Week 17: “I’m Ready”

DAY | PLAN | ACTUAL
MON | REST | REST
TUE | 4M/STRENGTH | 4.25M (9:51/MI)
WED | 6M | 6.1M (10:35/MI)
THU | 3M/STRENGTH | 3.1M (10:08/MI)
FRI | REST | REST
SAT |YOGA  | BIKRAM90
SUN | 8M | 8.25M (10:18/MI)
TOTAL |21 MILES | 21.7 MILES

I wish I could say that I felt like a million bucks all week. Instead, there’s been a ripple of pain that’s been radiating up and down each side of my body. On my walk to work I text my hubs to say there’s a pain in my left heel. At the end of the day when I chat with him on the way back to the train, the soreness has moved to my right side. Luckily for me, I’ve got about 100 marathoner blogger friends who’ve informed me that this is normal. To back it all up, I’ve found a plethora of articles that come up on google when I type in pain during marathon taper.

Overall I will say that taper week #2 has been better than taper week #1. Feeling a little less sore, a little less creaky, and a little less cranky, so that’s all been positive. I took it pretty easy on all my runs this week, but I got them all in. I told some of you I was planning to try and sleep in on Thursday, and skip that workout, but I was up at 5 and could not fall back asleep–so off I went. It almost seems like my body is begging for more miles–at this point it seems like the only way to get more lubrication in my joints. At the end of my training, it took about 5 miles to feel nicely warmed up and loose and I think my body is still in that mode. It’s made for some stiff 3-4 mile runs this week, but I’ve survived. Getting to yoga on Saturday was key, especially for my knees. In Bikram we do so much compression and then release of the knees, it really gets the blood and synovial fluid moving and helps with my mobility. I had another massage a couple hours after yoga as well and that helped even more.

I don’t think I’m going to do a week 18 wrap-up, I’ll cover those feelings when I report on the actual race. So for now I’ll just share my plan for this week. My actual training program calls for three short runs on today, Wednesday, and Thursday–a 3, a 4, and a 2 miler. I’m going to swap out the 4 miler tomorrow for a yoga class cause getting that final big stretch to open things up is really important to me. On Thursday morning I’ll run something between 2-4 miles, depending on what my legs and my mind feel like doing. Then, Thursday night, I will get my last massage from a therapist I have grown quite attached to. She has listened to me and also taught me so much; she’s worked so hard at getting my body ready for this race and I am so incredibly grateful to her.

Friday and Saturday are rest days. I’ll be leaving work a bit early on Friday to meet my hubs at the expo to pick up my bib and swag, then I get to meet my sister and Mom (who is flying in from Michigan!) for dinner. Saturday I am hoping to spend the day off my legs and on the sofa with my hubs. I’ll be hydrating and getting electrolytes and salt the whole week, and fueling up with veggies and clean protein. I’ll be getting some good carbohydrates in Friday and Saturday as well, but nothing too crazy. As many of you know I’ve never been much of a carbo-loader. I get what I need close to a big run but throughout the week I eat very little grain and limit my sugars to fruit. I’ve found I’m able to limit inflammation this way and it’s how my body feels best. When I’m on the course, I’ll be using Clif gels and blocks to get the quick sugars I need to burn for fuel.

Overall, I’m feeling good about everything. I believe I’m ready. Still, I have had a few hangups about the weather. I’ve let it take up quite a bit of headspace already and that had me a bit frustrated for a while. But, after some meditation/clearing my head, I’ve been able to let go of what I can’t control. The forecast literally switches every few hours from 10% to 50% chance of showers. I really don’t want it to rain. But, I think I am finally getting to a place where I believe I’m going to make it through whatever I have to. If I’m being real and let myself delve a little deeper, I think the weather has served as a bit of a distraction. This is a big week–a week I honestly was never quite sure I would get to. It hasn’t taken me 17 weeks to get to this week–it’s taken me 17 years. I think obsessing over the weather is easier than actually letting myself be present and feel all the emotions that are starting to course through me. I feel a little crazy.  Crazy that the race is finally here. Crazy about what happened today in lower Manhattan. Crazy that it’s November tomorrow and life is just flying by.

