I just looked at the calendar yesterday and holy cats! My marathon is less than 6 weeks away. I've been training and running a lot of half-marathons, but haven't really cranked the mileage up like I should have by now. I think my longest run has been around 15-16 miles. Normally I wouldn't be having heart palpitations over this. However, this will be my first full marathon in several years and to say I'm a little nervous would be an understatement. I think I ran my last full marathon in late 2005 or early 2006 and then had to back off of the speed workouts and crazy mileage so that I could work on "project baby". I wasn't one of those lucky female runners that just (oops) turned up pregnant while they were training for their next marathon (like Christy who I refer to as "fertile myrtle"). I pretty much had to stop the long distance and competitive running and speed workouts (and eat ice cream and peanut butter) every day for lunch so that I could get my body back up to child bearing condition.
I had a chat with my coach yesterday about my concerns and the quickly approaching marathon. He reassured me that I could carefully get my mileage where it needs to be and talked me through how I needed to run my long runs. Val and I met for our long run yesterday (she was also coming off a fast half marathon last weekend). We decided to run the Oro Medonte rail trail since it's all hard packed dirt/gravel and completely flat. The only downside is that it is in the middle of nowhereville and there aren't any water stops or bathrooms along the way. Without going into too many unpleasant details, I'll just say that my body is till on PST (I just got back from California on Wednesday) and I wasn't quite ready to "do my business" before Val picked me up at 6:00 a.m. I was a little concerned knowing where we were running (in the middle of nowhereville) and knowing that the "poo fairy" was gonna arrive promptly on schedule pacific standard time (right about mile 6 or 7) so I stuffed one of my skirt pockets with Charmin extra soft just in case. I figured if I prepared for the worst, it wound't happen. (Kind of reverse-murphy's law mentality). I'll just say that that was wishful thinking and I was wrong and as Val described it - I took my running to a whole new level! Thank goodness for the dense forest. Val was giving me a hard time asking why I didn't come back out with a pocket full of tp? "pack it in, pack it out" she said. I reassured her all materials were biodegradable and then joked about our new marketing phrase for the running skirts with pockets...one for gu and one for poo. Ok, gross, I know but it entertained us for at least a mile or so....alrighty then, I'm moving on from this subject.
As for the long run - we ended up running easy and slow for 2 hours and then at the end of the 2 hours, we ran 5k pretty hard. This simulates the feeling you have at the end of a marathon and helps you gage conditioning for that distance. Here are my splits for this long run workout: 8:34, 8:15, 8:29, 8:18, 8:25, 8:14, 8:20, 8:31, 8:25, 8:22, 8:31, 8:37, 8:39, 8:28, (5k - 6:54, 6:36, 6:24), cool down mile 9:15 - total mileage 18.3
Ugh - my legs were feeling so heavy and dead just like they do at the end of a marathon, but otherwise felt injury free. We were very happy to have this workout behind us. I finished up with a nice hot cup of timmy's (coffee) while sitting in my ice bath for 20 minutes or so and then a warm shower. I was feeling pretty good after the shower. I also had a nice hot epsom salt bath at the end of the day before bed and it was heavenly. They sell these awesome giant bags of eucalyptus epsom salts at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada - I recommend them if you can find them! I pour almost a whole bag in my big soaker tub...it's a minty hot fabulous almost spa-like experience.
This morning I woke up slightly stiff but otherwise feeling really great. Today is a rest day and then I'll do something easy tomorrow. We will run a similar long run again next weekend, only finishing with 6k-8k strong and keep bumping up the last portion of the run until we get to 10k fast at the end.
Now onto more important subjects - all you moms out there - when did your little ones start sleeping through the night? We had our little guy "ferberized" at 4 months. He would sleep all night until 4 or 5:00 a.m., but that all went to the wayside when he started cutting teeth. We have been traveling the last month and I have spoiled him by grabbing him and feeding him as soon as he starts fussing before he wakes up the whole house or hotel guests. Now that we are home again I'm ready to re-ferberize, but wonder if anyone else has any tips on this. The first night attempt didn't go so well - he cried for 10 minutes and wasn't calming so I walked into his room and found him sitting up in his crib (this is a new skill). So do you let them sit there and cry and will they finally lay themselves down? Or do you pick them up and settle them and try again? Please help - I really can't do this 8-9 times a night thing anymore. I'm a sleepless wreck. I am also still breastfeeding him and may have something to do with the waking. I know all my friends that have switched to formula already all have babies who sleep more. Any tips? please??!!??