Its rude to count people as you pass them… out loud

In summary 26.2 Mile – 3Hr50Min (3:40Min running, 10min pee/snack break) – Basically flat outside course

As a kid and an immigrant child (We all heard of Asian Fs, but have you heard of Russian Jew Fs?B They’re exactly the same. Thick Russian accent “You got a B+, why no A? You fail”), before an exam I took several practice tests (both by will and force for preparation and parental enforced perfection).

So when I started looking up marathon training plans, it’s no surprise that from the start I dismissed ending my training at 20 miles.B Seriously, why would I stop 6.2 miles early?B That’s almost 25% of the race that’s would end up being new territory.B Now, I am not insulting anyone who stops at 20 miles and just roughs out the last 6.2 miles, but I need to be prepared for the unexpected. All training recommendation tell you to not increase your mileage by more than 10%, then why would the rules change for the race?B I never understood that part with training plans. I am also very lucky that aside from missing a few social events I have limited responsibility on weekends.

So I decided to make my own training plan based on my schedule.B Originally I was trying to have several 24-26 week runs, approx 4.B However, I had a mild foot fracture in November from hiking and was not able to start training until mid December. This put a serious time crunch in building up my base.B I am not joking when I say that before December I was running 26.2 miles in a week not a day. B B However, I have to admit that although I was only running 26 miles a week, I was doing that in 3-4 days.B I also ran a half marathon in September.B Therefore, I was starting from a relatively comfortable base of about 10 miles. Now, I just had to almost triple my mileage in 2.5 months.B This took determination and a lot of canceled weekend brunch plans.B Hard as I try, with the cold weather it was impossible to get myself running before 10AM.B I am hoping that once the weather gets warmer I can become an early morning runner instead.

My first 18-20 mile runs were miserable.B I came home in pain, collapsing on my floor from the cold and exhaustion.B The second was not much better.B I iced and then I iced some more the next day as I walked a bit funny as work.B I do not know why, but after I stop running my body goes into a freezing shock.B In addition to the normal pains of push your mileage this was misery.B However, by my third run I noticed that at mile 20 I actually felt okay and added another 1.5 miles.B I kept doing this the next week until I reach 24 miles.B Now, don’t get me wrong, I was still exhausted and the freezing shock was still happened; however, I no longer felt like I was going to die after running.B The pain turned into joy with practice.B Maybe not joy, but close enough to enjoyment.

This morning for my final pre-DC race I had a 26.2 mile run.B And I got lucky when I convinced Tony that we should go on the minuteman Bike Path.B The bike path is approx 8.5 miles long each way and makes a much better place to run then the 4-5 loops I do around the woods near my house.B Also, unlike my running trail not only is the path longer, its flatter and wider.B The flat, wide path was a great change of environment for my knees!B Plus with the weather being dark and 40 degrees, there were very few bikers I had to share the path with. This becomes a different cranky story in the summer.B However, for now all I saw were runners and walkers.B I was also surprised by how many runners I was able to pass by. There were also plenty faster than me that kept me at a faster pace.B I was able to get my first 13 miles in under 8 min pace!B I don’t think I ever ran that fast except for half marathon races.

It was also nice to see some undisturbed snow.B All the snow on the city streets melted before I got a chance to enjoy.

Because this was an almost 9 mile trail, 17 miles round trip; I had to carry my water handheld.B I usually rough it out and just get a bit dehydrated until I run by house midway; however, this was not an option.B At mile 17 when I finished my first loop, I dropped it off in the car.B I sipped some coconut water, ate half my protein bar (soo good and actually filling instead of waking up my hunger like others) and got ready to tackle my last 9 miles.B I thought those would be rough but after my 5 minute break in the car, I felt re energized and ready to go.

After my run, I finally tried my bag of Try Chips that I recently received as a sample.B They were just so delightful! I couldn’t believe the whole bag was only 100 calories and with every chip being made out of 100% natural real fruit, it made perfect refuel. I stole this from their website “Try Chips are an all natural snack, enhanced with super foods carefully selected to replenish your energy after pushing your body beyond its personal comfort zone. Our final ingredient in our war against Apathy and of course our battle cryb&”B I love it!B Unfortunately they are a bit pricey.B For 2.50 per bag, I might save this indulgences for only those days where I am pushing truly beyond my comfort zone.

In the end 26.2 in the books and I am now a marathoner, even if its unofficial!

Hope you are having a great Sunday!

Did you do any running this weekend?B I want to know how it went. Other people running makes me feel less of a weirdo!

4 thoughts on “Its rude to count people as you pass them… out loud”

  1. Awesome run! You definitely have the determination to do great on your official 26.2. From what I read in Hal Higdon’s training guides for marathons, once you get to 20 miles, you hit a wall because you will have burned more glycogen than your body can produce, or something like that. Hal says that your body will hit that wall each time you run it, and at that point, you are more injury prone. He says that besides the mental benefits (knowing that you can do it), going past 20 can be more detrimental than beneficial. Of course, I feel like his plans are really just trying to get people to the finish, without risking injury. Obviously, it’s worked great for you and I think it’s awesome that you’ve been able to go all the way. Now you know that you can do it and there won’t be any surprise come race day. Congrats on becoming a marathoner:)

  2. Thank you! Its very exciting! The amount of cursing I do on weekends is definitely decreasing.

    I can see the glycogen theory as around mile 18 is when I hit that hunger wall. I started eating giant pita breads preruns and it has been working for keeping me energized. However, I think if you can get some calorie intake in you at mile 18 you can continue the following week by adding half a mile or so. Its similar to those half marathon training plans that end at 10 miles. I tried one of those when I didn’t have much time to train and I felt like death after 13 miles. The second time I trained a year later I made sure I got in one 13 miler and definitely saw an improvement.

    But yes agreed most free plans on the internet are there to help people finish and get to the marathon injury free. My plan def leaves more room for injury before the race. After the marathon there’s plenty of time to recover =)

  3. Congrats, its official. So, it turns out that I’m not the only one who becomes freezing after getting home from a long run; teeth chattering and all. I wasn’t planning to run more than 20 prior to the marathon, but hey, if you can, then you might as well. In your case, you now know what it will feel like, so no surprises during the race.

    1. Thank you! I think the extra miles helped. With each longer run my “wall” would come at a later point. When I ran 15 it came at 14, when i ran 20 it started at 18. Sometimes when I would run 24 miles, I would take a 10 minutes break on my couch before the final slow/flat 4 walk/runs ones. Races always bring out the best! See you in Boston in May!

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