Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Weeks Away from the Marathon – Heidi

I realized while on call tonight that I am late in writing a blog this week. Having just delivered a healthy boy, I thought I'd take a break from my office paperwork to compose an entry. I had to turn around and look at the calendar behind my desk to see that the Marathon is five weeks away. That knowledge is both scary and exciting. I'm ready to not give the bulk of a weekend day up to a long run but I don't feel like it's time to be lining up with thousands of others in Hopkinton on Patriot's Day.

I successfully ran another 20 miles this weekend and am scheduled to do (only!) one more 20-mile run in two weeks. I didn't want to miss my son’s basketball game this weekend and the weather reports weren't great so I wasn't sure when I was going to run. All of my potential running partners were busy or doing the New Bedford half marathon so I also didn't have a partner lined up. While driving to the basketball game Saturday, a lot of the other marathoners-in-training were braving the wet snow along Route 16 in Wellesley. Fortunately for me, the precipitation stopped after the game so I decided to get my 20 miler over with when I got home. The thought of 20 miles with nothing but my iPod for company was daunting, so my husband agreed to run four with me – every little bit counts! He's also thinking he might run the last few miles at the end of the Marathon to help me keep going so he's feeling he needs to get into shape for that. We did a 4.4-mile loop in our neighborhood and then I stopped by our house to get my fuel belt and iPod for the next 15.6. I've never run more than 13 miles on my own, but it wasn't so bad. Fortunately, my husband had downloaded some new music onto my iPod and the weather was relatively mild. I actually felt strong and fast for the next 10 miles or so. My sad moment during the run was realizing I had left my “snacks” back at home on the kitchen counter so I had only Gatorade to enjoy and to break up the miles. My knees started feeling the distance for the last stretch, especially the left one, but I don't think that's too unusual given the distance. Once I was home, it was a huge relief NOT to have that 20 miler hanging over me for the rest of the weekend.

My knees were still a bit sore when I ran again Sunday morning with my neighbor and again Monday evening while my son was at tennis. Although I'm away from home and on-call tonight, today is a day of rest in terms of running! I'm supposed to do a 13-mile run this coming weekend and then one last 20-mile run the following weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to the taper process at the end of the training program!

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