The work is done.
The hay is in the barn.
I had my last hard workout this morning. 10 mile tempo with mile warm up and cool down. From here on out, easy recovery miles are on the plan until the race in 10 days. The only way to describe how this feels is to tell you that I broke out in tears when I clicked the "stop" button on my watch when mile 10 of my tempo came through.
I did it.
I completed every hard workout prescribed on the Hansons Marathon Method beginner plan. A plan that made me want to throw up when I looked through the pages of it in the book I read earlier this year. A plan that often gets described as tough. Aggressive. A time-suck. (These are words taken from commenters on a FB running group I am in.)
"How the HELL am I going to run 6 days a week? How the HELL am I going to run up to 12 miles on work days? TWICE. Every week. For 17 weeks?!"
"There is no way I can run past 40 mile weeks. Just no way."
"I refuse to get up before 5 AM. I need my sleep."
These are all things that went through my head. Things I told myself. Things I wrote on this blog and told other people.
I DID run 6 days a week. Every week (not last week!). For months.
I DID run 10-12 miles twice a week for 16 weeks on work days.
I DID run weekly mileage past 40. Past 45 miles/week. Past 50 miles/week.
I DID get up at 430 AM 2-3 days a week. For many. many. weeks.
I am writing this post because no matter what happens in that marathon, if it again is a total flop, I want to come back and read this and remind myself that all this work was pretty badass of me. I've had tough training plans before. Last year, the custom plan I had for Boston was no.joke. But I regret not taking time to appreciate all that work when I was doing it. So consider this post my ode to my training.
Also I need to mention this...and perhaps write a post about it...but this was not easy. I know that my Instagram photos probably paint a rosier picture about my running than the truth. "I don't know how you do it" is something that I have heard more than one time. This is how I did it - I gave up a lot of stuff to get all of this running done. Stuff that I enjoy. You can't run for 7+ hours a week for 4 months AND work full time AND have kids/family responsibilities without giving stuff up and making hard decisions...and getting crabby more often than you want to. This is a large part of why I only do one marathon a year. I also have a partner that takes on a lot more during this time to allow me to do this. And with that comes guilt from time to time.
I think appreciating all of this work honors those trade-offs and the time that others put in so that I could train.
I am proud of it and today, feel pretty badass.
Now --- TAPER TIME!