Tomorrow I begin my training cycle for the 2017 Boston Marathon. It feels like the Ottawa Marathon was just last month. When I was training for the Ottawa Marathon, I was on maternity leave and Lennon was only a few months old. It was my first marathon, and I thought I knew what I was getting myself into – but, you never know what marathon training is like until you are actually experiencing it, and even then, it’s probably different each time.
8 weeks into training I sprained my SI Joint. I was also exclusively nursing Lennon, so my ligaments were still very loose and I was running a faster paces and volume than my body was likely ready to handle at that point in time. I was also slacking on core strength and other important things, like sleep. I was out for 6 weeks and resumed running 4 weeks before the marathon.
I had no expectations for the Ottawa Marathon, other than to finish the race and hopefully qualify for Boston. There was an extreme heat warning on race day and I hadn’t completely recovered from my injury. It was certainly not the ideal training cycle or race conditions, but I accomplished both goals, and here I am, one sleep away from checking off the workouts on my training plan for the Boston Marathon.
There are a lot of things I learned from my first marathon experience that I will be bringing to the table this time. I will NOT slack on my core and strength workouts, I WILL allow myself time to recover, I WILL have PT/RMT and chiro on rotation, and I WILL run slower during my workouts. During Ottawa training, I would try and speed things up to try and fit my runs in during Lennon’s nap. Also, due to Odin’s attention span, as he was playing in the same area my treadmill is in. It wasn’t ideal, and it likely contributed to my injury.
I’m also trying to make a conscious effort to simply take each workout one day at a time and not think too much about the race. Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the “what ifs” of the marathon – how much faster could I have run the Ottawa Marathon if it wasn’t a million degrees out that day? How much faster could my time have been if I didn’t miss 6 weeks of training? What would my time have been if I was healthy? Obviously, I will never know, and there’s a flip slide to all of that – I could have been injured later in my training and not made it to the start line at all, for example. To be honest, I don’t even have a time goal set for the Boston Marathon yet. I think that I will likely think more about that closer to the race. Throughout 2016 my race times dropped significantly, and this time around, there are so many variables that have changed since this time last year – Lennon is older and not nursing, Odin is in school, I won’t be cramming my runs into nap times, I’m back to work and not on maternity leave, I have more knowledge about the things I can do to help myself recover and better support the volume of my training.
So, for the next 18 weeks, I’ll be sticking to my training plan and doing everything I can to not get injured this time around! Let the journey to Boston continue!