Meet Katie, who is getting ready for the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Marathon. She is an accomplished runner who has finished three half marathons with a PR of 1:48. We are following Katie’s journey to marathon success. Throughout this journey we learned that she struggled with an eating disorder throughout college and post-college. It caused her extended periods of injuries, including stress fractures. It wasn’t until her late 20s she decided she really enjoyed working out. Running has been a key contributor to her becoming healthy!
After three successful half marathons, she is now training for the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Marathon less than two months away. Katie has a demanding job in the school system and balances her step children, marathon training, and full time job. Katie’s journey to marathon success will take many turns but we look forward to seeing her smile and medal after the race.
How Is Training Going?
I am petrified to jinx anything. Training is going well, knock on all the wood and cross all your fingers and toes. I just did a relatively hilly 16-miler on Sunday in the brutal wind (my 14-miler the week before was on a rail trail which was flat but much needed for my joints). I have another 16-miler this Sunday before moving on up to 18 and then 20 miles and maybe 22 miles. I’m still undecided about 22 miles. I want to be on my feet for close to four hours for my last long run, and my 16-miler on Sunday was just over 2:35.
Living in Pennsylvania, the weather has been cold, but the wind this past Sunday has been the worst conditions I’ve faced since I ramped up training. In my previous interview I mentioned my optimism about the weather holding out. We are now at the end of March and I have not needed to join a gym to run on the treadmill.
I mentioned previously I have stomach issues but so far during training so good! Maurten gels every four miles seems to be working well.
I’m not doing a half marathon race as part of my training; our budget is tight, and with my stepkids’ schedules, it’s tough logistically to fit in another race this spring. While it was a tough decision I’m feeling ok with it. I’ve raced half marathons before, and I’m using my long runs to truly mimic what I aim to do on race day in terms of fuel, hydration, clothing, etc. The weather on the other hand is a complete guess at this point. April 30th isn’t far away but far enough to not stress about the weather.
I’m making sure to take both water and sips of Gatorade during long runs because I prefer training in cold temps and thus have been in glory these past few months. It could very well be warm on April 30, and my body needs to handle liquids at more frequent intervals if that is the case, and I have a sensitive stomach—pre-run Immodium to the rescue!
Mental And Physical
As far as mentally and physically, I’m exhausted, and it’s getting harder to feel good during my workouts, but that’s par for the course. I’ve also hit the point where I think there is no way my body can do 26.2 miles. My legs were like cement bricks during my 16-miler; I was cranky and over it. But then, I realized I have NEVER run 16 miles before, so that alone is an accomplishment.
What Does A Typical Training Week Look Like For You?
Right now, I am doing my long runs on Sundays, and I have worked my way up to two five-milers and an eight-miler during the week, so I’m running Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
So far, the weather has been tolerable, which means I haven’t had to shift that schedule around too much. I try to hit my workouts on Thursdays, especially now that those Thursday runs are getting long for me. It makes them go by more quickly—mentally, not timewise! I’m still trying to strength train on Tuesdays and Saturdays—not incredibly long, just 25-30 minutes, along with a walk at lunchtime.
What Is Your Work Schedule Like?
Working in the school systems, I am at work around 7:45 a.m. each day. I’m still getting my runs done before work. Post-work workout is not for me. Occasionally there are late meetings or an event. Those make it difficult to schedule runs after work. I’m sticking to the early morning workouts!
I am excited to continue to talk with Katie as her mileage ramps up for her first marathon. We will explore how life, training, work, and fueling continues to play a role in her training.