Diary of a First Time Marathoner: Week 1… It’s ON!

Diary of a First Time Marathoner - Week 1It’s finally here… WEEK 1 of training!  Time to lace up the Brooks and hit the pavement.  After taking nearly a month off from running I was really excited to get back to business.  I had a crazy travel schedule in April and May and both my body and mind needed a break!  If I had to pick one piece of advice to provide a new runner it would be listen to yourself.  Running is an AMAZING activity but push yourself too much and you’ll wind up hating it.  Sometimes we all need a break and I suggest you take them from time to time.  You’ll thank me later.

Ok, so now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.  Week 1 progress!

Week 1 Schedule

First thing I wanted to do was get the legs moving a little… Solution?  A new “Cross-Training” activity… MOWING THE LAWN!  Now I admit, a little unconventional, however, according to Garmin, it’s a 4+ mile workout.  PERFECT!  This not only got my legs moving, it also was a great chance to catch up on some podcasts.  I was able to knock out a few episodes of the Marathon Training Academy and I have to say, I was MOTIVATED and ready to rock my first run the following day!

RUN #1 was upon me and 45 minutes and 3.63 Miles later, I was feeling GREAT!  I was running again!  I felt so good I decided to share my progress using the Nike+ app.  This is new to me as I typically use RunKeeper and rarely share.  But what the hell, I’m training for a Marathon and I’m going to need every bit of motivation I can get.

Before and After... Taking Caryn out!
Before and After… Taking Caryn out!

After a rest day on Wednesday it was time for RUN #2…  Before I left the house I checked in on my Nike+ friends and noticed the next person was only 4 miles ahead of me.  “Ryan, I’m coming for you!”  My goal, 4.01 miles.  Now I knew this was a little more than my easy Week 1 pace was going to get me in 45 minutes but I know what I’m capable of and this wont be a problem.  Well, I ran my 4.01 miles in 45m 20s.  Mission accomplished!  Or so I thought.  I walked back in the house, uploaded my run to the app, compared myself to the group and what do ya know… Caryn is .03 miles ahead of me.  Well of course that’s not going to work!  Out the door I went for another .15 mile run!  Another one bites the dust!

The weekend comes and I’m up early, ready to run and ready to WIN the Marathon!  That’s how well I’m feeling at THIS moment.  I set out for an “out and back” run to start this 4th of July weekend.  I felt decent to start but quickly started to realize this run wasn’t going to be one to brag about.  My legs were just tired and I was starting to feel some pain in my shins.  This is NOTHING new to me.  I’ve had shin splint and stress fracture issues before.  Needless to say, I’m a little concerned.  It is at this point my past experience was telling me to stop and walk the rest but the runner in me was focused on how well things had gone to this point.  MISTAKE!  I stopped and re-laced my Brooks, this has relieved shin pain in the past.  Not this time.  The more I ran, the worse I felt.  Times dropped and I FINALLY walked until I was about a half mile from home and decided to slowly run from there.

Recovery with Dr. Cool & Zensah compression during Week 1
Recovery with Dr. Cool & Zensah compression

I chalked up my issues on Saturday to a few things… Just one of those runs, tired legs at the end of the week, lack of nutrition and hydration in the morning.  Fact is, I pushed myself much more than I needed to in the first week of training.  I knew this was a problem I’ve had in the past and I was on the lookout for it this time but my competitive nature and that app got the best of me. With any luck, two days of rest and some recovery will do the trick and I’ll be ready to go for Week 2.

Runs out-of-the-way… how about the diet?  OK.  I’ll be honest.  I knew this was going to be the hard part!  And the July 4th weekend didn’t do me any favors.  I didn’t step on a scale, I didn’t track my food but I did enjoy a few BBQ’s.  FAIL!  Even with the let down here I was still able to come away with a few positives.  First, hydration!  I really made an effort to fill up my water bottle everywhere I went.  BTW, a Hydro Flask is a great product for “water to go”.  Second, NO FAST FOOD ALL WEEK!  This is awesome since I often work on the road and the opportunity presents itself nearly every day!  And finally, I was really disappointed with myself that I didn’t do better on my diet and this is giving me some great motivation going forward.  The training isn’t about the results week to week, it’s about learning along the way and the final result at the end.The Body Achieves What The Mind BelievesLooking back I feel really good about Week 1.  I feel like the month or so off was great for me and got me refocused and mentally prepared for the training ahead.  My motivation level is at a place that it hasn’t been in a while and that’s encouraging.  I’m a little sore and need to really pay attention to my what my body is telling me going forward.  And I’ve got a few things to focus on.  The training isn’t about the results week to week, it’s about learning along the way and the final result at the end.  I’m ready for Week 2!

*NOTE – I am going to combine Week 2 & 3 next week to catch up.  Writing 2 weeks behind is no fun!

[mark]

Mark Avis

About Author:

Mark started running in 2013 and earned his first medal at the 2014 Tower of Terror 10 Miler. He has since run a number of half marathons and is training for his first marathon at the 2016 runDisney Goofy Challenge.

4 thoughts on “Diary of a First Time Marathoner: Week 1… It’s ON!

  1. Its my first too Mark! I’ll be following you. I’m also coming back from “time off” (abdominal surgery) and following the Galloway plan. But I’m not Goofy. Just doing the 5K and the marathon. I’ll cheer for you at the 1/2 though! Can’t wait to follow your progress. Mel Stone (Mickey Miler)

    1. Thanks Mel! I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing too! Glad to hear you’re back on the road after surgery. Cant wait to see you out there in January and look forward to celebrating with you post race!

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