A FULL. Twentysixpointtwomile. MARATHON in November.
What even is life at this point, amiright? I might actually be crazy…
I’m pretty excited about each of these events individually, but when I get to thinking about all of them at once, and really how close they are to each other, I start sweating a little bit. Or a lot… That said, much of my spare time is taken up by researching different marathon and obstacle run training programs, and trying to figure out my own. Oh yeah, and actually training, I’ve been doing that, too.
Since the Tough Mudder is coming up the soonest- about 20 weeks out- much of my focus has been on that, although I AM doing some preliminary half-marathon training as well. This is entailing a LOT more cross training and strength training than I’m used to; we’re talking three times per week versus once a week during my straight-laced half marathon training. Because of this, it’s been quite a bit of a trial-and-error process in figuring out how to best pair this with the running portion of my training. I don’t want to burn out and risk injury, but I also want to make sure I’m improving at a pretty regular pace. Basically, I’m continuously asking myself, “How do I increase my reps, weight, mileage, etc while giving my body enough rest time?” Taylor and I are doing this part of training together, and it’s been great and quite interesting, actually. He is basically the opposite of me: as a weight lifter (primarily powerlifting, to be specific), he is not as geared toward the cardio portion of this. So we are tweaking our training days to be beneficial for both of us. He pushes me to bust out a couple more dips and I encourage him to push for the last 1/10 of a mile on our run back to the house.
Yes, the Tough Mudder is almost entirely obstacles, but it’s still 10-12 miles long, therefore I have been slowly increasing my weekly mileage since January. I knew going into this, that by the time July hits, I’ll need to also be in full-force half marathon training along with pairing that into the beginning stages of my marathon training. I definitely don’t want to abruptly start ALL that running at the same time, hence my near 9-month training leading up to the grand finale. Once the Tough Mudder is completed and we have our finisher beers and headbands, I’ll be able to put much more focus on running (of course with an intermittent cross-training day to avoid injury). That point in time will come with a whole new shift in training-not that I’m worried about it, I’m just…..unsure of what to expect.
With two 1/2’s under my belt, I’ve had the opportunity to tweak my training plans and figure out what works best for me (right at 16 weeks long, and a “taper” period just doesn’t do it for me). I really liked how my race went last fall, so I plan on sticking to something similar. The trick is really going to be, how do I fit THIS into my marathon training? I really have no clue what sort of training for that distance will work for me. When and how often should I run hills? What days should I cross-train or rest? What about speed work? Should I really only top out at only 20 miles before race day? Did I really sign up for this?
I’m not panicking about it by any means, but I’m not going to take it lightly either. Running over 25 miles isn’t really something I’d like to go into blind and screw it up. Plus, I already paid for it and it’s non-refundable…
On another note…..FOOD. Oh lordy, and don’t even get me started on the nutritional aspect of all this nonsense. It’s just as important as the training itself-I’ve noticed a HUGE increase in my appetite even just adding in our Tough Mudder training days to my running- I can only imagine how it’ll be once I’m consistently running 10-12 miles…
This essentially needs a training plan in itself, so please excuse me while I go purchase stock in sweet potatoes and brown rice…I already anticipate a learning curve with my nutrition that will come with all of this, so I apologize in advance for things I’ll say out of hanger. I swear I won’t mean any of it.
And along with running, and strength training, and cross training, I canNOT forget about my yoga practice along the way. Not only is it important to me mentally and emotionally, it is VERY important physically. My runs don’t just end when I stop my watch; taking the time to cool down and stretch out is pretty vital. Again, my main goal with these events and my training leading up to them, is to take care of my body and not push it too far. It’s all about balance:
Balancing being a yogi, a runner, and a (soon-to-be) Tough Mudder.
As Squatrack Shenanigans can attest to, being an athlete in two different sports can be both undeniably rewarding and just plain sucky at times. But you don’t do it because it’s easy: it’s not going to BE easy. That’s the rewarding part about it all.
So will I be pretty thankful when November 13th rolls around and EVERYTHING is finished?
Yup. Yup. Yuppers.
Will I work my damnedest every single day until that point?
Live Life Uncharted (and hungry)