Marathon Training - Midpoint Status Report

I am currently training for my third marathon and this training cycle seems to have left me plagued with self-doubt, insecurities, and second guessing myself to the point of wondering if I am on the right path. Of course, I keep telling myself to suck it up, to be tough, to believe in myself, and to not listen to negativity and start being more positive. So much easier said then done. And then I read a recent article in Runner's World about "back-to-back" marathons and began the question game all again. Perhaps not a good read when you already have pre-long run jitters.

But first, let's step back a minute and review.

On September 16th I ran the Maui Marathon. I knew I had the Honolulu Marathon on my plate for December 9th so my goal was to run well but not kill myself. I needed to come out strong and ready to train some more. Well, I ended up PR'ing but I also gave the race all I got. You can read more about it HERE.

The day after race day I continued my running streak but did take it easy with four one-mile days before increasing my run to a whole 2 miles. I ended up with 11 miles that week....just as my training plan had me slated for. Please note, I customized this training plan from Smart Coach and tried to take into account recovery, training, and taper when juggling what I hoped to do. 

From week 2 to week 6 I consistently fell short in overall miles and a good chunk of that was me falling short in my long run miles. To make a long story short (no pun intended), in week 2 I hoped for 8 miles, I got 6 miles. In week 3 I hoped for 12 miles, I got 6.5 miles. In week 4 I hoped for 16 miles, I did back-to-back long runs of 9 miles and 10 miles. I was happy. In week 5 I hoped for 16 miles, I did just over 13 miles. In week 6, it ended yesterday, my plan called for 20 miles, I readjusted to 16 miles based on my past performance, and success! But it took a lot of determination and digging deep. But let's come back to that in a minute.

Good happy article!
You can see my trend of falling short and that had me wondering if I could really run 26.2 miles come December 9th. Now that Runner's World article wasn't giving me two thumbs up either since I wasn't consistently running 40-50 miles week before the Maui Marathon AND I did give the race my all....I didn't have reserves left in my tank. This left me wondering.....can I do this, should I do this, am I crazy?

Well, first, yes, I am crazy but I kinda like it that way. And second, I ran 16 miles yesterday and overcame some of my mental hurdles of pre-long run jitters, running solo, lack of sleep due to tsunami warnings, changing running plans at the last minute, etc. But I ran the 16 miles and I am not going to say it was a walk in the park but I succeeded, although I did run/walk the final uphill to my house....but I did it! And my overall pace was 10'15", which means I was pretty much on target with my long run training pace of 10'00".

Recovery w/ Tommie Copper
Yesterday's run was a milestone in my training as I feel my mind has shifted from doubt to determination, to believing, to dreaming, and to continuing to push myself. And that Runner's World article, I am glad I read it because even though it made me question myself a bit it also reinforced how I am listening to my body and adjusting appropriately. And it also relieved a bit of my self-imposed pressure by saying one 20-mile training would be sufficient as it is more important to do regular speed work as my muscles will forget that before endurance. And how am I doing on speed? I am pushing it weekly and that is a huge improvement over past training plans where I always seemed to forget about tempo runs, push-it intervals, etc.

Daily Gratitude: I am for all the wonderful, supporting comments I received during our recent tsunami warning and yes, we are all okay. We were lucky (in my mind, blessed) once again.
Daily Affirmation: I am strong.


  1. I'm happy to hear the positives are back! Self doubt can be the hardest thing to overcome. I keep letting them creep in to my running as well, especially with my groin acting up for the past week. If my own home PT exercises from my adductor don't help I may head back to the Dr and PT to help end it. My adductor has been perfect!!

    I'm also happy to hear everything is ok on the Tsunami side of the country!

  2. Hurray, no tsunami for you or me!

    I think you are doing so well in listening to your own body and adjusting to what you FEEL you need. You are experienced enough to know your signals and signs, and wise enough to heed them.

    You are going to rock that December marathon!

    Hurray for positive energy and self talk, and energy and self confidence. Love it on you!

  3. I'm so glad that you are back to being positive. Yes, you fell short on runs, but trust your body. You'll be ready and I can't wait to cheer you on (in spirit). :)

  4. Happiness. You can do it. You can do whatever you want, outside of the crazy thoughts like breathing in the vacuum of space with no space suits. Just sayin. You know me I find it hard to be too serious as life is wonderful. Especially when you set your mind on a goal and work through the challenges to get there. Happiness. Happy that your positive self is peeking through. Go run. Go be free. Go be HAPPY!

  5. you can do this! glad to see you are being positive!

  6. I give you so much credit for not only running one marathon, but wanting to push for more! That is super inspirational to me, who struggles with a 5k and signed up for a 10k that I think may kill me. Love the positive attitude!! GGS <3

  7. Wow! You are such an inspiration. You make me think that I need to work on my pace. I have been so focused on running/jogging for distance, I realize it is time to amp it up!


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