Don't think for one second that I am anything but proud of that. Regardless of what pace I trained for, or of what I expected going into this race, I am very pleased with the results. It was a pretty warm day.
I have trained hard in the past, but I've never trained this hard juggling so much, with so little free time. I've also never been so conflicted or so emotionally torn between hard training and not wanted to train at all. I've just got way too much in my life to truly enjoy putting so many eggs in one basket.
It's been a while since I updated this blog, so here is a short summary. After the stress fracture, I struggled with Achilles tendinitis. I was also tired, irritable, and my hair was falling out in clumps. I felt like total crap all the time. I went in for blood work and found that my ferritin was low, and probably had been low for some time. I had been taking liquid iron since my pregnancy, but apparently it wasn't enough. I did some internet searches and came across an iron/B complex combination supplement and within a few weeks started feeling better. I also changed up my shoes and found that my Achilles issues slowly went away. I was then able to put in about 10 weeks of solid running to run a 1:22 half marathon win in Meridian, MS. and a 2:58 marathon in pouring rain at BCS Marathon (2nd).
Disappointed with the conditions at BCS, I made a quick turn around and start prepping for New Orleans Rock in Roll. Heading into the spring semester, my workload increased tremendously. Not only was I working an additional two evenings a week, my husband would be traveling every week for 6 weeks straight in January and February. I knew training was going to be a challenge, and it was, physically, mentally and all that.
Training for New Orleans I maintained 80-90 miles per week. I ran twice a day most days, and long weekend long runs of 18-20 miles. Mornings I woke up at 4:15-4:30 am, to run anywhere from 8-12 miles. On my lunch break, I would go out again from 4-8 miles. My regular work schedule is 8am-5pm, but two nights a week I work until 6 pm or 6:15 pm. Monday nights I also help coach my daughter's soccer team with my husband until 7:00 pm. Because My husband was traveling pretty much every weekend, I splurged and paid a babysitter nearly every week. And, because I really didn't have the time, I only raced once, and it was marathon effort.
About 2.5 weeks out from the race I started to really get tired of maintaining such a tight schedule. I was also getting very confident in my training and I knew I was fit, I started having trouble just maintaining the bear minimum. Training for this marathon helped me find that tipping point.
I worked so hard for this race that I can't be disappointing in any part of it. Sure, it was warm, and my last 4 miles were a little slow, but I finally won a marathon again after 2 years of struggling to run anything close to fast. I am happy with it and ready to put the marathon aside to train for something else a little less mind numbing. Maybe some mountain running :)
Anyone interested seeing what it is like to train like a sub-elite with two kids and a 50hr work week, you can follow me on Strava. For anyone in the same boat, I would love to connect with you on Strava also.