Saturday marked the last long run for our remaining Galloway group marathon members - 26 miles! I know what you're going to say: "Why do you ask beginners to run 26 miles before race day? Isn't 20 miles the 'normal' last long distance run before a marathon?" In short, yes, 20 miles is typically the longest run most beginners will do before tapering 2-3 weeks prior to race day. In the Galloway programs, we have members run 17, 20, 23 and 26 miles, with 3 weeks of recovery (via 6-7 milers) between each of these distances. I know it seems like a lot to ask but with ample recovery time between the long runs, we see tremendous growth in our runners' confidence levels.
Since we were doing an out-n-back on the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, I gave our group the option of running the full marathon distance by adding 0.2 miles to the planned 26. That was met with a resounding Yes! In the
I've thought about wearing different shoes when I know I'm going to be running much slower (in this case, more than 5 min/mile slower than my marathon race pace) because I don't think my Pearl Izumi Streaks are intended for a 7 hour run, no matter what the distance is. They have a comparatively low heel toe drop and because I have to change my gait to slow down and I'm walking a lot more (this is a 1 min run/1 min walk group), these long slow group runs can take their toll on my body. Specifically my hips, calves and lower back. I was pretty sore after sitting in the car for the 50 minute drive back home. I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon or evening. Sleeping on Saturday night wasn't fun. Not only is it freaking hot around here, my body was becoming increasingly sore and even turning over in bed was difficult. By the time I rolled out of bed Sunday morning, I was pretty miserable. My lower back was going into random spasms. I couldn't push off from from toes on my right foot because of outer calf pain. All the while, I'm thinking to myself "I still have to keep the streak alive".... or do I?
Runner Confession Ahead: This might be a good time to add that I completely missed the 23 mile training run with this group because it fell the weekend before the Disneyland Half. Hubby and I split the distance between us that day - I ended up running the last 10.5 miles with them. This means I ran 26.5 miles six weeks after running 20 miles (too long in between long runs!) and only 13 days after PRing at the Disneyland Half (1:47) - and I had been running every single day for 111 days leading up to this 26 miler. And I'm transitioning into the new Pearl Izumi EM Road M3 shoe which has only a 4mm heel toe drop. That's a pretty big difference from the 10mm drop in my Izumi Streaks and while the transition is going well, I've been feeling it in my calves.
I couldn't get the streak out of my head all day Sunday. Should I? Shouldn't I? Just give it shot Vera. What if you start running and all your discomfort goes away? What if it goes away for 1 mile but in the aftermath you're out with an injured back for a month? What if you can't run with your group for the first marathon? What if you can't run the NY marathon because you just HAD to run a mile today? It was those last 2 questions I was really focused on. All this training, all this time - I've been trying to get into NY for 4 years! Yes I could still show up to the Long Beach marathon and show my support for our Galloway members but that really isn't good enough for me. I want to be IN it with them - experiencing every mile.