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Training -- Week 15!

Wine and Dine 2022 is in the books! TLDR version: I kicked butt!

Monday’s Halloween run was a quick 5k in brand new Brooks Glycerin shoes. I went to our local running store and was professionally fitted. I had been years ago, but what I’m training for has changed and having foot pain 10 or so miles in doesn’t bode well for a marathon. So I switched to a higher cushioned shoe and got some new socks to try out, too.

I skipped Tuesday and Wednesday’s run to rest. Besides, I flew to Orlando on Wednesday and visited Epcot for a few hours. This was the closest I’ll get to creating race conditions as possible, and I was on a mission to set myself up for success. Thursday was packet pickup and a few hours in Magic Kingdom. I bought a travel yoga/stretching mat for the hotel and used it often. I packed my Epsom salts, and I visited the KT tape booth at the expo to learn how to KT tape my knees. Most importantly, I was in bed by 8 for a solid 6 hours of sleep before my 2:30 alarm.

Friday morning was the 5k. Since it's not timed, I had intended to take it easy and walk, but I threw in some run intervals. I still stopped for pictures, but I finished before sunrise, and got back to the hotel by 7:15!

I stretched, took an Epsom salt bath and shower, and napped for hours. I felt great! I met Ms. Patti and Mr. Bob in Magic Kingdom for dinner. (Katie was supposed to come but had a doggie emergency and needed to stay. Thankfully, puppy Clare is making a recovery!) Again, I went back to the hotel after dinner and got to bed at a decent hour before the 2:30 alarm!

Saturday morning was the 10k. I felt great waking up – energetic and not sore! I remember how I felt the morning of the 10k in February and how I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I’ve come such a long way! However, before the race started, I had the opportunity to be interviewed on the big screen! I told the crowd about why I’m running, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Team in Training, my dad, and my fundraising goal! My Team in Training teammate snapped a picture, too!

The race itself was great. I felt in control and steady, mentally strong, physically good, and I was having fun. I finished, took a picture or two, and waited for Mr. Bob to finish (he started about 20 minutes after me).

Then it was back to the hotel for my stretching, Epsom salt bath, shower, and nap! Saturday dinner was in Epcot and we had a little later reservation – 5:45 in Norway. But it was the newly reopened Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, and I had to get a picture with my favorite Princess. Although I got back to the hotel closer to 9, we “Fell Back” and gained an hour with the time change, so I still got about 6 hours of sleep.

Sunday was the half! The start line was about 1.5 miles from where the bus dropped us off, so we left a little earlier to account for the further walk. I still felt good – I had recovered nicely and rested well. However, I wasn’t accounting for rain. Shortly after I started running, it started pouring. I don’t mind a light drizzle, but puddles were forming. By mile 2, every step was a squish in a cold and soggy sock. It was – unpleasant – to say the least. Miles 8-12 were on the open highway with no shade. Between the sun coming up an hour earlier and the rain clearing out, it was hot and humid, and I was still squishing away. I made it to Mile 11 before my feet were over it. My heels hurt, they were wet, and the wet friction felt blister-like. But, I was far enough along and at a decent enough pace, that I knew I would finish and I just had to "embrace the suck" for the last two miles. And I did! I saw a few Team in Training teammates along the way and at the finish line, too! Again, I took a few pictures, rested for a bit waiting for Mr. Bob, and headed back to the hotel. I was hurting, but so proud of myself.

When I got back to the hotel, I texted my coach a summary. “Lungs felt good, heart rate good. Stopped for a selfie at every mile marker. Stood in a few short lines of less than a minute (but no long character lines), and had a bathroom break, too. Faster pace than yesterday’s 10k! And – I didn’t need to stop at a medical tent for pain meds or ice, unlike all half marathons before! Now, I have no idea how I’m going to double that, but that’s tomorrow’s worry. Today, I feel pretty proud of my accomplishment!”

As you can guess, I stretched, took an Epsom salt bath and shower, and napped. However, we got back later and had earlier dinner reservations, so I didn’t sleep as much as I would have liked. After dinner, I went to Epcot for the Wine and Dine after-party, but my feet didn’t want to walk. The line to get in was so long, I took an hour detour on a boat to rest my feet and avoid probably a 45-minute security line wait. Once I got in the park, I grabbed a snack and a seat for the nighttime fireworks, then called it a night and headed back. My feet were just not in “partying” mood.

Overall, I ran 22.4 miles in 3 days of waking up at 2:30, and I felt great until mile 20. If I can just make it to the start line of the marathon feeling decent, it’ll be a win. However, if I can get to mile 10 or 15 of the marathon, I’ll feel confident I can grit out the rest. My goal is to just push that wall further and further into the marathon day. If I learned anything this trip, it’s how important rest is. In January I was undertrained. In February I spent too long in the parks after the races. In April I didn’t have my stretch/bath recovery routine. This January I’ll need to take it easy, get in my naps, eat early dinners, go to bed early, load up on Epsom salt, and stretch, stretch, stretch!

Week 15: Run 28.5 miles + Walk 0 miles = 28.5 total miles

Cumulative: Run 240.47 miles + Walk 17.98 miles = 258.45 cumulative miles

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