The Woodlands Marathon

This marathon training cycle has been challenging, to say the least.

It started off badly because I didn’t take a break after the Houston Half. I really wanted to squeeze in 18 weeks of training before the Woodlands and that required starting my marathon training literally the day after setting a PR in the Houston Half. My body and soul both needed a little bit of a break but instead I chose to press on.

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Things were going well up until the middle of December when I went on a 17-miler with my running buddy. It was a great run. It had frosted the night before and the grass was coated in white. We chatted, discovered a new route and I took a picture of a longhorn. When I got home I noticed a slight pain in the arch of my right foot and the next morning I could barely walk. It all started going downhill from there.

The foot injury took forever to heal, a full six weeks of painful on and off running. Every time I thought it was getting better I’d go on a test run only to have it flare up again. I have suspicions that it was my shoes. I bought new shoes during the middle of all this and it wasn’t until then that things started feeling better. I guess that’s a big lesson learned – always do long runs in fresh shoes.

On top of the foot injury I also missed several long runs due to illness (mine & the kids’). I was beginning to question my ability to properly train for the race and found myself wondering if I should defer. 

But dangit! I didn’t want to defer. I waited TWO YEARS to run another marathon and it’s finally here. I wasn’t ready to give up and somehow my determination won. I clocked a 20 mile run and then a 22 mile run two weeks later with a weekly mileage peak of 55 miles. I think I’m ready.

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Ready or not, marathon day is quickly approaching. I have started seeing updates from the race organizers with maps, directions, FAQs and signs about road closures. I know my bib number. Things are getting real.

I am slightly worried about my foot. I went on an 8-mile run on Sunday and felt that nagging pain return so I am spending the rest of the week resting and trying to mentally prepare myself for the challenge ahead.

I feel like I’m in better shape than I was for my last marathon. I have paid much more attention to pacing and despite the injury I managed to surpass my highest weekly mileage to date. I think I can run a 4:15. Faster than 4:15, there be dragons and I’m scared of dragons. The most important thing is that I have fun – this is, after all, a hobby. It’s supposed to be fun.

I can’t wait to share with you how it goes! See ya on the flip side!

 

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