Sometimes I wish I could just pull out a Zack Morris freeze frame–just pause everything, or at least slow it down for just a second. I hate the feeling of not being able to hold on.

Although I’ve never run a marathon before, I know from other experiences that I need to take one day at a time–and also, take an interest in someone besides myself. I think a lot of the craziness I am feeling is that I’ve got a lot of me me me swirling around in my head. Whenever my thinking is in a self-centered loop track, I know I need to reach outside and see how other people are doing.

So…that means you! Please, share with me…what’s going on with you this week? With running, with not running, with your new job, with your kiddos–how are you feeling? Anything going on a loop in your brain that you need to cut off? Anyone else running NYC this week? Talk to me about everything besides the weather!! 

Thanks for sticking with me for 18 weeks you guys. You’ve been absolutely unbelievable. There’s no way I’m making it to that starting line without you. x

PS–Please stay tuned Sunday morning for the last installment of my mile by mile series. I will be posting early in the AM before I leave to go catch the ferry to Staten Island. Will also be posting my bib number in case anyone wants to track me plodding along. Thanks guys. x

77 thoughts on “Week 17: “I’m Ready”

  1. qplourde

    OMG good luck with everything this weekend! I have a few friends running New York so I’ll need to set up my tracker. All those pains were very similar to the pains I was feeling before my marathon and I was freaked out. They will all be gone on race day. You’re going to do great – very excited for you. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks lady! I feel so lucky to have read about your experience in Chicago before. Taking all your wise words out there with me. Starting to freak out less today–so I am hoping things are heading in the right direction :). And yes–that would be so awesome if you tracked me–I have this thing where i feel like i am going to be able to feel the support of everyone doing it, lol. I love it. thanks for everything lady!! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. qplourde

        I just got the app and added you to my track list. I agree with what one of your commenters said, starts off with your legs and ends with your head. One thing that got me through was that my head never wanted to quit, mentally I was able to get it done. Even when my legs were screaming at me! You got this!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Each marathon starts in the legs and ends in the head. You’ve done the training. Now, as my running mate Des says, the race is a just a lap of honour. Expect not to sleep well over the next two nights. Expect to be familiar with the loo. When you do finally get going, expect it at times to be quite emotional. Get those Clif gels in regularly, and ease up on the water. Go steady. But above all, enjoy it. You only do your first time once. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tomorrow I am going to relax, lay around, and catch up with all my favorite bloggers. Your marathon race report is at the top of my list–can’t wait!!
      Thank you for all the great advice, and the support. I promise I am taking it with me. I am enjoying myself already–very happy, excited day today, I think i am off to a good start!! Thanks UM!! x

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You are so ready!! How exciting (and nerve wracking) that race day is almost here. I’ve been reading your training recaps throughout this process and am so impressed by your commitment! It is incredibly motivating (especially when I find myself wanting to skip some training runs, haha). I am flying to New York from Michigan for the race and have done my fair share of obsessing over the weather as well… but finally decided it will be what it will be. Best of luck to you this weekend, maybe I’ll see you out there! You’re going to crush it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are ready too lady! Thank you so much for writing this, it means so much to me. That would be so amazing if we saw each other, but even if we don’t it makes me so happy to know you are out there with me. Safe travels and I hope you enjoy every minute of the experience (i know it’s not your first but still very exciting). lots of love to you girl. x

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  4. You ARE indeed ready. I’ll be thinking of you cheering you on. What an epic race for your first marathon. I hope someday I will run New York. Most of all, remember to enjoy and run with joy.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When we get anxious about things, it’s because they are important to us. As long as you’re not so anxious that you can’t enjoy the journey it’s all good. May the love of your higher power bring you peace and joy this week.
    As far as the possibility of rain is concerned… so what if it rains? If you sweat when you run you’re already wet.
    Best wishes and prayers. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Jonathan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was little, I used to get SO excited when my favorite aunt and uncle would come to visit us from Chicago. Then when they would leave, I would get so sad. One time after they left I was sitting in my dad’s chair with him crying and he said to me, “you”re so lucky.” I looked at him like he was crazy, how could I be lucky, I was so sad? Then he told me that I must have a pretty great aunt and uncle and I must have a pretty great time with them if it makes me so sad for them to leave. He said that not everyone had that, which was eye opening, I didn’t know that.
      Thank you for your well wishes and prayers Jonathan, taking them with me. Thanks for being here. x

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  6. Well I’m in pain from my half taper so this does not give me hope for a full someday…HA!

