As I said in my previous blog post, this one will be all about my third month of marathon training. If you don’t know, I’m training for my first ever marathon, which will be held in October in Ljubljana. What you didn’t know is that I changed my race day from 16th to 29th of October. Initially, my plan was to run it on 16th October, by myself, without competitors. Just me, myself and 42,2 k. But, since the Ljubljana marathon is held on 29th of October and it’s an organized race, with water breaks, competitors and supportive fans, I’ve decided that I’ll be running at that race. They are less than 2 weeks apart and I’ll definitely be ready, so this little change doesn’t majorly change anything.
This third month was all about increasing the distance and, consequently, endurance. I have to say that after month 2, where I achieved some of my personal bests, I went into month 3 confident as hell. I knew that from now on everything will go straight up and that only sky is the limit for me. But it wasn’t like that at all. My prep wouldn’t have been my prep if some kind of an injury didn’t happen. I think it was week 10, when I woke up one day and my left hip was hurting. The pain was still bearable, so I just thought that maybe I slept in a strange position and that the pain will go away during the day. But the pain didn’t go away. It was very strange, because it hurt me through the day and when I slept, but it didn’t hurt me during my runs or strength exercises, which was actually amazing. One day the pain was so sharp that I barely walked and that was the moment of weakness for me. I’m somebody who never gives up, but that moment totally broke me. I remember that I wrote to my sister that I’m sad, because I’ll probably have to end my marathon prep and ‘fix’ my hip. I was really down because of it, but I had to decide: whether I give up or do something to fix my injury. I’ve never been so close to giving up on my goals in life. But I’ve decided for the second option, because running is something that means the world to me and giving up on it ain’t the option. So, I started stretching more, I also included some yoga and I have to say that after two weeks, my hip is feeling better. I was still running according to my plan and yes, it’s not 100% okay, but I’m glad that it’s improving and as long as it’s not affecting my prep, I’m fine with it.
I didn’t attend any races, because I didn’t have time and because I had to focus on my endurance, which is number one quality that you need for running a marathon. My longest run in third month was 15,01k (1:24:41) in week 11, where I finally recovered a little bit from my injury. I had a lot of recovery runs, which is, for this stage of prep, logical. Distance is increasing every single week and in order to keep the endurance, you have to include some recovery runs, which are not as hard as long runs, but they help you to stay in ‘shape’. I had one long run per week, along with sprints and rest days. And I have to say that I really love this kind of training – everything mixed together.
The hardest thing, beside the injury, was definitely the shift between running fast and running slow on long distances. I’ve always been somebody who had the idea that I have to run as fast as possible (even on 10k and further) in order to not lose the progress. But with this prep, especially in month 3, I realized that as long as you run, it doesn’t matter how fast you run. And I think that for a long-distance runner, this is a huge thing. You don’t have to set a new record every time when you run – it’s not about that. It’s all about running, because you enjoy it, because you love it, because you want to be better at it and because it challenges you. Run because you want to run and it’s not important how you run, how long or how fast. As long as you are proud of yourself for every progress that you make, you don’t need any approval for doing what you love to do.
So, what now? Well, I’m already in week 13 of my prep and even though I’m on vacation this week, that won’t ruin my progress or prep in general. I’ve always been very active on vacation, so running this week isn’t a problem for me. Yes, I have to wake up early in the morning, when it’s still enjoyable to run, but I love it. I love to run on the beach, by myself in the morning, when nobody’s out there. But, I’ll write more about it in my next marathon prep update or maybe in some other blog post in near future.
Running is my passion and if I had to choose one thing to do for the rest of my life, I would definitely choose running. I enjoy it so much that when I have rest days, I want to go out and run. Running is relaxing and destressing me, but energizing me as well. It’s something that I can’t imagine my life without and this marathon is definitely a dream come true for me. It has been on my ‘to do list’ for a couple of years and it’s finally coming true. I’m excited and proud and I can’t wait for the day to arrive. I hope you enjoyed this post and don’t worry – I’ll definitely update you in the future as well.
Until next time,