Different This Time

At some point this week I counted out the weeks from my next marathon.

I want to follow a similar plan as last time, and I think I need 20 weeks to feel comfortable. A 20 week plan eases into workouts, long runs and the like, which I believe works for me.

This Sunday, July 7 is 20 weeks out. This Sunday is my first long run. This Sunday I begin again.


This morning I went out for what would be a medium long run in a typical marathon training cycle. I have the day off, so capitalizing on that time has always been favorable in my running week.

A few things were made very clear on this run:

1.) I must go slower on easy runs

2.) I am not heat adapted yet

3.) If I am going to do this again, I need to stay hydrated

On my last mile, I dreampt of watermelon, an ice bath and compression socks. I was 1/3 out of those things, I ate shit ton of watermelon.

Considering my last build up and race went ok, I feel confident that I can do this again. However, there are a few instances which stand out that I will address and fix immediately to ensure I have a successful cycle again.

1.) Eat often and eat more than enough

2.) Rest often and more than enough

3.) Train with others often

Being off for a month or so, running sporadically, was an interesting time for my mental state. Some days I felt fine chilling and eating. Other days, when I was feeling less than confident, I could see my nutrition slide. My mood followed suit. I am thankful to have made a lot of progress in my relationship to nutrition and my self worth, but it is still a demon that will rear it’s head when I am underprepared.

Running helps a lot with this. Not only does it calm my anxiety and feelings of worthlessness, it also reminds me to eat nutritiously and fuel my body appropriately. Being off running has made abundantly clear that when I don’t have an outlet, my demons come back and I just feel shitty. Feeling shitty, leads to eating shitty and the cycle repeats. The week before MOTG was notoriously difficult. It was amazing how better I felt and how I snapped back into feeling good right after that race. Sure, I couldn’t walk and didn’t run, but the mental break I needed was satisfied by one day outside with friends on a trail.

It’s a simple as that. Get outside, eat well, see people sometimes.

As I prepare to train for another race, I cannot help but get both excited and nervous. I am a sucker for pressure. I hate it. I can really only control the pressure I put on myself. If I feel it from others, the game is over. Being in a spotlight or feeling like I “have to show up every day” is daunting and messes with my mind. Another hard battle for me is giving myself grace to bail.

If I’m too tired, my body needs a break or I’m not feeling it, I will give myself grace and bag it.

Not only is that smart, in the grand scheme of marathon training, mileage means nothing. I am not a Strava stalker, I do not compare my daily runs with anyone else, I simply do what I do. That is enough.

All this sounds so easy right now. Maybe if I keep reminding myself, it actually will be.

Ellie Pell