Well, let's just say that week 9 was a little unconventional. My running plan was completely thrown out the window this past week. Some say running is as much mental as physical and that theory was definitely put to the test last week.
The week started off great. I was being a good plan follower until Wednesday mid morning. It was then that everything changed. We learned that Banny had passed away and all plans went out the window.
Beyond feeling so sad about Banny's death I also felt like I was mourning the loss of my training plan. My first ever 20 miler was scheduled for Sunday and I knew we would be in PA for the funeral. What to do? I am a planner and a plan follower. This was not working for me on so many levels. I had so wanted my first 20 miler to be a big deal...to be special because it is! I was feeling nuts because I was sad about not following my plan when my thoughts should have been consumed with preparing to mourn Banny. I guess I am one of "those crazy runners!"
So, I created a new plan with the blessing of my wonderful coach TMB and I tried to remain positive. I skipped my speed work on Thursday and instead ran Saturday's 10 miles. I ran on the TM and it was a great run...yeah! I prepared as much as I could for my 20 miles on Friday morning. I knew it was going to be cold...like below freezing cold. I knew I would be running at least 10 miles in the dark. I knew for both these reasons it was going to be a tough run. I was also nervous because my 18 mile run was less than stellar. I put my mind in neutral and just did what I needed to do to run.
I must say that running 20 miles is not easy. It took a little over 3 hours and 10 miles were run in the dark. Because of Friday rush hour traffic I could not cross major roads which meant I ran in loops. It was hard and it was easy at the same time. I was cold, but I felt good. My hip did great and I only stretched it twice for very short time periods. I had no stomach issues. The last two miles were amazing. It really felt like I was on auto pilot kind of just floating. The best part of the run was not finishing, but knowing I could have run longer. That was an amazing feeling.
I was able to complete my speed work on Sunday. So, beyond all belief I finished all my runs. I ran 53.4 miles between Monday and Sunday. If I count a week being Sunday to Saturday, I ran 65.4 miles. That was something I never thought I would do.
The next two weeks are recovery weeks. I have to remind myself daily that my body needs the rest. It will be good for my hip and my foot. I want to run badly. The next two weeks will be as challenging as a 50 mile week, but in a slightly different way.
The marathon is in 7 weeks!