Meet Katie, who is getting ready for the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Marathon on April 30, 2023. She is already an accomplished runner with a half marathon PR of 1:48. In college, Katie struggled with an eating disorder that caused her long periods of injuries. It wasn’t until her late 20s that she decided she enjoyed working out, and that running was a contributor to her joy. Katie balances a time-intensive job in the school system with marathon training. This is the latest article in this Gettysburg Marathon Runner’s Journey.
The previous three articles are here:
- My Journey To My First Marathon
- Katie’s Journey To Her First Marathon
- Katie’s Journey To Marathon Success
How Has Training Been Going?
Training has geen going well. I missed maybe 2-3 runs in the 16-week training cycle and cut one short. But I only missed the runs because I was being cautious about pains that I was afraid would turn into injuries. Since I’m running on Sunday, that didn’t happen, but I erred on the side of caution.
My plan was conservative – it only prescribed distances to hit on each run and didn’t include workouts. However, I did opt to do a workout almost every week. I alternated between speedwork and hill repeats as my go-to workouts. There were a few weeks where it didn’t happen, and I just hit some steady/easy runs. I’m usually guaranteed a workout once a week, even if there isn’t a race to train for. I could tell that there were weeks when my body was too tired, or I felt on the brink of hurting myself. So my motto the last 16 weeks was: “err on the side of caution.” If I had a specific time goal in mind perhaps I wouldn’t have been so relaxed, but I want to cross that finish line.
I have also been going to my chiropractor every other week, which has been a lifesaver.
What Was Your Longest Run? What Made You Feel The Most Confident?
My longest run was 20 miles and it sucked. I had one great 18-miler, one crappy 18-miler, and one crappy 20-miler. Obviously, I didn’t want the 20-miler to be bad, but it was. Getting dizzy and nauseous wasn’t on the plan. I had to walk more the last few miles than I would have liked. I had eaten plenty before my run, drank water and Gatorade, and took five gels. But it was humid that day – to the point where I was wringing out my shorts – so I’m sure that had something to do with it.
Training over the winter months meant running in almost no heat and humidity (which is the way I like it!) so perhaps my body wasn’t ready for that drastic of a change in weather. But it got done. The good 18-miler certainly made me feel confident, and then last Sunday was my last “long” run (nine miles) and I felt GREAT. I was running easy/based on effort and my pace was nearly 45 seconds faster than my 20-miler. Obviously I expected to be faster when I was only running nine miles, but everything felt easy last Sunday, so I’m hoping that will be the case this Sunday.
I know the marathon is NEVER easy, but I’d prefer not to feel like trash for the last few miles. Tired? In a bit of physical pain? Sure. I just don’t want to be dizzy, nauseous, and hating my life like the state I was in for the 20-miler!
How Has Fueling Been? Do You Have A Game Plan For The Marathon?
Fueling has been good. I will have a bagel and Gatorade with a side of Immodium before the race. Then I’m alternating Maurten gels (caffeine, non-caffeine). I get thirsty during my runs, so I am definitely going to make a point of stopping at every water/gatorade station (located every two miles).
Have You Had Any Struggles In The Last Month?
No struggles, minus some bad long runs. I’ve had a few twinges and aches, but honestly, I am more than shocked that I will run a marathon on Sunday. I’ve run three half marathons but each time I’ve tried to train for more than that, I always got hurt.
So merely being at the start line on Sunday is a BIG deal for me. I don’t think I strength-trained enough – I had hoped to hit two full-body strength sessions a week but dropped that to one whole body and one upper/core workout somewhere in the middle of my training. I was physically so tired the last month. Unsurprisingly, my legs were tired, and I just wanted to nap every day (which was sadly not feasible). Consequently, the strength training took a hit.
How Do You Feel About The Marathon?
I’m nervous and excited. But I have no idea why I thought one hotel room for myself, my husband, and my two stepdaughters was a good idea. I’m cheap, so I know why I did it. But that was not my smartest decision. So I will prioritize sleep on Friday night and do the best I can to get adequate rest on Saturday night. I figured I’d be nervous; the rest would be hard to come by anyway. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself to make myself feel better for making the poor decision on one hotel room!