I survived the I-35 challenge! Two half marathons, two days – something I’d never have imagined doing a few years ago. Hard to believe that three years ago, I was nervously in the midst of training for my first half marathon and this weekend, I was nuts enough to run two back to back. I won’t lie – I was a little emotional about the whole thing by the end of day two, realizing what my body can do when my brain gets out of the way.
I feel like a (sore) rockstar for having finished both of these and this weekend did huge things for my mental strength and my confidence as I’m looking at a marathon.
I’ll have lots of details about each race separately later this week, but for the challenge as a whole, a few thoughts:
- There weren’t any specific procedures you needed for the I-35 challenge. The bibs had a little I-35 Challenge logo on them. You didn’t have to check in or anything after the first race. When I finished the second, I just had to look for the guy with the I-35 challenge medals at the finish line and grab my medal. I asked a volunteer – it’s totally honor system based as to if you ran or finished the first race in Kansas City, although as she said “We can usually tell you guys when you come through. You look . . . rough.” She was very apologetic about that last bit. 🙂
- My mantra for the first race was “Doing this again tomorrow” to help remember to run that one smart. The second? “One more step, one more mile, keep moving” to run it strong. That second race was all about my brain.
- The second race really didn’t feel too much worse than the first, which surprised me. My feet and hip hurt earlier, but otherwise I was okay. My pace for Des Moines was about a minute off Kansas City per mile, which is just what I expected.
- I focused on fueling, rehydrating and stretching between the races. I brought my Stick with me and did some yoga stretches Saturday night and Sunday morning. I think these things were huge helps in keeping me moving on Sunday.
- This was great mental practice for a marathon (I think – I hope) because that second race was all about my brain. It was a constant stream of self-talk to keep myself going. I can only imagine that is going to be the same when I’m on the back half of my marathon, just like it was when I was running my second half marathon in one weekend. 🙂
Really, in light of the massive miles of the weekend, the rest of the week seems pretty insignificant in terms of workouts but that’s the way a race week should be I suppose. I did a quick little run and some nice walks during the week on the way up to the race.
This week will be all about resting and recovering. Next week, I start focusing on marathon training. I’ll be picking up from the “half marathon” weekend in the Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan (week 8), which means I’ll be running four times (3/7/4/10 miles) during the week. Darrell and I talked a lot about what I need to do for marathon training from here on out, including being more diligent with strength training and weekday runs, as well as some yoga/foam rolling. While this weekend’s races did a lot to reinforce my sense of mental strength, they also reminded me that 26.2 miles is a lot of beating on my legs. I need to get them ready for it.