Marathon Training Week 21

When I made out my marathon training schedule back in June I remember thinking how far away December seemed on the calendar. I wondered if I would be able to complete the longest run of my marathon training outdoors. Mother nature has certainly been showing her love to me. I’m still running almost every single run outside.

The big news of my training week is obviously my 22 mile long run. This is the longest distance I will run before the marathon. I ran it by myself as I have done nearly all of my runs. I ran a a relatively flat route because I wanted to get a feel for my pace and time because the Disney course is fairly flat.

I ran along the Norwottuck Rail Trail, a familiar bike trail that connects Northampton, Hadley and Amherst, MA, and continued onto a connecter trail that I had never been on before. There were people out scattered along the way. I ran 11 miles out which included two loops around Look Park in Northampton, MA and then the exact same route back. At least this way I was forced to finish what I had started!
I ran and ran and ran channeling my inner Forrest Gump. I only stopped to walk when I drank from my CamelBak or ate some Sharkies kids sports chews. These were new for me and I loved them. They reminded me of Sour Patch Kids only without the tartness. The website boasts the following facts about Sharkies chews:
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • 100% Vitamin C
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • No artificial dyes or flavors
  • No fat
  • Free of Wheat, Gluten & Nuts
I loved them. The only thing is the packaging is a bit big. I will probably empty them in a smaller plastic bag and carry them in my Spibelt. I also tried a Gu again. I had only tried one once before and hated it. I took an orange Gu at mile 18 and within minutes the tightness in my legs was noticeably less. I felt like I had a surge of energy and off I went. Those last 4 miles weren’t nearly as difficult as I imagined they would be. In fact all 22 miles were pretty incredible .

If I ever doubted my ability to run a marathon I don’t anymore. I knew that running to 22 miles was necessary for me to psychologically and physically feel ready for this marathon. This isn’t true for everyone training for a marathon. I think the most important thing is to do what feels right, be flexible and enjoy yourself.

Needless to say the long run altered my schedule for the remainder of the week. Here’s a look at how it went.

Date

Scheduled Run

Actual Workout

Sunday, 12/4/11 Rest Day 22 Mile Run
Monday, 12/5/11 4 Mile Run 30 minutes on Arc Trainer; upper body strength training
Tuesday, 12/6/11 Rest Day 5 Mile Run
Wednesday, 12/7/11 4 Mile Run 4.5 Mile Run
Thursday, 12/8/11 Rest Day 8 Mile Run
Friday, 12/9/11 4 Mile Run Rest Day
Saturday, 12/10/11 9 Mile Run 9 Mile Run

On Monday I was in absolutely no mood to run at all! So I didn’t. Instead I went to the gym. Tuesday was a scheduled rest day, but the weather was decent and my husband was home so I took off for an unplanned run and ended up going for 5 miles. Wednesday I ran my 8 and 9 mile runs around home. The route is quite hilly, but I was bounding up those hills with ease.

The other night at a party my friend announced that I was a runner and I would be running a maraton. I still feel funny when other people call me a runner. Somewhere in my head I think I am supposed to look differently in order to be considered a runner. The truth is that marathon or not I would have been out there running anyway because as Marion would say, it makes me feel awesome. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages and levels of fitness. What matters most is that we are all out there running and doing something we love. I am a runner because I run, race or no race and it is awesome!

12 thoughts on “Marathon Training Week 21

  1. Hi Aimee! You are totally awesome! I hope your awesomeness level is not up so high that you can’t hear me! hehehe

    So you ran the unofficial pre-marathon marathon of 22 miles. Wow. Wow. Wow. Look at how comfortable you are in your own skin with a huge goal accomplished. It took a tremendous amount of personal commitment and belief in yourself. Can you describe what you’ve mentally gained as a person from this accomplishment? Besides utterly off-the-cliff awesome?

    🙂 Marion

    1. LOL! It’s hard to describe Marion. I knew that I was prepared physically, but running is much more a mental sport. During the 22 mile run I think I finally reached a place where I didn’t think about finishing the run, I simply enjoyed it. My mind was clear of doubt and negativity. I was confident that I could do it and I did!

  2. You are so awesome, Aimee! I am in complete awe of your running! You know, this past November marked one year since I ran my first half marathon. Since then, I haven’t been quite sure if I wanted to run further distances. I’m just not sure I have it in me. But, you are inspiring me and making me question my doubts! Uh oh…. 😉

    1. I did watch it Michelle. I loved it. Made me cry! It was so inspiring to see so many different types of people striving for their own personal running goals yet crossing that finish line is just as emotional for each one.

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