Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's the Happiest Time of the Year!

It's the happiest time of the year!  Christmas?  New Year?  My dad's birthday (Dec 29th)?  Well, ok, all of those are great in their own way (except for the New Year, I'm still out on my feelings for that).  But I'm not referring to any of those.  I'm referring to marathon training!  That's right, it's marathon training - part 2!  I'm training for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon at the end of April.  Since I'm going to follow the same 18 week training program that I followed for my first marathon, the 2011 Chicago Marathon, training officially starts this week!

I was really excited to start marathon training again!  It's like when you have a baby (well, I've never had a baby, but this is what I've heard), when you have a baby and even though you are in agonizing pain, you forget it all afterwards when you hold your little bundle of joy!  Training for my last marathon started great and pretty much continued great, even though there was that 5 week period of time when I was so tired of running that I thought I would never (ever) run again!  But holding my little bundle of joy (the finisher's medal - lol), made it all worth it! 

Holding my little "bundle of joy!"

So much so, that I couldn't wait to run another one!  After a few bumps in the road with my knee, I felt I was ready to start my training this week!

The first week's schedule calls for weekday runs of 3 miles, 3 miles, 3 miles and a weekend long run of 6 miles.  After much debating, I figured I would start my 3 miles on Tuesday.  But on Monday, December 26th, after learning that my friend Kelly from Running (Kell)ometers was going to run with a running group out of our local running store, I was torn.  This running group runs every Monday night at 6:00 pm.  I am never able to go because I don't get home from work until 6:00 and I have personal training.  Even though I didn't have work that day, I still had personal training.  I decided that I was not going to go.  Then my friend Mike called me (Marathon Man was from date #2 I had before) and said he was thinking of going and wanted to know if I wanted to go.  Now I knew 2 people going and I had already really wanted to go.  So as I was sitting in the parking lot of the gym (couldn't marathon man have called me sooner?), I had to decide right away what I wanted to do.  Should I be responsible and go to my personal training or ditch it and run with people I'm never able to run with!  I opted for being irresponsible for a change and ditch my personal training (I felt really bad when I texted my trainer!).

But I went for the run and decided to call it a marathon training day - day 1!  Even though my schedule called for 3 miles, I ended up running 4.3 miles.  My knees actually felt really good!  The only issue I had was that I was running a little too fast for me right now.  I haven't been running much since my little knee issue.  And the hills in the neighborhood were killing me!  If not for the fact that I was running with Kelly and her dog Pepper, I would have stopped to walk for sure!

After the run in front of Running For Kicks
Kelly, Pepper and me
Tuesday was marathon training day #2!  I thought that the 3 miles would go pretty easy.  Weather was not too cold.  Luckily the rain had stopped.  But as soon as my foot hit the pavement, my knee was in trouble.  Then I realized that I didn't have my knee strap on and went back in to get it.  But again, my knee was not feeling too well.  I was going to do 2 laps around my neighborhood which is about 3 miles.  But after close to one lap (about 1.36 miles in) I realized I was running at an 11 minute mile pace and also felt a pain in my knee.  I decided to stop and walk for a minute.  I thought about cutting my run short (this loop passes my house) and I was going to stop at 1.5 miles.  I decided even if I walked a little bit, I should at least try for 2 miles or 2.5 miles. 

However, I changed up my path a little bit as I passed some obnoxious little shits teenagers that had nothing else better to do  were hanging out.  Yeah, the teenagers were out last night since they are all on Christmas break!  And running past them in the dark was just not so much fun!  Let's just say the word "assholes" shot out of my mouth at some point.  I know, very lady-like!

I ended up stopping at 2.75 miles figuring it was close enough to 3 miles.  Bad knees, not listening to headphones (since it was dark and I needed to pay attention to my surroundings), and little shits made this run the worst run I had since my mini meltdown after Thanksgiving! 

In fact, I started re-thinking marathon training for a split second too.  It was training day 2 and I was having problems!  I have 17.5 weeks of this left to go!  It shook my confidence a little bit to say the least.  But as the wise runner once said (actually, it was Kelly on Facebook last night), "Tomorrow is always another day. There will be good days and bad days out on the trail, but the good outweighing the bad is what keeps us asking for more!" 

Training day number 3 will be on Thursday as a cousin wants to go to the gym with me.  I'm hoping for the best!


  1. Good luck with your training! The best thing we can do is reflect on the bad days, figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, and focus on kicking ass at your next run.

  2. Aww, I'm glad Pepper made it onto your blog! Soon, she'll be famous! :) As you know more than anyone, I've had my share of bad days out there in the marathon training process. (Some were early on too.) It is only day 2 and there is a long way to go, things are sure to go up from here! :)

  3. Thanks guys! It's encouragement like that that helps keep me focused!

    And it was great meeting you the other day Maggie! Hope to fun again soon with you guys!

    Kelly, Pepper deserves to be famous! Cute dog and she's an awesome runner!

  4. Your marathon training is going to go wonderfully Amanda! Don't let one run ruin it for you. Just forget about it and move on. One thing I have learned through marathon training is that you have to be flexible and go with the flow in order to stay injury-free and healthy!!

    Oh and by the way, my brother's birthday is December 29th as well. LOL

  5. Yeah you are right Jodi. I'm trying to just move on from it. Hopefully the next few are better to help erase my doubts!

  6. it's day number three!!

    good luck.


  7. oh wow. you are such an inspiration. there are noooo words!!!