    I’m so incredibly excited for you Cat. You ARE ready. Run your race and soak in every second. Take in every sight and sound so you can report every detail. I’m living vicariously through you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow Deanna, you are getting close too! Is it next weekend? I’ve been pretty self-centered lately i can’t keep all my people’s schedules straight!!
      Thanks for all the love and encouragement all this time lady–couldn’t do this without you!! And don’t worry, I’m gonna take it ALL in, can’t wait to share! x

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  7. Mary Lennox

    One thing I love about running is this – at its core, it is just one foot in front of the other. Just when you think you can’t go any further, you just have to put one foot down, and then the other, and so on… Best of luck to you – hope you have an amazing run. Will be sending good energy your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One foot down, and then another, and so on. I love this Mary. So much. Thank you. I think I will remember it when things start to get tough. Just one foot, one step at a time right? I have done pretty much everything else in my life that way–why would this be any different?
      Thank you so much for your good energy–taking it with me!! x

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  8. It’s been a hell of a journey Cat. Now it’s your turn to become a marathoner. I’m proud of you and excited for you. We’re in Lanzarote, Spain, this week and our daughter Rebecca is with us. Bex & I have been running together in the mornings, then back to the apartment for breakfast by the pool. It’s just the best thing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah man Ali–morning runs with your girl and then brekkie by the pool–I am not sure I can think of anything better! Enjoy!!
      I had my last run this morning–only 2.5 miles–my legs and my whole body were begging for more. I am going to take that as a good sign. Ready to be a marathoner! Thanks for being proud of me Ali–it’s a good feeling. Enjoy the rest of your trip! x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. tim

    Go out and smash it…

    …and if I may be permitted to offer two pieces of ‘advice’…

    1) Whatever you do and no matter HOW well you feel things are going, do NOT run too fast for the first 14-15 miles. For my first marathon in 2015 I ran the first 14 miles so, so well (or so I thought). Everything felt fantastic. It was like a dream. I knew that I was going a bit faster than I had trained but I felt brilliant so I allowed myself to keep pushing. At about mile 16 I started to slow. By mile 18 I was finding it tough. By mile 22 I was walking. Between mile 22 and 23 I had stopped. Two guys came up behind me and walked me to the next race marshall point at mile 23. They sat me in a chair. I immediately got cramp (which I never get). They fed me mini pretzels (mmm, salt!). I just couldn’t move. They offered to radio for someone to pick me up on a quad bike and take me to the finish area… I sat there thinking how utterly embarrassing it would be to not finish when everyone at home knew I was running my first marathon etc. That thought, and the threat of the quad bike, got me out of the chair and I started walking. A few hundred yards later I was shuffle running, then I was running and the last 2-3 miles eventually passed by fairly easily. I finished in 4:44ish but had spent over 30 minutes getting from mile 22 to beyond mile 23. Looking back, that was one of the most interesting/useful experiences I could have had, but the clear lesson is DON’T GO TOO FAST. Looking back, I found that I had run the first 14 miles at an average 8:39 pace which was about a minute faster than I had trained for. What could I possibly have expected to happen?! I had previously thought that when people talk about hitting ‘The Wall’ that means you will (just) feel really tired. I didn’t realise that it literally means that you actually hit a (metaphorical) wall. You don’t want to do that…

    2) In my 7th marathon or marathon plus event (Southampton in April 2017) I ran sub-4 hours for the first and only time (so far). It was an amazing experience. I ran the first half at around my (then) PB pace, taking care not to over-cook things early and then just went from there, eventually knocking ~15 minutes off my PB (which a few weeks previously I had shortened by another 10 minutes) with a negative split run. A key part of this was the support around the route, something which I am sure will be FAR more in NYC than for my event. What I noticed is that most people were just running the route, straining away, looking grim, suffering. Instead, I was high-fiving kids, waving to people in upper level windows, applauding/conducting kerbside musicians, exchanging greetings with marshalls etc. – lots of goofy stuff – generally just making sure that everywhere that I could I was interacting with the support and having a laugh. What I found was that this had the effect of sucking energy from the support and whereas most people running were missing out on this free energy source I was gulping it down. That was an amazing feeling. So make sure that you tap into the crowd/marshalls/musicians etc as much as possible. Reading your blog, despite not knowing you at all, I have a feeling you will be REALLY good at this and that you are going to have a cracking day on Sunday.

