This final month of marathon training rounded out to a total of about 161 miles. That’s one less mile than what I did in September, and 31 more miles than what I did in August (you can read the marathon training updates for September here, and August here).
October was a busy month– it included the Staten Island half marathon, my peak week of training, and the birth of my podcast.
I mainly ran the Staten Island half marathon in order to complete the 9+1 program (NYRR’s program that offers guaranteed entry into the following year’s marathon if members complete any of the 9 qualifying races and volunteer at 1). I’m not sure why, but it didn’t quite hit me that I had committed to doing another marathon until I completed the program and realized that I was now guaranteed entry into the 2017 NYC marathon… meaning I’m doing this whole thing over again next year. Right now, I’m feeling a mix of excitement and “omg what did I get myself into,” but I’m sure once the training fatigue passes I’ll be happy that I have guaranteed entry.
Week 16 of marathon training (October 17-23) was peak week–44.5 miles in total– which included the big 20 mile long-run. I honestly felt great that week, and me and Katie (a fellow running blogger, check out her site here), absolutely killed the long run! We were logging sub-10 min/mile runs pretty consistently. It was amazing, and definitely pumped us up for the race. It probably also helped to know that once we got through that 20 miler, we were set; all we had left was the taper. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Last week (10/24-10/30) was the first of two weeks of tapering and I kept my cross-training activities the same as my other training weeks (1 hour of a HIIT/strength training class and 1 hour of yoga). This week, however, it’s my last week of the taper so I’m cutting back on cross-training– I’m not taking the HIIT class but I’ll probably take one yoga class before race day.
The race is Sunday (11/6) and I am SO ready and excited for it. I feel like I’ve done all I can do, and now I just have to show up. I’ve been sleeping 8 to 9 hours a night for the last week or so, and plan to continue to sleep this amount until race day. I think sleep is so important in recovery and I’m making it my top priority during the taper.
I also haven’t drank alcohol at all this month. This is the longest I’ve gone without drinking probably since I started drinking (lol oops), so October has been a sort-of cleanse period for me too. Not drinking has been amazing– I never feel sluggish, I am so much more productive on weekends (I wake up around 7 am, which allows me time to go grocery shopping, meal prep, do laundry, go to the gym, record my podcast, blog), and I’m overall more relaxed.
Although not drinking has had a positive impact on many areas of my life, it has had a not-so-great impact on my social life. It’s already hard enough to plan outings with friends when you have to wake up at an ungodly hour every weekend to get your long run in. But it’s much harder to muster up the desire and energy to go out to a crowded bar after you’ve ran 18/19/20 miles that morning, aware that you probably aren’t going to be having that much fun standing around sober, with aching legs, and a hungry stomach.
As much as I love my new energy levels and productivity, I’m excited to be able to go out and have a few drinks with friends once the marathon is over. I wanted to come out the other side of this stretch of sobriety a new person with no desire to drink ever again, but I don’t. Is that bad? I guess you can take the beer away from a girl but you can’t take the girl away from a beer. Or something like that.