T Minus 4 Weeks

JUST FOUR WEEKS TO GO UNTIL CHICAGO and my first marathon. With 20 miles still feeling like it’s my physical limit, how I’m going to coax out 6.2 miles more remains a mystery to me. I mentioned this to a friend of mine at Zingerman’s Bakehouse (a great place to go for pastries and running advice), who’s run 18 marathons to date. She’s confident that I will finish, and that the rush from the crowd and the event itself will be a big help.

The rest of my training has not been up to its usual pace. For various reasons (recovery from long runs, trips, work schedule, etc.) I’ve had more rest days than usual. Here’s what’s happening with the rest of my training:

  • After nearly two weeks without a bike ride, I got one in tonight. Took a couple of miles to warm up, but after that it felt really good. I stopped at the LBS to drop off the postcard I just got announcing a recall on my new bike. I didn’t even know there were such things as bike recalls, but apparently my fork needs replacing. So they’ll take care of the paperwork and let me know when the new part is in.
  • Aikido class restarts next week after several weeks of hiatus. Hope I don’t make a (bigger) fool of myself on the mat on Monday. To add to the excitement, my instructor and his wife are expecting their first child any day now, so it’s not clear who will be teaching the first couple of classes. But it’s a good reminder that I should sign up for the upcoming instructor clinic.
  • I’ve missed several conditioning classes lately, and I’m beginning to feel the effects, especially during long runs. Too much is getting sore that hasn’t been sore before. Some of that is likely due to increased distances (18-20 miles), but I’m not bouncing back like I usually do when I work out regularly. The conditioning classes work and stretch the entire body, which keeps me flexible and helps to avoid injury from overstressing unused muscles. And the weights help retain muscle mass, which can actually decrease with heavy aerobic exercise. So back to class it is.

So, have the extra rest days helped, or hindered? I guess I will find out next week.

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