    So, good luck from Plymouth, UK,

    Tim

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Tim…Oh Tim!! I can’t tell you how much you taking the time to write all this means to me. It’s such thoughtful and meaningful advice and I am so grateful to learn from your years of experience. I am going to go back to this when I need to in the next few days–and believe me, I will need it!
      I love what you say about using the crowds as an energy source–I am focused on finding that balance of tapping into that energy, but also not letting it drive me too fast. I think with your helpful words, I’ve got a good shot at getting it just right.
      I could not feel more thrilled to have good juju coming to me from Plymouth, UK–feeling very lucky.
      Thank you Tim, so much!!

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  12. Cat totally agree on weather distraction. Today it says 66 and showers. 90% humidity. Not what I was hoping for. Good thing New York weather forecasts are usually wrong until like the day before. Truth be told if it’s gonna be 66 I prefer some cooling rain showers. In any event you’ve done the work so just get out and run

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, i am def not thrilled with the forecast today, but like you say, it can definitely change. I figure all this is a good mental challenge for me to get in a “by any means necessary mode”. then who knows, maybe we will get lucky! I hate rain cause of my feet! I can handle being wet on my body, already am cause i am a massive sweater, but rain and my feet- no good! I’ll cross my fingers if you will!!

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  13. Glad you set me straight on my previous comment around the last in the series – looking forward to the final .2 entry haha 🙂

    You wanted to know what’s going on so here goes…my marathon is a week after yours so I’m tapering now. Ran for about an hour yesterday and the same planned later today, will probably then have a not-too-intense 4km time trial on Thursday. Maybe another run on the weekend (other than the dad’s race at my daughter’s sports day haha!) and maybe a jog next Monday but that’s about it. I suspect I may have peaked early as I smashed 7 minutes off last year’s time for a tough half marathon on Sunday but it’s too late to worry about it! My club organises a race this weekend so I’ll be helping out with that and then of course checking in on someone running some race in NYC 🙂

    Rest well, sleep well and it’ll all take care of itself. You’ve got this – go and enjoy it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am guessing you kick ass at the dad’s race at your daughter’s sports day, I am sure she will be beaming!
      Sounds like you’ve got this taper in hand, i am sure you are going to do fantastic in 11 days!!
      I will rest and sleep, as you say. Only a bit more writing to do tonight and I am laying off for the rest of the week till after the race. Thanks for everything Nik-so lucky to have your support!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Soak it all in! Thoughts are normal! Just know that when they get to be excessive – have a go to activity to distract you! Heading to the Expo should be great! To be surrounded by people who’s body is creaking and mind is racing is a good thing! Good luck and know that you WILL crush this!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. OK. First of all, though I haven’t been following you for the whole training but from what I HAVE read, you have done all that needs to be done to have a fine marathon. So relax. HA. Like THAT’S going to happen.

    I know you’ve had lots of advice from great runners. Here’s some advice from a middle to the back of the pack runner. I’ve done 5. Each one I ran a different plan. Each one turned in a time pretty much the same as the one before. So don’t worry so much about mechanics. Remember to take it all in while you’re out there. You’re going to do a pretty amazing marathon with throngs of well wishers. Not many other sports can take a middle aged (well, you’re a lot younger than that I can tell, but hear me out) person and have them participate in something where people line the streets and legitimately cheer for them. You won’t get that in your job or your personal life. You get it running (and walking) a marathon. There will be cheers when you cross the finish line. There will be high fives from kids and adults along the route. Don’t be so focused on your run that you miss that.

