I'm just under 2 weeks out from my triathlon and about 9 weeks out from my marathon so I thought it'd be a good time for a "check-in" post about how the training is going. For my other marathons, I did weekly training posts but this time around I decided not to do that. Truth be told, I don't feel like I'm 100% focused on either race, or not as focused as I was in other training cycles. That's not to say that I am not working hard, because I am. I just think that training for 2 different races at the same time has sort of taken away from my ability to really focus on either event. Plus, I've had other distractions like moving and starting a new job.
Maybe some of my lack of obsessiveness over my training plan has to do with the fact that this is my 4th marathon. That's certainly not a high number of marathons but I'm at the point where I've done enough marathons to know how training works. Plus being in a running club takes some of the planning out of my control as I trust that the coaches are putting together workouts that will get me to the starting line healthy and ready to run my race.
In an attempt to put some thoughts together on training, here's what's different/interesting about this training cycle:
1. The long runs got long fast. Because this has been a busy summer for me, time has gone by especially fast, which means that the long runs got long real fast. I mean, our first 20 miler is in 2 weeks (but I will have to miss it as that is the weekend of my tri and there's no way I am going to run 20 miles and then do a triathlon the next day). My body has handled the higher mileage well but it just boggles my mind that I'm already doing 16+ mile long runs!
2. Different fuel. The last time I ran a marathon, I totally bonked at the end because I physically could not force myself to eat another gu which meant I did not have any calories for the last 6+ miles - which is NOT good. So this time around I have been using these single serving applesauce packets. You know, the ones designed for kids. They have 60 calories/pack whereas the gu has 100 calories/pack so they are in the same ballpark. They are a little bit bulkier so it's harder to carry 3+ packets on you, but it's worth the hassle because eating real food > sucking down super sweet gu.
3. I'm so tired... I forgot how tiring marathon training is. Throw in triathlon training on top of that plus a new job, which is going great but is mentally fatiguing as I learn the ropes and that = tired Lisa. This might not have been the best time for me to also go off Ambien as that's contributing to my exhaustion as well but I thought maybe my exhaustion from training would offset eliminating the sleep aide. I'm tired during the day and I am also tired during some of my training runs/bike rides. I'm hoping to see an improvement once I am done triathlon training as I am planning to go from 1 rest day to 2 rest days after the triathlon is behind me.
4. ... but not ridiculously hungry. In past marathon training cycles, I had many weeks where I felt like I had an insatiable appetite, but that hasn't really been the case thus far. I am definitely eating a bit more than I usually would but I don't feel as ravenous after my long runs as I did in past training cycles. I've been trying to eat something with protein right after my long runs so maybe that is helping!
5. Swimming will never be my strong sport. Even though I grew up swimming in lakes and feel comfortable in the water, it's never going to be my strong sport. I've done quite a few open water swims and while it's getting a little easier, I don't come away from any swims thinking, "dang I killed that!" My mindset on race day will be to just get through the swim part so I can focus on the sports that I enjoy/feel comfortable doing.
All in all, I'm feeling healthy and on track to do well at both of my upcoming races. Maybe the distracted way I've been feeling is good as I haven't really had time to obsess over how my training is going. And sometimes a lack of obsession is a good thing! I guess we'll find out on my race days...
Are you training for anything this summer?