So I feel like a lot of serious runners out there are going to look at the title of this post and get really upset with me. I am seriously undertrained for my marathon this upcoming weekend, but you know what? It’s going to be okay! After running four marathons now I have learned that although I would love to follow a Hal Higdon plan to the t once in my training life and see what might actually happen on race day- I’m a mother of an (almost) six month old and a wife- I do not have the ability to run five days a week and then cross train another. Let’s be serious, even before we had Ellie I still didn’t train all that well because life happens. Does that mean I’m not going to keep working towards my fifty marathons in fifty states by the time I’m fifty goal? Heck no! I still am going to run marathons because I love to do so. I may not PR and am a long way from getting a BQ, but I’m okay with that as long as I’m still getting out there.
What I learned this training cycle (if you can call it that) is that at the end of the day spending time with Robert and Ellie on the weekends is more important than getting in a run. We also had a TON of people visiting us to meet Ellie this winter- which don’t get me wrong we absolutely loved- but it also meant a lot of times when long runs couldn’t happen. I also learned that by this point in my running journey I know what my body needs in order to be able to run 26.2. As long as I’m getting in a decent long run every other week I’m doing okay in my preparation. I also understand that stroller running does not add anything in the mileage category of runs, but it definitely is adding resistance so I feel like it is helping me do speed work inadvertently.
Would I love to PR next weekend- absolutely. Would getting a BQ be amazing- yes but completely unrealistic at this point. Am I going to let not having either of those things really be in the cards bother me- nope! I think the amount of training people think a marathon requires really intimidates them to to the point that they don’t even try and that’s so sad to me. Is next weekend going to hurt? Oh heck yes. Am I going to love every minute of it- probably not. Would I trade that for not being able to run the race- definitely not.
Please do not get me wrong I have put in miles and hours into my training for this race. I pr’d at the Chattanooga Half Marathon at the beginning or March and have run a 15, 18, and 20 miler since then. Simply running 5ks isn’t the greatest plan if you want to successfully run a marathon. My point in writing this is that obstacles are going to come up. Injuries will set you back, life events occur, work happens, and everyone in the country experienced the joys of crazy weather conditions this winter. Don’t let a few hiccups ruin the experience for you. Go in with realistic goals and be happy with the outcome. There is always another race, always more miles to be run. Learn from your training experience and use that in the future to help you accomplish another goal.
I would love to train better for my next marathon and hopefully will be able to now that Ellie and I are getting into more of a routine. However I am definitely not going to let an imperfect training cycle keep me from doing the thing I love and hopefully getting in one or two more states this year.
Here is to state number four getting crossed off the list next weekend and getting a pretty sweet medal when I cross that finish line.