Running a Spring Marathon!

I guess with all the running, recovering, and new mom-ing, I never really told anyone – I’M RUNNING A MARATHON! Yes, I’m running Grandma’s Marathon on June 21st, less than 3 weeks from now. Wells will be 8 months old! (I did my first postpartum marathon after having Currie when she was 8 months old as well!)

First postpartum marathon after having my first baby!

First postpartum marathon after having my first baby!

I didn’t originally plan to run a marathon this spring (I guess summer officially starts on my race day, but I’m still calling it a spring marathon). When I was pregnant with Wells, I decided to “get fast” and race a bunch of shorter races AND half marathons, ending with a goal race of the US Half Marathon Championships which I assumed would once again be in Duluth in June during Grandma’s Marathon weekend. Then I gave birth to my sweet little guy and quickly learned the US Half Championships were in January in Houston and I wouldn’t be ready to race a great half just 3 months postpartum (especially when I took the first month postpartum completely off from running). All of a sudden, I had no goal race.

Life brought races my way. I ran a 5 mile Turkey Trot when Wells was 2 months old and beat my time goal. I raced a local 5 miler with a big hill at the end a few months later and did ok. I did a local 10 mile race and jogged another 5 to complete my first 15 miles postpartum. I did a last-minute 4 mile race near my hometown after forgetting my sportsbra and having no racing flats. I ran the Gate River Run 15k in Florida and had an awesome time with my friends, HollyAllison D and Allison K! The “Allisons” planted the seed for Grandma’s Marathon. We all decided that same weekend we would run the marathon together. IT WOULD BE FUN! It would be fast! Girls weekend! YES! Just like that, I was committed to running a full marathon this spring and in the same city and same weekend I originally planned for my goal race! (Since then, a few things came up and my buddies aren’t able to race the full, but we are still making it a girls weekend and they plan to race the half!)

Allison K, me, Allison D, and Holly post Gate River Run!

Allison K, Allison D, me and Holly post Gate River Run!

Next, I raced back-to-back half marathons – Glass City and Pittsburgh. I ran both half marathons in 1:19:24 and was very pleased with those times.

I took training really easy the week between my back-to-back half marathon weekends (strides after an easy run and one workout which included just 12 minutes “hard” but slower than half marathon pace). I took 3 days very short and easy after the 2nd half. I was being smart… as far as training was concerned. But other parts of my life were messy and hindering my recovery. I was eating poorly. I wasn’t sleeping more than 4 broken hours of sleep a night because Wells started teething and both of my kids had horrible colds. I was hosting a few gatherings at our place. I was pretty stressed out in general. The next thing I knew, I tried to do my first workout post half marathon weekends and my hip said “no way!!” I ended up taking the next 2 weeks running short and easy. I missed 4 workouts and a long run. I missed about about 60 miles of running on my training schedule. Thankfully, I’m also smart enough to shut things down at the first sign of “injury” because pushing through won’t get me to the starting line! I was just under 7 weeks out from Grandma’s Marathon when the hip pain started. I knew 2 weeks of missed training wasn’t ideal at that point, but it would be ok.

I did a lot of stretching. I did yoga. I made an appointment for Active Release Technique (ART). I got a little more sleep (hard with a teething, sick baby, but I did what I could).

I had run one 18 mile long run, one 16 mile long run and a few 15 mile long runs at the point when I had my hip flare up. More than missing my workouts, I was worried about missing the mileage and the long runs. Thankfully, by 5 weeks out from Grandma’s Marathon, my hip was feeling 100% better and I was able to do my first 20 mile long run. The following weekend, I did another. I wanted to quit from the first mile, but I finished the solo 20 miles with some positive self-talk! The next weekend (this past weekend!) I did 22 miles. And that’s the longest run I’ll do as my long run taper has begun!

GPS watch comparison after the mentally tough and hot 20 mile run.

GPS watch comparison after the mentally tough and hot 20 mile run.

This training cycle has been very positive overall. I’ve had a lot of success, and just as many days where I wanted to quit. But like I said in a post a few months ago, every time I want to quit, but continue on, something wonderful happens. So here’s to the wonderful, hopefully happening on June 21st at Grandma’s Marathon!

Thanks for following along on my journey!

15 thoughts on “Running a Spring Marathon!

  1. I’m so excited for you Jen. Though I know you haven’t had the 100% perfect training cycle you have done amazing and I cannot wait to see where it takes you.

  2. YES! I am so excited for you. You’re going to be amazing.

    For the first time since I started running after the baby, I am starting to feel more like myself when I run and am excited to start training again. You are definitely an inspiration :)

    • Thanks Ashley, and that’s great to hear! I still have days where I don’t feel like myself, but those days are dwindling! You are doing awesome and Baby Bun Jennie is so adorable!

    • Haha, thanks Jenna! And (sarcastic) thanks a bunch for getting Shakira stuck in my head all day since I read your comment this morning! 😉

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