace. 🙂
- Thursday I ran my 3 miles on a treadmill so I could work on speed. When I do this, I do 1 minutes of a normal pace of 8:50/mile, then 1 minute of 8:00 pace, increasing that speed every few minutes or so.
Tyler Rose Half Marathon- October 5th
Overall placing- 62nd out of 807
Female placing- 13th out of 473
Age Group placing- 6th out of 66
RECAP: I drove to Tyler on Saturday evening and stayed at a friend’s apartment. I was sad to not get to spend as much time with my friend, but I knew I had to get to bed early. I went to bed around 10 and woke up at 6:20. I immediately put on my clothes/equipment that I had laid out the night before, and ate one banana with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of almond butter. Then I left!
I arrived at the packet pickup just before 7, and I pick up my bib number and t-shirt. The weather is very cool, clear and fresh. I walk around the rest area a little bit and grab a cup of complimentary coffee. This was a risk since I usually don’t drink coffee before I run, but I made myself stop drinking it about 40 minutes before the start of the race (by 7:20).
I walk around, put stuff in my car, and then go to the bathroom twice just in case. I text some friends and just try to keep myself occupied. About 15 minutes before start I go out onto the balcony area overlooking the beautiful Tyler Rose Garden and do a lot of stretches for my hip flexor and quads. I have had a little pain in my right quad so I was just trying to loosen that up a bit. Then I go to the starting line to line up!
There’s nothing like that 5 minutes before the race starts. You are just so anxious to get started, but nervous, but happy, but scared all at the same time! I was so anxious and excited and nervous! I would say there were 600-700 other runners waiting to go with me. The marathoners had already left at 7:30.
At 8:00 we’re off!! Almost immediately we start going downhill, then uphill, then downhill, then uphill again. I realize this run is going to be a lot hillier than expected! I passed some people but had started close to the starting line, so I didn’t pass too many. I had my MapMyRun app going, and when I passed the 1 mile marker, the GPS said that my pace was 7:36 per mile. 7:36!!! I had never run a mile that quickly before. I thought it was a mistake or that I wouldn’t keep it up. But then we pass 2 miles and again, my split pace is 7:35. I was shocked. Then 7:53 at mile 3. 7:52 at mile 4. I couldn’t believe it!
There were plenty of hills. The course took us through the Azalea district of Tyler, which was a neighborhood with absolutely gorgeous houses. The weather was so perfect I almost couldn’t stand it.
I grabbed water starting at mile 3 and then every 2 miles after that. After mile 7 I started to grab the Gatorade instead of water, and I also walked for a tiny bit at the station so that I could get good gulps without choking myself. The Gatorade actually really helped me feel energized and helped push me through the last miles that were challenging.
The last 1 1/2 miles were completely uphill, and it was the steepest hill I’ve ever run!! the last quarter mile I grunted and cried a little bit because it was so completely exhausting. But I was able to sprint to the finish the last tenth of a mile and pass through at 1:48:26!!!
I immediately grab a bottle of water after they gave me my finisher medal, but I waited a second, walked around, and then took a sip. I stretched, then took another sip, then walked, and took another sip. I took my good old time drinking that water so that I wouldn’t upset my stomach. Good news- NO NAUSEA!! I went inside where they were serving some food, and grabbed an egg & potato breakfast taco, banana, and a quarter of a bagel (yep…gluten and all). I felt so good, full, and not sick. I checked the results and went back to spend time with my friend.
Overall this was a GREAT race! It was so beautiful and the perfect weather helped so much. I still am in awe at my ending time/average pace, and it’s the perfect push for me to move forward in my marathon training. As happy as I am about that time and accomplishment, I know it’s only one step towards my goal of 26.2. Now I’m more ready and inspired than EVER to do this marathon. I may even try to qualify for the Boston….maybe. It’s my first marathon so I may just shoot for finishing first 🙂
- I ran my 3 miles super early on Tuesday morning at an 8:19 pace. Easy first run after the half on Sunday!
- I was supposed to run 7 miles on Wednesday, but I just didn’t feel peaceful about running it Wednesday morning. I packed up my running gear to run it right after work (I get off at 12:30) and I changed and everything, but still didn’t do it. It just didn’t feel right. I finally took a nap and ran 4 treadmill miles right before teaching spin, and I’m so glad I did. It gave me so much energy for my spin class!! Sure, it wasn’t the 7 I was “supposed to” do, but I felt like the 4 was just what my body needed. It’s been such a mind game not sticking exactly to my marathon plan, but I have to listen to my body and go with what I feel is right in order to not injure myself. I am so glad I did that! Trust the process.
