#ENDALZ, Race Planning

Three months to the Chicago Marathon

Three months…90 days until I run my next marathon. I’m really starting to believe that running a marathon is like having a child. Allow me to explain. You find out you are pregnant and you have nervous excitement. The equivalent to I just finished a marathon and I signed up for another on the way home. Nervous excitement. Then there’s some waiting. Similar to a pregnancy there comes that moment of oh wow, this is getting real. That would be today for me. Things are real and rather than start nesting it’s time to get my butt in gear!

So over the last few weeks my running has been really inconsistent. Quite honestly, I was just plain tired. I’ve been sick off and on and gave my body some grace. What started out as giving my body grace turned into a lack of routine, which translated to a lack of consistency, which made it easier to skip another day. Another pregnancy similarity- it’s like I just excited the first trimester and feeling good. Please note this is not some subliminal pregnancy reveal- I just really love the parallelism better the two journeys. Pregnancy is hard on your body and you get an amazing child at the end of the journey. Training and running a marathon is hard on your body- but rewarding in so many ways.

While marathon training doesn’t start until July 18 I had a solid build up week this week. I’ve been running long enough to know if I go from 10-12 mile running weeks to 24 miles I’m going to be sore and run the risk of injury. So after some seriously low mileage weeks I ran just shy of 17 miles this week. Next week I’ll run 20 miles over the course of the week and then I’ll be ready for that first week of training which calls for 24 miles.

Another way marathon training and pregnancy are similar…you need to eat better and get more sleep. While I’ve been keeping my water at 100 or so ounces a day, which if you know me is a major accomplishment. Huge! But overall my eating has been, shall we say- whatever the heck I want. As I sit here sipping my protein shake (thanks Kerry for the push to get back on the shake train!) I know that fueling my body is critical for the added miles and strength training coming my way. There will also be less Prosecco in my future. (See another pregnancy similarity!). But notice, I didn’t say none, just less so I guess it’s a little different. And I just need to get some more sleep. Basically, if I’m going to expect my body to perform and hold up to training cycle and marathon, I need to give it the things it needs- sleep and better nutrition.

This will be my third marathon training cycle. First was during COVID, when I ran a virtual marathon. Feels crazier and crazier every time I think about it. I had the gift of all the time in the world during most of that training cycle because we weren’t going anywhere or doing anything. Second training cycle started right after my Dad died. I had the extra emotional push of channeling my why and the fact that after so much anticipation I was running the NYC Marathon. But that was combined with having gone back to work full time. So far less time for training- but I got it done!! As I contemplate training cycle number three my why remains the same. I run in memory of my Dad and to #endalz. In some respects it is hard to believe that he’s gone nearly a year. The emotion is still raw, but in other ways because of Alzheimer’s I truly lost my Dad, years before. Not that it makes it any easier to fully lose him, but the disease robbed us of quality time together. So when I’m tired or trying to figure out when I’m going to get my next training run in, I did deep and channel my why. While it won’t bring my dad back, it might save another daughter from having to watch the effects of Alzheimer’s on their mom or dad.

Please consider joining me in the effort to end Alzheimer’s….no you don’t have to run…even though I’m trying to put together a running group at work. You can join me by making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in support of my Chicago Marathon run. Together we can end Alzheimer’s!

Stay tuned- a training cycle means more posts. I love keeping track of how I’m feeling during the process so I have something to compare it to next time. That said, I keep sayin Chicago is going to be my last marathon- so maybe the training updates will just be for prosperity?! Time will tell.