My September training did not go as plan.
We left off in August still feeling optimistic and that the marathon was achievable. I could not get in a long run the weekend after I wrote that. I had to look realistically where I was, how long I was sick, and the time until the marathon. I decided this wasn’t my year either. I kept trying to convince myself I could still do it but there wasn’t really an option.
So, I switched to the half marathon.
And I even emailed the race to make the switch official. I looked at a few different plans and settled on a Hal Higdon one. I am not 100% happy with it but it best fit where I was fitness and mile wise. I also went to four days a week of running instead of 6-7. My body cannot handle that much running apparently. I was constantly exhausted and run down. Sometimes you have to listen to your body.
I also switched back to evening workouts the last week of September. I had hit the wall of how many weeks in a row I can get up at 4 am. I am in no way a morning person and can only force myself to wake up that early for so long. I was going to sleep at 8:30 and still struggling to get through the day. Funny how I get up at 5 am and go to bed at 10 pm but am still tired going to bed at 8:30 for 4 am. Bodies are weird.
I was extremely disappointed and upset that I yet again failed to get to the starting line of a marathon but I am starting to find the positives. With a half marathon, I will be done in half the time which means my favorite Vegas restaurant, Joe’s, will still be open when I finished and I can go eat a yummy steak and gluten-free brownie. Even if you don’t have to eat gluten-free, you should try this brownie. I am *kind of* an expert on brownies and this is one of the best! I will be less sore after and the trips to National Parks the next day won’t be as bad. I will be more relaxed and able to have more fun because I am not focused on a momentous moment.
The marathon dream is not going away.
I started thinking ahead and want to run a marathon in 2020. I will turn 40 that year. I will have plenty of time to train and build an even larger base. My plan is to hire a coach for 2019 to help me train for the task of 26.2 in 2020. I have my eye on the New Orleans Rock n Roll marathon. It’s another one that is recommended for beginners but has a much bigger time limit than even the Rock n Roll Arizona so I don’t have to worry about time.
I think a coach could help me be a better runner and work more with my fatigue issues than a generic plan. I’ve been running for long enough to know myself and I have made my own training plans before but the marathon is proving to be difficult for me to master. I believe four days a week with a slower ramp-up in long runs might be what I need. A coach could help determine my long run schedule better than me.
My journey to 26.2 isn’t over yet… it’s just beginning.
What is your biggest challenge in running?