It’s been a few weeks since I mentioned my marathon training, so though this would be a good opportunity to provide a status check. I’m just starting the fifth week of my 18 week training plan. Over the course of the last four weeks I have been extremely happy with how my knee has responded to the rigors of daily activity. Despite the increased workload, I have not felt any discomfort. This may be partly down to the use of a knee strap while running and an ice pack afterward, but that’s a whole lot better than medicating with painkillers on a daily basis. I’ve also been rather impressed with my ability to get up at five o’clock in the morning and get a run in before heading off to work. Whether that continues as the days get shorter and the mornings darker, we’ll just have to wait and see. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are pretty tough with such an early start and I need to be more disciplined about going to bed on time the night before and getting enough sleep.
These past few weeks have been a challenge in two areas; the heat and the distance. If you recall, I really only started running seriously late last year. Prior to this year, I had no experience running in the summer and I have to admit – I hate it. The heat and humidity do not agree with me one bit. Besides being extra smelly when I come back from a run, I find my energy levels depleting quite quickly on runs – even when I’m taking on board supplements and gels. For those reasons, I have not always been able to reach my distance goals on each run. My long run in week two should have been nine miles, but I hit the wall early and struggled to clock in at six. Some of my mid-week runs have been slightly shorter also, both because of the conditions and getting used to some new training routes around Prospect Park.
Even with the aforementioned issues, I like to look back over the opening weeks with some semblance of pride and regard them as moderately successful. I’ve come to realize that it’s not always possible to stay true to the plan, but so long as I’m training smart then I’m making good progress. Although I’m not setting the roads alight with my speed, that I can finish an 11 mile run in a reasonable time and maintain my physical condition makes me very happy. I’ll check in again just before the half way point and prior to the Yonkers Half Marathon with another update, but in the meantime you can get more regular activity-based updates on my twitter feed.