My Return To Marathon Training

Indianapolis Marathon 2010

It’s been a long time since I ran a marathon. In fact, I haven’t crossed a full marathon finish line since 2011. 2011? Can that be possible? Am I still even able to claim to be a marathon runner?

So maybe I’m just a has-been marathoner, but I’m ready to step back into current marathon runner status. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had fun flirting with the half marathon for the last two years. She’s fun and she’s cute, but for me, it’s just not true love. The marathon is what makes me weak in the knees, literally and figuratively, and so I’m after another one.

Way back in the summer of 2012, I was ready to take my marathoning to the next level. After completing six full marathons, all in the 4:20ish range, I was ready to break 4 hours. My PR was (and still is) a 4:15:59 and I was ready to topple it. Annihilate it. KILL IT.

That training cycle, I was kicking some serious ass. By early August of 2012, I was clocking 70+ mile weeks and killing my speedwork. I was going to PR at the Indianapolis Marathon. It was so close, I could taste it. And then I got tired. Not like I needed a nap or an extra hour of sleep, but bone-crushingly tired. So tired I could barely make it out the door for a 6 miler. So tired I dropped out of a half marathon training race. What the hell was wrong with me?

I pushed on. Tried to keep up with the blazing (for me) paces, the high (for me) mileage. Tried to sleep as much as I could. August was a bitch. Then, on September 1st 2012, I got up at the crack of dawn to run another training half marathon, the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon. It was one of those days where the second you walk outside, you’re dripping with sweat. The air is so sick you can see it, can feel the weight of it on your shoulders. As I pondered what to wear, it occurred to me that I hadn’t gotten my period yet. Not uncommon for someone who is logging a lot of miles, but still, I just had an inkling. Could I be pregnant? I had to know right then. If I was, I would certainly run the race much differently than if I wasn’t. So at 5 AM while my husband slept soundly, I took the test. Surprise, surprise it was POSITIVE! It was the day that changed everything about my life, including my running.

About to pop!
About to pop!

I didn’t run the full marathon I had been training for in October. Instead, at 14 weeks pregnant I ran the half and PR’d. WTF? Yep, even running conservatively and not pushing it, I set a PR of 1:52. Definitely a testament to how hard I had been training. I didn’t run any more races, but I continued to run throughout my pregnancy. I even ran the day I went into labor with The Cheese (our nickname for our little guy).

 

Sweet baby Max (The Cheese)
Sweet baby Max (The Cheese)

Running after having a baby is a whole new ballgame. I work full time, so it’s hard to find enough time in the day to work, run and spend time with The Cheese. I cherish every moment with that ball of fun and when it comes down to it, he trumps running. But he needs a mom who is happy and fulfilled, so I do everything I can to squeeze in my runs on my own time, like at the crack of dawn, on my lunch break, or after he goes to bed. It’s been working for over a year now, but I have yet to train for a marathon while juggling everything else. And now that I’m in week two of training for the Indianapolis Marathon this October, I can tell that things are going to get interesting.

To top it off, I’ve got some big goals for this marathon. I’m ready to go sub 4 hours. I know I can do it. Since having The Cheese, I feel so much faster than I used to be. I set my current half marathon PR, 1:48:30, when he was ~6 months. I had barely done any long runs when I did the Indianapolis Mini Marathon this spring right around Cheese’s first birthday, and I ran a 1:49. I think these times are totally in line with running a sub 4 marathon. There’s no doubt that running with an ever-growing bowling ball under my singlet has made me stronger, faster and more confident. I’m ready.

So, there it is. What I’m after. I’m not the fastest runner by a long shot, but I’m ready to put in the work and crush this race. Bring it on!

 

 

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