Marathon Training: Week 7

This week felt phenomenal. Except for today which I’ll explain. I can’t believe its been 7 weeks since I started running. It’s been so long that I’ve felt good on runs and I’m happy to say that the joy and pleasure of running has finally hit its stride. This week I had a hard speed workout followed by long runs. on Tuesday, I had a one mile warm-up followed by 8x 800 meter runs with a 2 minute rest in between, followed by a 1 mile cool down. This is the first time I felt fast in a while. For the most part I’ve been running at a 10 minute mile pace throughout my runs. so coming into the workout I was not expecting to run faster than an 8 minute mile pace. What I ended up doing was running at an average of 7 and a half minute mile pace and ending at a 7:19 mile pace. It was needless to say I felt strong even when I was tired. That run made me feel strong and better than I have in a while. The next run was an easy 6 mile run followed by the longest run i’ve had so far. 10 miles. Instead of running on the streets for 10 miles I decided to go hit the trails in this park I like to go to. I found out the trail was a lot longer and hard than I thought but it was a great run. I was worried that with the heat and the long mileage I was going to be stopping every few miles to cool down or catch my breath but I did not stop except for a few times when I was deciding where to go when I got lost. luckily ten miles was a long time to find my way back.

This week was exhilarating to say the least because I finally felt that I have made progress. Concerning today. I ran the 10 miles yesterday and the hill work was killer on my legs so now my legs feel sore. According to my app I ran up about 1500 feet of incline compared to my usual 200-300 feet. So I am hurting today.

With all that being said. I wanted to talk about the difference between this training period versus my last training period. I’ve always had issues with food. I remember “dieting” before and barely losing any weight, so last training season I decided to eat less because I figured it would help lose weight so I went on like that until I reached my lowest weight of 169. I was proud that I accomplished that but all the while training I felt terrible. there’s no run I can remember that felt as good as yesterdays run. I ran fast, maybe because I had less weight but i think the fracture I sustained on my foot was a result of my running in a depleted state as I did. I’m thinking that the reason I broke my foot was because I was not taking in the proper amount of calcium for my bones and running on empty was stealing all the calcium from the bones. I ran on an empty stomach, I ran with hardly any water, all because I wanted to see that number on the scale go down.

I just want to say please don’t do that. knowing what I know now and reading about the bioenergetic systems of the body, about the different electrolytes our body uses in order to keep us moving during exercise. I can’t believe I neglected protein as much as I did and also how I neglected taking in the proper macro AND micro nutrients. Now, i’m all about finding foods that are rich in calcium and potassium because I know I need those for my run. I eat more fruits and vegetables because I know at the end my runs will be all that much better. I even try to make sure my recovery is as important as my runs as well.

I wish I had known all about this before. I feel better now at 184 than I did at 169 because I’m eating for fueling and for energy for my runs rather than worrying about the scale. That will eventually show the hardworking I am putting in now. but that isn’t my main focus any longer. My main focus is to improve my performance. Its crazy to me how 6 miles feels so normal now. Before i broke my foot, six miles felt way too long and I dreaded running that because I knew how I would feel. Now, six miles feels like a normal run. I can’t imagine going back to four miles here five miles there.

Another thing that has changed this season is my approach to training. It’s no longer run as fast as I can until I hit the floor. I’m worried more about keeping a constant sustainable pace. one that I can relax to and which the only real enemy is the constant pounding on my feet. I enjoy these runs because I’m no longer putting pressure on myself to finish it at a certain time. I now have a single workout a week that I really push myself in. The other runs are relaxed and at a pace, even though slow, is rewarding because of how I feel afterwards.

What I want to say is that if you are getting in to running for the purpose of losing weight, that’s good. it’s definitely a good exercise to do that but do not neglect your bodies needs to reach that goal. I’d suggest, instead of focusing on weight, maybe focus on making other goals. running a 5k, 10k, half marathon. Focus on getting better, stronger, so that when you do run those distances, instead of feeling trashed, you feel like you could run more. When you shift your focus on getting better you will make choices to bring you to that. Good choices. The weight will come off because it is a result of making good choices to make you better but it takes time. I have had a complicated relationship with food but it’s taken until now to realize that food is essential to get better, live longer, and be healthier. I hope I got that across to you as well. Anyways, God bless! Keep training!

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