Diary of a First Time Marathoner: Weeks 2 and 3… DejaVu

Week 2 is upon me and the running Gods have decided to smack me right in the face!  Actually, I’m pretty certain they kicked me in the shin!

This is Deja Vu for me as I find myself in these situations EVERY time I start a training schedule for a specific race.  I’d say I will work on that for next time, however, I said that the last time and here I am…

This is pretty accurate!
This is pretty accurate!

I left off Week 1 with my long run on Saturday that I was forced to limp home after a pain in my shin was too much to overcome.  Looking back, I should have called it quits earlier and listened to my body right away instead of trying to run through it.  Here is why…

Tuesday comes and I have a 45 minute run to finish.  I set out on my usual loop around the neighborhood and felt decent to start and through Mile 1 I was feeling good about my shin.  Mile 2 was an entirely different story.  The pain increased and got to the point where stopping and starting my intervals was a real struggle.  I decided to skip a few run intervals and just walk to see if the pain would subside, and maybe my legs would loosen up a little.  When I resumed my typical intervals, the pain was even worse to the point where I would grimace in pain during my transitions.  Maybe I am learning a little, because this is when I surrendered and limped home.  I can only now sit and wonder if I had of called off my Saturday run at the first sign of pain, where would I be?

Week 2 Training Plan
Week 2 Training Plan

Back to the ice, compression and fingers crossed this doesn’t last long.  Wednesday came and the pain was constant throughout the day just walking.  That being said, I made the choice to call off the week and rest.  Always a hard decision to make for me as I see everyone else recapping their training runs and speed workouts it leaves me frustrated and a tad depressed even.  As far as running was concerned… Week 2 was OVER!

I had to quickly regroup mentally.  I was so focused and ready to go at the start of the training that I wanted to minimize the damage and keep as much as the momentum going as I could. So I turned my attention to my diet.

I failed to keep a food journal at the start so this was the perfect time to correct that.  I set my goals in MyFitnessPal and came up with a daily calorie goal of 1,830.  Did really well all week at logging my food intake and monitoring calories and macros.  By the end of the week I was really feeling good and could already notice my energy levels changing and my body adjusting to the better diet.  SUCCESS!

Week 3 Training Plan
Week 3 Training Plan
My new training buddy!
My new training buddy!

As I headed into Week 3 I was again feeling good about the direction I was heading and I was NOT letting my shin set me back.  Tuesday came and I was back in the gym to meet my new training partner… The elliptical!  I hate it, it’s boring, but it has to do for now.  I did my Tuesday and Thursday “runs” of 45 minutes on the elliptical just to get them done.

Saturday called for a 3 mile run and again it was back to the gym and my new training partner.  I needed to do something to both make this tolerable and challenge myself.  So I set a goal of keeping my speed above 7.5 and doing 3.1 miles (runner math, whats 3 miles, may as well do a 5k).  Finished the 5k in 24 minutes and felt really good about pushing myself on the elliptical and making the best out of a bad situation.  The elliptical may not be ideal but there are still ways to make it work to our benefit and it certainly beats the option of not doing anything at all!

Below are a few podcasts that helped me get through my elliptical sessions…

The momentum from Week 2 and the gym carried over to my diet and things continue to go well there.  3 Weeks down and still NO FAST FOOD!  That’s a HUGE victory for me, especially since I’m missing out on Minion Happy Meals!  My daily water intake is going well but I still need to get a glass or two more a day in me.  That should be an easy fix.  My biggest food obstacle is my lunch options.  As happy as I am to cut out fast food, processed foods like lunch meat might be a better option but it’s not the solution and I can only eat so much tuna!

As I wrap up Week 3 I have to say it has already been a roller coaster.  Training for any race can be as much an emotional and mental challenge as a physical one.  This is certainly not how I wanted to start my training but my hope is that it just continues to make me stronger and more prepared both mentally and physically later.   I feel MUCH better heading into Week 4 then I did heading into Week 2 and that I am happy with.

[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.

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