Training for My First Marathon, Week 13-16

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Personal

Weeks 13 & 14 were devoted exclusively to stretching and strengthening exercises specific to the injury. They worked! I’m so happy that I was able to get better just by doing online research. Imagine, before the Internet, information was scarce and I would’ve had to spend a lot attending therapy sessions. I so love the Web. ^_^

By Week 15, I started brisk walking to get myself back on the road. The next time, I began running. Just a cautious 5K at first. I tried it on the grass to minimize the impact and to my delight, it was all good. Then I tried running on the asphalt road – OK! There was some tightness around my knee but I didn’t feel any excruciating pain. On the following run, I did 10K with plenty of walking in between.

The progress made me seriously think that maybe, just maybe, I can really join Milo and finish it. The messed up training sked means I might struggle to complete the 42K within the 6-hr cut-off but it is not in the realm of possibility. There’s only one way to find out: test my endurance.

Since I have two weeks left until the big day, this morning was my last chance to get in a long run before the required taper off period. I resolved to run/walk for 5 hours straight in a 3:2 pattern. This is roughly equivalent to the 32K “wall” and no marathon training is complete without going at least that far. So I did. Incredibly, I was able to endure it without any problem and the fine overcast sky helped my cause. However, at around 4hrs 30mins, the knee acted up again. I thought it best to stretch it and walk the rest of the way. Speed was not as important as the time I am able to be on my feet (or so the veterans say).

I am tired but happy. I was expecting myself to wilt but I actually have plenty of energy left. Will I be able to finish 42K in 6hrs? I don’t know, but it should be doable if the following happens:

1. The weather is good. This means no sun until 10am, a good breeze, and maybe even a drizzle or two.

2. Good training for the next 2 weeks. A nice, strong 21K (<3hrs) next weekend and at least 3 solid 10Ks on weekdays.

3. Keep the injury under control. Self-therapy must go on. I need more strength on my hip and glutes. Maybe I'll get that IT band support after all.

4. Hydration, nutrition, and my GI track must all be perfect on race day. The first two are manageable but the last is unpredictable. Even top runners have been known to… have their weak moments. I guess I'll just have to prepare as best as I can. Good luck to me!

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