- Thursday was another treadmill 4 miler. This one was tough for some reason- I was just tired and it took me a while to get into it. I almost stopped at 3 miles but once I got to 3 I knew I could do 1 more. I also watched an episode of Extreme Weight Loss during this run so I was a little motivated to keep going 🙂
- My long run was a cutback of 10 miles which I did Sunday morning. Ended up at 10.46 miles in 1:26:14 for an 8:14 average pace. I only got 5 hours of sleep the night before and most of this run was done in the very early morning darkness. I also ate SO MANY paleo treats after recipe testing for Brittany Angell that I was definitely feeling it. But I am still happy with this run and pace! I felt the best the last 3 miles or so.
- Tuesday I decided I wanted to do my mid-week long run in the afternoon, since I had a little bit of extra free time. I attempted my 7 miles at 2 in the afternoon OUTSIDE, and it was miserable. Even though the weather was slightly cooler at 78 degrees, it was still sunny and I was wearing long leggings, I don’t know why. It felt hot and miles 2-5 I had a mighty strong headwind. I ended up just doing 6.8 miles at about 8:45 pace…maybe slower, I don’t know. I did stop at one point to talk to a friend on the trail. Anyways, now I know I do NOT like running in the hot afternoon!! 🙂
- Wednesday I ran on the treadmill at an average of 8:34 per mile. I did 3.2 miles to make up for the .2 I was short on Tuesday 🙂
- Thursday I started running on the treadmill to do my 4 miles, but about a quarter mile of the way in, my leg was hurting and I couldn’t get myself to go further. I ended up stopping and skipping this run altogether. I have honestly felt really out of it mentally this week, and decided to listen to my body and just chill out before my long run on Sunday. That was a hard decision to make, but sometimes you just really have to listen to your body above the training plan.
- Sunday I ran 15 miles! I was so nervous about this run all week. It was the longest I’ve ever run so far! The weather was nice and cool, and it was really refreshing. I drank water at miles 7, 11, and 14, and took a little packet of apple butter at mile 11, which was GREAT mid-run fuel! I will definitely use that again. I am super happy with my pace and the way this run felt. So encouraging after a rough running week! I also pictured what I ate on long run day.
Week of October 20th- October 26th
- Tuesday morning I woke up super early and ran outside for 4 miles. My pace was a 8:12 avg per mile and it felt good! I was happy with it after my 15 miler on Sunday. 🙂
- Woke up on Wednesday with pain in my right leg, so I skipped out. Instead, on Thursday I ran 6 miles on the treadmill instead of 8 miles… I was sad to not do what the training plan said but with the pain in my leg I just need to be careful. I felt like God said to do 6 instead of 8. It was really challenging to do this on a treadmill and I, like last week, have been feeling not there mentally about running. Feel a major battle in my brain about just doing it! So I’m happy I got this run knocked out. I think my average pace was 8:45. Nothing major, just tried to make it through. Use a spiky-looking foam roller and spent a good amount of time foam rolling to get the knot out of my leg.
- Ran 4 miles on the treadmill Thursday morning right after teaching a spin class…what was I thinking? Actually this was a pretty good run. I averaged about 8:35 per mile pace and had a nice long foam rolling session after! I’m happy because my leg is not hurting today! Last run before 16 miles on Sunday!
- I did my 16 miles on Sunday at an average 8:17 per mile! It felt really great & was beautiful weather. I finally figured out my long run hydration and nutrition ritual. Here’s what I do- wake up one hour before my run and immediately eat one banana with almond butter. I also drink a small cup of coffee up until 40 minutes before my run. Then during my run I drink water about 3 times & eat one packet of apple butter at mile 11. It has kept me energized and not feeling nauseous! I can’t believe in 7 short weeks I will add 10 miles to that and do a marathon!
This crazy-looking (torture) device saved me this week!! After my runs I’ve used this for 5-10 minutes on each leg. The pain in my right leg (which I think is from a major knot in my quad muscle) is going away!
Week of October 27th- November 2nd
- Ran 4 miles really early in the morning on Tuesday. I had a client at 6:30 am and I needed to have showered and packed everything for the day by then, so I was BOOKING it. I ended up at an average 8:04 per mile. The first half of runs are always the hardest. The second half I definitely felt like I could have gone farther!
