MARATHON TRAINING: Month 1 = a Cadet Picard I’ll never be

22 08 2016

They say the only Starfleet Academy freshman to place first the Starfleet Marathon was a young Jean-Luc Picard who passed up four seniors in the final stretch, uphill no less, to break the ribbon and win the race.  Starfleet_academy_marathon

That will never happen to me.  But I will run a marathon this year.  Anyone who has read this blog from the beginning can tell you I’ve tried and failed to achieve that goal several times over the last five years, but I’m done trying now and this year I’m going to do it.

My first goal of 2016 was to regain full physical fitness as far as chronic injuries were concerned, then train for and complete a half-marathon uninjured.  I did that in June when I ran the AF Canyon half marathon in Utah.  My next goal was to lose a few pounds over the summer (and I have lost a few, very few) and then continue on as if the AF Canyon half was just another long training run which would culminate with 26.2 in the fall.  And I guess I can say:  So far, so good.

After returning from Salt Lake City, I did take a few days off all exercise and did a lot of yoga and stretching.  Having advanced mileage progressively from 10 at the May 28 Soldier Field race in Chicago up to the 13.1 on June 24, I decided to drop back to 10 again for my fortnightly long run and entered a race of that length: the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 on July 9.  It was hot and hilly but actually quite a bit of fun.  I was slow too, which is fine, because it was after all just another training run.  I caught up with the people from my running club, had a beer and some conversation and marvelled at how much I had accomplished that used to seem impossible for me — hills, heat and lack of injuries.  It was good and it inspired my confidence to keep going further.

Me running

Race photo by Judith Warren

A couple more weeks passed filled with tempo runs, speed intervals, slow 6 milers (the “long run” I do on alternate weekends between the every-14-day really long runs) and the requisite strength training, core work and stretching.  I had another half marathon planned for late July (a Kalamazoo entry in the Run Michigan Cheap series) but the weather was extremely hot with a predicted high in the 90s that day, and my husband persuaded me to skip it.  I ran 8.67 miles (two-thirds of a half-marathon) here at home around the neighborhood instead, and quite honestly even that was pretty grueling under the relentless sun and 80 to 85 degree temps that developed over the two-ish hours it took me.  By the last mile, I was looking for shade anywhere I could find it and counting the minutes until I was finished.Untitled

Then on August 6, I did a 14-miler on local streets on a less hot yet still not-terribly-comfortable day and I survived fairly well intact. 14miler

Training has continued, featuring the usual routine as described above, and physically my only worries have come from a recurrent ache near the right Achilles tendon at the outside insertion on the heel bone.  The location strikes me as less of an actual tendonitis but possibly a small amount of bursitis in that area.  It is not debilitating though and I can keep it controlled by doing cardio every other day instead of daily along with taping, wearing a support sock and doing more stretching of the posterior chain than I ordinarily think I have time for.  Like my foot doctor told me two years ago:  “when you train for a marathon, you should expect to have some aches and pains.”  I can live with that much because it isn’t really bad.

The next long-miles outing on my calendar (16 in total) included another half-marathon just this past weekend that I did up in Wisconsin.  But I’ll recap that either in a race report of its own or when I talk about Month 2 of Marathon Training the next time I update the blog.

Until then…. Live Long and Prosper, my friends.





2 responses

24 08 2016
Ashley Dailey

Sounds like training is going well for you so far! Keep up the good work!! 🙂

26 08 2016

Thanks! If I can keep the aches and pains under control for 2 more months, I will get that race off my bucket list and end this obsession. 10k’s and halves are all I need once I get that 26.2 notch on my belt. 😀

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