I may scratch my head more often than I’d care to admit while helping my 10-year-old with his fifth-grade math homework, but the answer to the equation I’m about to share is a no-brainer:
5 snow days in less than 2 weeks + 1 deadline-heavy work month + 1 twinge-y/tight calf muscle and tender Achilles + 1 very fun, much-needed girls’ (late) night out (worth it, but ouch) = 1 out-of-whack start to marathon training.
Or, put another way: Nearly one month into the Train Like a Mother Marathon Own It Plan, I just didn’t feel like I was making any traction … that is, until this week.
This week, oh, things are finally gelling. I logged a 15-miler last weekend—no small feat given dynamics explained above along with even-my-eyelashes-are-frozen single-digit temps outside. But I powered through, thanks in part to the appearance of glorious sunshine that come winter in Michigan likes to hide for days-long stretches.
Rounding that final corner of my long run, surging toward my driveway, I felt triumphant and more sure than I had in a long time of my strength and determination to have a great race come May. It was my longest run in nearly a year. Completing it, experiencing that familiar good-sore feeling the rest of the day, was such a confidence booster. Yes. That’s what I needed.
The days following proved just as good training-wise: 5 solo nice and easy miles Monday; 4 snowy trail miles with BRF and hill queen Jen on Wednesday; 6.5 trail/road miles Thursday. The plan calls for 4-5 miles today and a long run of 13 this weekend. I’m looking forward to getting another double-digit run on the books.
No doubt my lower leg tightness—it came on following a rockin’ fun snowshoe race—played a big role in my slow start. Active Release Technique (ART) therapy helped tremendously, as did altering my training plan. I didn’t follow the first two weeks of the Own It plan to a T and I’m so happy with my decision. (thank you again, SBS, for your wise counsel about taking it easy and not freaking out. Because I definitely was starting to freak out.) I took several days off from running, had a successful hurts-so-good ART session, tried a new sport for some cross-training (skate skiing) and completed my second-ever hot yoga session (too hot for me, yet strangely cleansing).
And, I must add that it’s been so great having fellow mother runners share encouragement and training updates on Twitter using hashtag TLAM2013. If you haven’t yet joined the conversation, please consider doing so—training ups and downs are always better shared, and I can say with certainty that receiving a message from a fellow BAMR such as "Look at you! What a great run and effort!" or reading about someone's fantastic run makes a big difference. It's helping keep me focused and on track. No math required.