Wow, it's truly been a while. The last time I posted I was just starting training for my first marathon, ever, and that was back in September, when I managed to run 46 miles in a week - my highest mileage week ever (even during the "peak" of my cycle). I achieved this 46-mile week was only because I started Labor Day Monday with running the Zombie Runner/ Zoom Running Lake Vasona Half Marathon in Los Gatos.
Now, I find myself 2 days before my first-ever 26.2.
It's been a fun training cycle. I wished I had been more diligent with blogging about it. There were ups and downs, of course. There were many days when I didn't want to go out for 6-7 miles after work. At times I thought that having to go on the long runs every weekend would just never end, but I always felt happy and accomplished as I ticked off 16, 18, 20-milers. Those long runs didn't always all feel spectacular, but I'd been lucky in that they felt uniformly great, and time and time again I surprised myself at what I could do.
I recall sometime in early October, when my short runs during the week began to increase in mileage. When I was only running Half Marathons my regular short runs were anywhere from 3-5 miles at a time. I upped them to 5 at least, and then anywhere from 4-6 miles. Then I began throwing in a 7-9 miler on Fridays, on top of 2 6+milers during the week. There was a point when I felt tired and hungry all the time. Then my body adjusted, and then I was just hungry all the time.
About 1.5 months into my training - sometime in late September or early October, I developed a pain on the inside of my left knee. The pain was worse in the mornings when I was cold, but didn't (thankfully) bother me when I ran. I stretched dutifully after runs, even began to foam roll (thanks to Danny's Physical Therapist, a runner who was shocked that I hadn't embraced the ministrations of the roller until now). I iced. I took ice baths. I finally went to see my own PT. He gave me (hip strengthening) exercises to do, and these seemed to help. The pain is still there, though, but it's duller now, less sharp. I really need to cross train after this cycle. More swimming, and perhaps I'll finally sign up for those Personal Trainer sessions through work.
I've had lots of fun getting to know contacts from DailyMile. After a while of seeing each others' routes, and realizing that you all pretty much run up-and-down through Golden Gate Park week after week, it just makes sense to plan a time and run it together.
And so we are here. All the weather forecasts call for rain. Lots of rain. The 3rd of a series of storms slamming into the Bay Area over Saturday and Sunday and bringing torrents. After being worried all week, and constantly checking the weather for any changes, at this point I think the hardest part may be waiting at the start, in the wind and the cold.
And you know what? I think I'll be just fine.