September 10, 2013

Training Tuesday: EIGHTEEN MILES! And lots of massages...

You guys.  I can't even believe this happened, but I ran eighteen freaking miles on Saturday.  A new personal distance record!  I am still in shock that I made it through!  Let me back up a little bit...Last week marked week 13 of my marathon training.  As most of my half-marathon plans topped out at 10-12 weeks, this meant I am officially in the "big leagues" aka officially crazy enough to put in more than 12 weeks of training for a distance I've never even biked.  Things had been going soo well with my training until about my 16 miler.  Then I started getting some knots and tightness in my right hip.  I stretched and stretched, but my last few runs were pretty darn painful, even the short distances!  After a ton of tightness and pain in my right hip, glute, hammy, and hip flexor during last Tuesday night's short run, I came home and immediately booked a massage.  I know how helpful they can be for tight muscles, but time and money had made me put off an appointment for this long.

Wednesday I blew off my scheduled 9 miler in favor of a one hour deep tissue massage on my legs and hips.  It felt awesome, and I immediately noticed a difference in my hip when I got off the table.  I noticed a bigger difference the next day when I woke up and could walk almost normally!  Best money ever spent.
What a Friday Night during Marathon Training looks like...jealous?

That didn't mean I wasn't incredibly nervous about Saturday's long run.  18 miles would be two more than my most recent long run, I worried about my hip, and it was supposed to be a hot day.  Sooo nervous about this one!  Out of my tiny pace group of 6, only me and one other girl could make it to the long run!  I'm so grateful she was there, though--we kept telling each other repeatedly throughout the run that we never would have made it X many miles without the other!  The miles ticked by fairly quickly in the beginning, and I was sooo relieved to feel just some minor tightness in my hip flexor that I was able to keep totally under control with some stretch breaks throughout the run.

We chatted pretty much nonstop through the first 12 or so miles, then  began to quiet down as the really work began.  The sun was up, it was hot and humid, and our legs were starting to feel it!  Around 14 miles, we picked up another woman who had fallen behind her pace group, and that added some fresh spark to our conversation.  We plugged along for another two 16 everything started to reeeeally hurt.  Feet, calves, IT bands, hips, EVERYTHING!  Those last two miles were KILLER!  At the request of the group, I went into full-on teacher mode, giving pep talks and "power wooshes" to the other two before we got ready to start each run interval.  I hope it helped them, but it helped me too to be depended on for teh positive attitude!  As a youngest child/only girl in the family, I can be a little whiney...I definitely kept my attitude positive for the sake of the group. :)
Got each other through 18 miles!!
(Why are my eyes so squinty...oh probably because they are filled with salty sweat...)
While we were completely exhausted, we managed to pull it together enough to run that last mile back to our starting location at a little bit of a faster pace, pushing deep just so we could finish.  And we did!!!  18 miles--done.
Post-Run amazing beverage: ice, chocolate milk, banana, PB blended.  YUM.

Later that afternoon, I went back for ANOTHER deep tissue/sports massage, this time a 90 minute session!  I swear, that therapist was a godsend.  She worked sooo deeply into my hips, lower back, and legs, even climbing up on the table a few times to get really deep pressure!  At the end, she stretched out my legs, and it felt amazing.  I could tell the difference COMPLETELY in how my legs felt after the massage and the next morning.  I'm still sore, but just the "good" sore; nothing feels screwed up in my legs like it had the last few weeks!  Lesson learned = massages are worth every penny if they will get you to the starting line!!!

After this weekend, I feel so. confident. about this marathon.  I am EXCITED, and I know I will be READY!!!  What a great feeling!

Tell me about your training!  Did you run this weekend?


  1. YAYY so excited for you! I wish we could be running these together!

  2. Congrats!!! I'm loving reading about your training as you prep for Chicago! (I'm signed up for Cologne on the same day, but am dropping down to the half as I'm not prepared, and am doing the Seattle full instead)

    Also, I love the Lakefront glass in your recovery picture :) (I went to Marquette University in Milwaukee)


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