“Do not let the struggle define you, rise up and keep moving forward”
One month down! Now it gets real!
I took an extra day of rest this week to reset and focus. I celebrated Christmas & Kwanzaa with my family and also let my body and mind rest.
Marathon training can be mentally and physically exhausting. Instead of burning out early on, I’ve learned to listen to my body and to rest when needed.
I decreased my midweek miles to save energy for the long run.
The 14 miles were more of a challenge than I thought it would be. I cramped up at mile 12 and wanted to stop but I kept pushing hard. I had to repeat several motivational mantras to get through.
“Keep Pushing Hard” “You CAN do everything you put your mind to”
Food: Whole Grain Bread/ Waffles, Brown Rice, Fish & Seafood, Pasta, Green Leafy Veggies, Bananas
What a week! I registered for the LA Marathon, making it even more real. This will be my second consecutive year running which means that I get the “LA Loyal” Bib.
The excitement of registering for the marathon wore off quick when fatigue set in.
My work and my training schedule were tight. Adjusting my body and mind to all the work is the hardest part of training. Nonetheless, I pushed through.
The 16-mile long run was life-changing. The first 4 miles were on a trail and my legs were heavy from running the night before. The resistance on the trail and sand made it hard for me to run like I wanted to.
The high elevation and rolling hills were brutal. The night before I didn’t charge my phone so I was unable to listen to music to get through.
At Mile 13, I started to hit my wall. I had to repeat positive affirmations several times.
“You WILL finish strong” “You are an overcomer”
Luckily, I was pacing with a friend so that made the run more enjoyable.
I felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished because of how much I wanted to quit during the run. This was one of my hardest long runs but I didn’t give up.
Food: Wild Cod, Eggs, Vegetarian Meat Substitutes, Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread&Bagels, Mixed Greens, Broccoli
This week I made it a point to focus on recovery and strength training.
As the miles I increased, my quads and calves tightened and it was harder for me to loosen up when I started the runs.
After each run, I use my “Tiger Tail” to roll out when I’m on the go. When I’m at home, I roll out on my pipe roller so that I can get deep in the muscles.
I do at least 30 minutes of stretching and yoga before soaking in Epsom salt.
I tried the “Epsoak SPORT Epsom Salt for Athletes” and I loved it!
I also made it a point to start sleeping more. Many times after work and working out, I’ll stay awake even though I need to go to sleep.
It can be difficult balancing my life but to perform well on race day, I have to be disciplined and focused.
My 18 miler was a success! I didn’t stay at my desired race pace of 9:52 but I was able to note when I hit my wall and how I need to push past it.
Miles 15/16 are when I got tired and started walking. I knew that if I kept walking I would have a hard time staying motivated. I took another Clif Blok and kept running to the best of my ability.
I knew that this would be great practice for my 20 miler. In order for me to finish in 4:30, I have to work on keeping a consistent pace for 10 minutes each mile.
I have to focus on recovery, sleeping well, eating right and hydrating.
Foods: Albacore Tuna, Smoked Salmon, Tofu, Hummus, Whole Wheat Bagels, Peanut Butter, Brown Rice Cakes, Protein Smoothies, Veggie Burritos, Sweet Potatoes, Citrus Fruits, Ginger & Turmeric Tea
Pasadena Half Marathon Race Week!
This week of training was different than the rest because I was preparing to run my first race of the year.
I was so excited to run the Pasadena half marathon again because it was my second time on the course and it wouldn’t rain this year.
Though I was excited to run the race for the second time, it was difficult. I forgot about the hills and inclines on the course.
The first steep hill at Mile 2.5 hit me hard.
I felt the burn in my quads and my stomach twisting.
I repeated my mantras over and over early in the race.
I knew that it would take everything I had to get through. I kept a steady pace of 9 minutes per mile until mile 7.
My right glut was cramping and I got tired. I knew I would have to fight hard to finish.
All I kept thinking was “Mind Over Matter”.
At mile 11 I hit a wall and my right glut cramped. I wanted it to end fast. I took another Clif Blok and forced myself to keep going.
When I saw the mile 12 sign, I caught a second wind and my pace increased to 8:30 per mile.
I was so excited to finish the race!
I finished in 2:04:17, setting a course PR by finishing 21 minutes faster than the year before.
I didn’t set an Personal Best record but I was proud of my course PR and overcoming the obstacles.
Foods: Salmon, Tuna, Rice, Pasta, Salmon, Peanut Butter, Black Beans, Bananas, Avocado, Greens & Fruit Smoothie: (Spinach, Mango, Apple, Orange Juice, Bananas & Turmeric), Nuun Hydration, Wellness Shots ( Orange, Lemon, Cayenne, Ginger & Turmeric)
Thank you for following my marathon training journey. Stay tuned for Part Three of the LA Marathon Training Series. You can also follow my Instagram Stories for more up to date news: @Christal_Lauren.