- Wednesday, I again woke up super early to get in 6 or 7 miles before work, but I started and ended up stopping after 1/4 mile. Again, my leg just didn’t feel right. It’s the worst feeling when you wake up that early and have a goal that you don’t finish. I really struggled in my mind all day about that one. BUT it worked out even better because after I taught a cycling class that night, my leg was super warmed up & felt good, so I ran 5 treadmill miles at an average around 8:30 per mile. It felt good!
- I was on a roll with post-cycling class runs because I also ran 6 miles on Friday morning after teaching my 6 AM class. It was the same thing where my legs felt good so I just went for it. I listened to a podcast that was really good and felt amaaazing! I was going to stop at 5 miles but felt good enough so I just went for one more. I would have kept going but was HUNGRY! About 8:49 per mile average pace.
- Sunday I ran 18 miles at an 8:12 pace! I had a really great run, felt great, the weather was amazing, and I beat my goal pace of 8:15 per mile despite mighty headwinds, hills, and being chased by dogs. I LOVED this run and can’t believe in just 6 short weeks I will be adding 8 miles to this and running my first full marathon!
Immediately after my 18 mile run on Sunday, I started to get intense pain in my right Achilles tendon. All of Sunday and Monday while I was traveling, I could barely walk and had to ice it a ton. I looked up my symptoms and have determined that I have a case of Achilles tendinitis. This has been a really rough week for me as I’ve had to give myself the time to rest and heal even in the midst of a busy week in California with my team. I didn’t run at all this week, but I did do 3 workouts in a park across the street with just my body weight and a park bench. I also did a Body Flow class. Other than that, I just tried to ice my heel as much as possible and rest up! I also have had some pain in my left shin that I think may be shin splints.
I have really missed running this week and honestly had to fight a huge amount of discouragement. I have heard different opinions like if I just rest it and stretch I will be ready to go in 2 weeks, all the way to I need to give up my marathon. I haven’t been able to go to a doctor so I don’t know what to do yet. All I know is that I am not taking the Dallas marathon off of the table just yet.
Week of November 10th- November 16th
Still no running so far, although my Achilles is feeling a lot better and I can walk on it all day with basically no pain. I am still icing it as much as possible and stretching. Monday I did a hot yoga class which I think actually irritate it a little bit…but nothing too bad.
- Wednesday my husband ran 9 miles outside so I stayed in our hotel at the bike and biked for an hour and a half while he ran. I figured I need to keep my endurance cardio up for when I start running again!
- Thursday I biked on the hotel bike for 40 minutes to replicate maybe a “4-miler,” sweated a lot and felt great!
- Friday I biked again for a full hour to replicate a 6 miler.
- I tried to run Sunday morning and my desire was to run the full 14 miles that I was supposed to this morning. Well, I made it about half a mile and turned around. Felt a little pain in my Achilles and shin still and it freaked me out. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m super disappointed but also know that rest precedes greatness!
- Taught a cycling class Sunday evening and my shin/Achilles both felt fine!
Week of November 17th- November 23rd
Went to the doctor on Wednesday and got news that I possibly have a stress fracture in my left tibia, which explains my shin pain! If so, then the marathon is off the table. If not, then I can still run! I have an MRI next week to determine what’s going on in there!
Week of November 24th- November 30th
It’s Thanksgiving week! I got the results from my bone density scan last week and bad news- I have a major case of osteoporosis. After more testing and my MRI on Tuesday I found out that all my levels are normal and I actually don’t have a stress fracture- I have shin splints. So that’s GREAT news! The only problem is that the doctor still doesn’t recommend I do the marathon. He says that running is actually good for my osteoporosis, but once I get into the really long mileage like 15+ miles, I can do damage and am more prone to breaks and fractures.
I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do about the marathon but am about 90% sure I will scale back and just do the half marathon on December 14th instead of the full. I’m SO happy to get back into running this week, though!
- Thursday morning, I completed a 10K in Fort Worth with my husband. It was my first run back since being injured and I was so thankful to run!! Average pace of 7:58/mile.
- Saturday morning I ran 3.28 miles on a treadmill before teaching BodyFlow at average pace of 8:48/mile. Felt shin pain but wore compression socks and also did some calf and anterior tibialis exercises, which helped I think!