At first it seemed like my first week of marathon training was off to a less than idyllic start. While we had a wonderful holiday weekend in Michigan with friends and family, we also experienced some pretty horrific travel delays that made it difficult for me to set a relaxed tone while we were there. Since I was having some cramping in my calf that I couldn’t seem to shake, I decided to take several days rest, not exercise at all during our holiday, and complete the first run of my 18 week training program this morning, our first full day back at home.
I’m happy to report that after a lot of foam rolling and massage, my calf has started to feel a lot better and I had no pain on my slow 3 mile jog this morning. While it might take longer for me to know for sure, I think some of my improvement might be attributable to the magnesium oil I have been massaging into the back of my legs for the past few days. This is something my mom actually recommended and gave to me over a year ago, but that I never used or researched because I thought it seemed a little gimmicky. When I was at her house this weekend and mentioned my calf, she brought it up again and massaged some in for me right away. When I told her of my skepticism she replied, “Well of course you don’t have to use it, but it’s not a gimmick, the science is there.” After only a few minutes I had to admit, something seemed to be happening. After three days of continuous use, both my calves feel looser and more malleable. As many of you know, my mom is a holistic nutritionist and the source of almost all of the food and supplement advice I follow. While I have taken a magnesium supplement at night for years, I wish I would have heeded her advice on taking it topically a long time ago; I’ve had a lot of cramping issues and this seems like something that could really help long term; I will keep you posted!
To wrap up this check-in, I want to leave you with my three big takeaways from my inaugural marathon training run this morning. I’m kind of glad not everything went according to plan right from the start–something tells me that rolling with the punches will be the absolute name of the game.
- It’s so clear that diet is going to be key. I ate a lot of junk this weekend and I could feel it this morning. My body was full of inflammation and my joints were creaking like the tin man. Instead of giving myself a hard time about it I just took it slow on my run and got back to my normal diet. My incentive for clean eating gets even stronger when I have something to train for cause my reward is a body that feels lighter and moves more freely. I look forward to getting that back and keeping it up in the coming weeks. I’ll definitely have some posts on what I’m eating since it’ll be pretty different from the normal carbo-loaders, stay tuned–I can’t wait to hear all your opinions and experiences on this.
- A training plan is kind of a relief to an over-achiever. When I’m not training for something, I push myself to do a little extra on every single run. That little extra ranges anywhere from a half mile to three or four, depending on the day. I walk through life with a little voice in my head that’s always whispering, “you’re not enough.” I do work daily to try to quiet that voice but unfortunately, it frequently reaches across and touches most aspects of my life, including running. Marathon training gives me permission to shut this voice up and stick with the plan, and I love it. I know that I am not actually doing myself a favor by tacking mileage onto every run. In fact, I could be hurting myself and risking injury. Today my training called for 3 miles, and since I reached that mark before I reached my apartment building, I cooled down with a walk the rest of the way home (which is something I should probably always be doing anyway!). I think it’s going to be a huge weight off my back to head out to every run knowing that if I complete what’s on the schedule, I have done enough.
- I am so excited and grateful to be doing this. I do a lot of my shorter runs inside on the treadmill cause I like to mix it up with intervals, but I nixed that routine today; I wanted to be out in the morning with my city, in full acknowledgment of the start of this journey. I know November 5th is the ultimate goal, but for me, this is the starting line. It took a long time for me to get here, and I am so happy and grateful that I get to train and run in NYC. If I complete all the miles in my training plan I will have run 435.1 before race day. Looking at that number and completing these 3 miles today it’s never been more clear–it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have a long way to go and lot’s to learn–I’ll be sharing all of it with you along the way–I hope you’ll comment and share your stories with me as well.