Well that was a quick month. I’m now five weeks out from race day, which is so exciting! This month’s total came to 162 miles. That’s 32 more miles than I did in August (you can read my August marathon update here.) I honestly don’t know how I ran that much in a month, but I did. Now onto how I’m feeling…
I just finished week 13 of 18, so I’m in the thick of training. It’s getting to that point where running is starting to take a toll on me both mentally and physically. It’s a mental battle to get every scheduled run done (especially those end-of-the-week, just-before-the-long-run runs), and my body is getting increasingly tired as each run compounds into the next.
Because of the increase in mileage and subsequent fatigue, this month also involved some tweaks in the training plan. I skipped one of my 7 milers a couple weeks ago because I knew my body needed a break. I biked for 45 minutes instead, and I’m glad I did. One thing I’ve learned through my past training cycles is that it’s not 100% necessary to get all your runs in. It’s important to listen to your body when you’re feeling more tired than usual. I think the most important runs of the week are the speed and long runs. The others are supplementary– there to keep you in shape so those more important runs are less grueling, and to ensure a successful race day.
That said, it’s week 13 so I think my increase in fatigue is a given. I’m really pleased with where I’m at; I feel healthy and strong overall. My knees haven’t bothered me at all, my phantom stress fracture (you can read about that here and here) has yet to rear its head, I haven’t gotten sick, and my energy levels have been pretty amazing in that I’ve been able to carry on with normal day-to-day activities in addition to all the training (KNOCK ON WOOD TO ALL OF THESE). A part of me wants to go on auto-pilot until race day to avoid all my crippling anxiety about getting injured. I can’t shut that part of my brain off and it’s truly exhausting. However, since a human auto-pilot switch does not yet exist, I’ll just keep wishing for a successful marathon at every 11:11.
Besides an increase in mileage, another increase that has occurred since my last update is my appetite. It was pretty steady until about two weeks ago, when it suddenly spiked significantly. Although I get hungry more frequently (every couple hours), I’m not exactly hungry all the time; I do get to a point of satiety when I eat. It’s more like whenever I eat, I want to eat more (and do), and whenever I’m not eating, I’m in the mood to eat. Things no one tells you about marathon training: It’s not just race apparel you need to budget for. The grocery bill is directly proportional to your week of training.
The last update I have is that I’m going sober! No more alcohol for the last five weeks of training. I’m both sad and excited about this. I’m sad to say bye to my beloved beer (temporarily), but also excited to see how my body and mind responds. I’m doing it because I don’t want alcohol to impede any chances of completing the marathon. Drinking hinders recovery, makes you more tired, and disrupts sleep, so I think cutting it out will only help. I will definitely give a post-race update on how sobriety affected me, so look out for that when the time comes!
Five more weeks. I got this. Just 3 more really long runs and 1 kinda long run! And some miles in between! Let’s do this…