I am now in my 14th week of marathon training and am only 44 days away until I line up at the start line of the Chicago Marathon. Yea, just a few weeks away!
Many things have happened since we crossed over that imaginary "halfway" point in training...
*Each long run from here until the marathon will become our "newest, longest distance ever"
*Quality rest and nutrition - which was always important - is now super critical
*The amazing feeling of completing a 6 mile run and it only being 7:15am is now gone as our runs have us finishing closer to 10:00am
*And don't forget the inevitable nap, so really, it's like 5:30pm
*I have found myself saying things like "Just passed the # mile marker, just one more hour of running to go, yes!"
*My body has gotten so much stronger but is also taking longer to recover
*You learn the hard way when a piece of clothing won't cut it for 12 miles
*The marathon is really coming
Here is the actual GPS map of my 14 mile from Saturday. Doesn't look very far? That's because we looped around that sucker many, many times!
I finished at just about 3 hours and it was a pretty fantastic run. My left calf muscle wanted to cramp up a few times in the final miles but I was able to hold it together until I finished.
This past weekend's 14 miles was my longest distance to date and that moment of personal record breaking glory will be quickly replaced with the 16 miles I have scheduled in two days. And the 18 miles after that. And the big 20 mile run after that. Speaking of the big 20 mile run...
Yea, I signed up for that today... ... And it's really going to happen in 3 weeks!
But minus the time this past weekend when I thought to myself "wow, those 14 miles were pretty great but how do I do 12.2 more?", plus the fact that this summer has flown by a bit too quickly, I truly feel like I am in a good place. I've had my terrible runs and less than stellar moments but I ran across a quote today that reminded me that the journey is never going to be easy and that it is never finished.
And with that, friends, I will continue to climb.