I am 10 weeks in and have 9 weeks to go until I attempt to run my first marathon. Up to this point, I have actually enjoyed training. However, this past Friday I had to run 16 miles and that my friends may have been my tipping point.
I’m not smiling in the above picture because I took it after running by myself for 3 hours. The first hour I felt tired and bored knowing what was in store. I usually run around my little Cape Cod town but then I get to listen to people saying to me all weekend, “I saw you running.” I love talking about running, but lately it feels like all I talk about is this marathon. I decided to go up to the Cape Cod Rail Trail for an out and back route – something I never do. I always opt for a loop.
I brought my little water bottle and was hoping to fill it along the way. I read that there were no water fountains but crossed my fingers I would find at least one. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a bike path that goes from Dennis to Wellfleet. You can keep going to PTown but I think you end up sharing the road with cars after that point. It is a total of 22 miles. I started in Dennis and planned to run 8 to Brewster and then turn around.
The path is shaded by trees so it is not too hot, passes by some beautiful lakes and feel very safe. Since I am doing my long runs on Fridays, it was not overly crowded when I began running at 8:30 am. I have friends that ride to various towns for lunch which I haven’t done since I’m a beach rat but if you are on the Cape for a week, it is a great active alternative. There are shops to rent bikes along the way as well if you don’t have your own.
Here was went through my head during my 3 hour run:
- Mile 0-2: This sucks. I have to pee. Where are the water fountains. I have 6 people I need to email back this afternoon before hitting the beach.
- Mile 2-4: Seriously, where is there a bathroom? Why did I change my route? Make that 12 people I need to email.
- Mile 4-6: Glad I peed. I feel better, and lighter. I can’t wait to eat my energy shots.
- Mile 6-8: The energy shots have changed this game. Only 2 more miles until turnaround. I hope there is a convenience store to buy water!
- Mile 8: Half way point and water! I can do this.
- Mile 8-12: I feel great. Life is good. I am excited to play with my nephews at the beach when I am done. What am I going to eat when I finish?
- Mile 12: Ate 3 more energy shots. Love them.
- Mile 12-14: Immediately feeling energized. Should I be running this fast? I can’t believe I’m 30 years old. When do I realistically think I will be ready for kids… There are a lot of kids and families on this bike path. Pondering life and all the decisions that I’ve made.
- Mile 14-15: I can’t believe I have just 2 miles to go! I can’t believe my body can do this. It’s crazy. My knees are starting to bother me. Should I get new shoes? Starts running like a barefoot gazelle. That was not effective… Block out the pain and finish. My lungs and legs feel good but my knees are the problem. I need to foam roll more often!
- Mile 16: I need my jam to finish. Puts on Jetsetter by Morningwood. I want this sh*t to be over with so I’m going to run as fast as I can.
Up until my 16 miler, I had only run 15 miles once, and 14 miles twice as part of my marathon training. I’ve actually only completed 3 half marathons as well. So 16, is intimidating! The first 60 minutes were tough. I felt tired despite following my usual breakfast routine. Maybe the fact that I woke up earlier than usual due to my nieces and nephews at 6:30 am or the fact that I probably went sugar overboard with an ice cream sundae from Smugglers the night before (hey, I was carboloading… don’t judge), but either way I wasn’t into the run and stopping wasn’t an option. I used my cause as a means for motivation. Thinking of my fellow Model of Courage Tracie Benjamin kept me going, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old and is training with me is Portland, OR. I’ve mentioned before that Tracie will be running the marathon a year after her diagnosis.
There were no water fountains during the first 8 miles of my run. There was a convenience store right at mile 8 where I bought a water to drink and use to fill my mini bottle that straps onto my running belt where I keep my keys, phone and gels.
Half Way There
With just 9 weeks left of training and 10 weeks into it, I feel confident thanks to my coach Jess’s Marathon Training Plan. I can’t believe I’m really doing it. I may need to start recruiting people to run with me during my long runs but I’m nervous that the talking will make me more tired and I will feel stressed about the pacing. Also, I have a lot of travel coming up so I’m not sure what days will be best for the long runs!