I’ve reached a point in my training for Boston that leaves me constantly questioning myself and honestly, feeling scared. When I was training for the 2016 Ottawa Marathon, I only made it to week 7 of an 18 week training plan before being sidelined with an injury. I was cleared to run 4 weeks before race day, and due to the injury, those last 4 weeks were mostly to get some more miles on my legs each day. I ran a 20km run to round out the second week of my return, and then a 30km run to round out the 3rd week. It was that 30km run that was the deciding factor for me and whether or not the marathon was still within my grasp. I remember running it at a 4:48/km average pace and making the decision that both the marathon and my hopes of qualifying for Boston were still somewhat reasonable. Although my training for that race wasn’t ideal, and far from what I expected, the outcome was exactly what I wanted.
This time around, I’m training for my second marathon – the BOSTON MARATHON (!!!). Today was a rest day and consisted of Addaday rollers and Jasyoga. I also spent a lot of time staring at my training plan. When I first printed the plan – the same 18 week plan I had for Ottawa – I couldn’t help but keep focusing on the little asterisk I had placed in the box for the training week where I got injured the first time around. Sidenote: why did I ever add that to the training plan?!?!
I scratch off the box after completing each workout. This time, I’ve scratched off a lot of boxes after the one that contains that asterisk. But I think I have realized why I feel hesitant, or that something is just going to blindside me.
To be honest, I feel like I did when I was pregnant with Lennon. Holding my breath, waiting for bad news. After the two miscarriages before getting pregnant with Lennon, once I got pregnant again, I held my breath and was scared for a long time. After the eight week mark, which was the point where I suffered each miscarriage, I literally crossed off each day further that I made it in that pregnancy. I often tell people that it wasn’t until week 35 of my pregnancy that I finally allowed myself to embrace the excitement and finally feel calm, knowing my baby was on the way. With this training cycle, I held my breath until week 7 and wanted to see how much further I could get.
This time, it’s not a baby, but a marathon. One that means so much to me that it hurts. I am on the tail end of peak training, with this week being the second of my 70mi training weeks. The rest of the plan is fairly smooth sailing. I often forget to give myself credit for the work I’ve done this time around to actually prevent an injury from happening – making the time for recovery, strengthening, following through with massage, chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments. I’m still trying to figure out the best marathon training cadence for me. I’m still new to the distance. I worry that my body will be too tired on race day. I worry that the 6 full weeks off from running during that first cycle of training is what allowed me to achieve my goal. Should I be running more? Should I be cutting back a bit more? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers, so I’m relying on my body to let me know. So far, so good.