Last week was my first week of training for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon, which will take place on March 17, 2018! I decided that I would coach myself for this one, and am really just so thankful and excited to be doing so. It has been a long and often bumpy road to get to this point, taking twists and turns I never imagined (both in my running and in my life!), but all of it has been ultimately just what I needed to get myself to a better place – a healthier, stronger and HAPPIER place – especially the hardest parts of the journey. That’s just the way it goes, right? 😊
In March of this year, I had a Tenex procedure on my left foot to remove scarring from a partial tear to my plantar fascia that was the result of a cortisone shot I was given the previous October for some pesky plantar fasciitis, which came on the tail end of a pretty long and rough road of overtraining and adrenal health issues. When I finally got the green light to run again in early April, I decided to enlist the help of my good friend and running coach Mary to guide me on that phase of my journey. Not just to keep me healthy and injury-free, but also to be there as a pillar of support and encouragement. She was awesome and I loved working with her! We began with a run/walk program and gradually over time I was running more and walking less and eventually all-out running and training for a half marathon! In November I ran my half marathon and felt so strong and happy – it was truly amazing and everything I prayed it would be. At that point I decided that I was ready to coach myself again, to trust myself with my own training and fly solo towards my next dream. And here I am, training for what will be my 20th marathon this spring!
Last week I kicked my training off with mostly easy miles and a 14 mile long run at the end of the week for a total of 48.5 miles. I had a pretty solid base and some great training to build on from working with Mary – peaking at 53 miles and going as long as 16 miles (with a workout!) for my longest run. I recovered from my half for about three weeks with light easy running and just enjoyed the time in between training cycles. The week before last I did a 12 miler with my girlfriends as my long run, and then last week I officially considered to be my first week of marathon training. I am really so happy and thankful to be in this place, to be training again and looking to a 26.2 mile race this spring. It has been a LONG time since I have felt so good, and so excited. There is much to be thankful for, and also to look forward to. 💗
Here is what my training looked like:
Monday – 8 miles easy (9:08/mile average)
Tuesday – Moderate speed – 8.5 miles total: 4 miles easy, 10 x 30 seconds hard/1:00 easy, 2.5 miles easy (9:08/mile average – pick ups were around 6:30 average)
Wednesday – 6 miles easy (9:37/mile average)
Thursday – 6 miles easy (9:40/mile average)
Friday – 14 mile long run – 12 easy + 2 at marathon goal pace (8:05). Did this one on the treadmill because it was raining and dark and freezing cold and I had to get it done. Ran the first 12 between 9:15-8:43 average and then the last two at 8:06, 8:01.
Saturday – 6 recovery miles. in Kiawah to support and cheer for my athlete/friend Amy and my friends Liz and Yael as they ran the full and half marathons! I did 6 easy miles along the half marathon course (9:36/mile average).
Sunday – REST day! True rest! Road trip home and then spent time with my family and bopping around the house getting chores done. No running, no nothin’!
It was an AWESOME first week of marathon training! My easy pace range is anywhere between 9:02-9:57 according to VDOT02, and my body really seems to be happy there. I am foam rolling daily, doing my pre-run routine, working on strength and core, eating well and hydrating like it’s my job. Really honoring the purpose of each run and celebrating where I am because THAT is what I have found to be the very best way for me to truly improve.
This morning I headed out for 8+ miles (with some pick ups at the end, something I am making a regular part of my training!) with my good friend Yael to kick off week two and it felt awesome. I wore my new Mizuno Wave Rider 21s, which I have been putting into my shoe rotation once or twice a week for easy and long-ish runs. They are a neutral trainer – sent to me to try as part of a FitFluential campaign – and I really like how they feel on my feet! I tend to wear the Saucony Ride and Zealot on other easy/long runs and the Kinvara for my speed and tempo days. If you like those shoes you would probably like these too!
In other training-related news, I saw my chiropractor/ART specialist Jason at Carolina Pain and Performance last week to have him give me a “tune up.” I have been seeing Jason for close to a year – he helped me a great deal with my foot! Since getting better, I go to him once a month and will continue to do so throughout my training and probably forever and ever until the end of time (kidding, kind of 😜). He is an important part of my “team” to keep me healthy and aware of my body’s needs and imbalances. I made my January appointment already! I will also be seeing my trusty physical therapist Lee at B. Young Physical Therapy once a month for his services (including dry needling) during my training cycle, because I really want to stay ahead of any potential issues and I know my body responds well to his care. I am seeing him next week to check in!
I also had a call with Tawnee Gibson last week, whose help I have valued so tremendously over the last year and a half. Tawnee’s guidance and advice around nutrition, healing my metabolism and restoring my adrenal health has been so incredibly important to me. I truly don’t know what I would have done without her. Last week’s call was awesome as we talked all about fueling for my marathon training and racing. I have waited a long time, and done a lot of work, to finally be able to have this conversation with her. She is putting one of her infamous action plans together for me and I can’t wait to implement it as I move forward.
To sum things up for now, I am just so thankful and happy to be running healthy and strong. I will take it one day, one run at a time and first and foremost — stay true to me every step of the way!
Happy Monday, everyone!!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.