    And yes, having aches and doubts right now is SO NORMAL! You will worry, after all this work, that every single little twinge is the start of something that will mess up your race. Most likely that is not true!

    Have a fabulous race. I can NOT WAIT to read your race report (that’s what we in my little runners group calls it.)!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Middle or back of the pack” or not, 5 marathons is CRAZY impressive. I will take running advice from you any day!! Thank you so much for all of this–I’m going to keep it all with me the rest of this week. I did my 16 mile run with a friend who is also running the marathon and we did it in Central Park where there happened to me a training run going on. There were a couple thousand people running it and just that was so incredible– I had forgotten how much energy being among all those people gives you–and that was not even with crowds! I am hoping the little bit of rain we may get doesn’t discourage people from coming and and cheering, I am going to need them! Just like I need you and everyone else–so happy to have you around the blog, thanks for your wise advice and encouragement!! Can’t wait to give you my race report!!

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    1. Read this this morning love–AMAZING. Thank you thank you. Just what i needed. It made me think about our wedding. A lot of stuff happened on that day and days before and the wedding day wasn’t my favorite–it was hard. But my marriage–it’s been the best thing of my entire life. One day does not make my whole life–it’s lots of days, lots of success, lots of failure–lots of joy, lots of pain. I’ve already done the marathon part–I know you are right. After this incredible 4 1/2 months I know you are right. I’m gonna go get my medal. Ready for that high. Really ready. Thanks for everything Ang!! x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so good to know!! Actually feeling much better this week than last, I think I just had to work some of the niggles out with short runs and yoga and stretching. Feeling pretty good today! Thanks so much for all your help!!

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  16. “It hasn’t taken me 17 weeks to get to this week – it’s taken me 17 years.” Oh I love this so much – exactly how I feel. I literally cannot wait to read how you go – I’ve been following along through your training, even if I haven’t always been organised and coherent enough to add a comment and I shall be virtually cheering you along. You’ve got this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Means the world to me that you will be cheering me on Gill–I will feel it, trust me!! And so glad you chimed in to say you can relate to how long our dreams can take us sometimes. We don’t give up. x

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  17. Good plan, you’ve got this!! Yay!! I am working on various projects while doing lots of stretching and rolling and a load of running volunteering – on Sunday morning (your middle of the night still), I’m marshalling our junior parkrun (a free, timed 2k run for 4-14 year olds) and then a 10k run for charity which is my third time to marshal, which has been arranged such that marshals and runners can do both races without worry and rushing.

    Best of all possible luck, do not fret about the weather, you just get out there and run (not too fast at first: you know that) and ENJOY it because you never get to do your first marathon again. Take in the sights, reach out to the crowds and fellow runners, have a BALL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz–your advice has been key this last part of the way, I am so appreciative of all your care and support. “I never get to do my first marathon again.” Might be your biggest gem yet Liz–I will remember it! Thank you!! x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much lady!! When all this mess is over I am going to get some good reading in and your blog is at the top of my list–can’t wait to check you out. I am really so happy to have you here, thanks so much for the massive encouragement and support I have felt from you even in such a short time–it helps like crazy!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh the nerves kill me before every run!!! I’m just hopeful that at some point I will no longer get nervous!
        Well thank you for sharing your journey – you’re an inspiration:)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I will go check it out shortly Petey, can’t wait. I am glad you talked about the letting go cause it’s not something I can just do once–I’ve got to keep doing it over and over and just trust. You will be a part of my strength out there for sure Petey–lots of love to you (almost your time as well!!)x.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. more to come later, Cat, but right now, I’ll just say enjoy this week and your adventure. I’m also happy to know that you will post your bib number. I was wondering/hoping if I could check in on your progress (my dentist is an ironman competitor, and we’ve followed his adventures, its kind of a kick).

    cheers to you, I’m off to bed, as I have a 7am client. Train after that. Sweet dreams!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Steph, being able to track my hubs last year (even though we went to the race as well )was quite a thrill. Cool to know where he was and see him moving on the map!! Thrilled to know you will be checking in on me–I think if you whisper into my moving doubt on the screen, I’ll be able to hear you!! x

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