Marathon Training (Week 12)

Here’s the deal – I’m no longer running the New York City Marathon. It hurts my body, mind, and soul to reveal this but it was truly the best decision given the circumstances. I’ll go into more detail later, but basically the decision was brought on by nagging pains and stress from fundraising. I’ve really failed on the fundraising aspect and pushed it aside to make room for a few other major life happenings. Luckily, my marathon plans are still in full force. I’m now registered for the smaller, more flexible Hartford Marathon on October 11th. I’m still fundraising for it (please donate here!) but without the added stress of a monetary minimum. Yes I’m bummed but the stars simply didn’t align this time. The Hartford Marathon offers a half marathon and 5K option as well as deferrals if needed, which is a relief for me with all the random aches/pains I’ve been experiencing.

Previous weeks:
Marathon Training (week 1-3)
Marathon Training (week 4)
Marathon Training (week 5)
Marathon Training (week 6-9)
Marathon Training (week 10)
Marathon Training (week 11)

Central Park

{reunited with gorgeous Central Park at long last}

WEEK 12 (7/21/2014 – 7/27/2014)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday7 mile run 4 mile run (38:26 min @ 9:37 min/mi)
Wednesday60 min Cross-training Rest
Thursday4 mile pace 7 mile run (1:09:14 @ 9:54 min/mi)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 15 mile run (2:30:49 @ 10:03 min/mi)
Sunday45 min bike Rest
TOTAL = 26 miles

Thoughts: One word – heat! I know I’ll regret saying this in a few months but I am so ready for cooler temps. Tuesday’s run was cut short because my body couldn’t handle the 90°+ degree weather and extreme humidity (damn Chicago). It got to the point where my heart/chest was hurting and I simply had to stop running for my own health. The seven mile run absolutely killed me as well. I woke up early after flying back into NYC the night before and set out into the heat in a sleep-deprived state. Needless to say, I stopped to rest almost as many times as miles I ran. No shame, my health comes first and my body kept demanding breaks.

The highlight of the week was the 15-miler, which came with its own bundle of ailments on top of a new PDR. The arch of my left foot ached like crazy and I had to stop a few times to stretch out and lower my heart rate. The arch pain in particular really has me worried because my mind immediately thinks of a navicular stress fracture (god please no). I went to the podiatrist yesterday and he seems to think the source is muscular. We both agreed that one week of no running is on the agenda for next week with an MRI to follow if the pain persists. I’m obviously upset but the marathon is still 2.5 months away and the time off will do more good than harm. I’ve also been battling with extreme dehydration during runs and can’t quite figure out how to avoid this (help!!!). I apologize for all the complaining…in the end I’m grateful to run! Now let’s hope these knee/shin/arch pains subside.

♥ Irina


  1. July 29, 2014 / 9:59 am

    Good for you that you are listening to your body =) if running gives you a hard time, you could try and use your time off to explore some cross-training sports. I heard rock climbing is equally addicting, and I personally like biking and hiking as well.

    • July 30, 2014 / 7:43 am

      Thanks! My podiatrist actually suggested I try deep water running so it’s something I might do. I quit the gym last month so classes & other equipment for cross-training are no longer an option 🙁 I’m finding that standing/walking on my foot for long periods of time aggravates it so I need to find something that avoids foot use. Rock climbing sounds so fun though!

      • July 31, 2014 / 10:16 am

        Aww, bummer… pool access is pricey in the city! Maybe check out the YMCA? I think most of them have pools =) Good luck!

  2. July 29, 2014 / 11:25 am

    I am sorry that the fundraising ended up being so stressful! 🙁

    I hope your foot feels better after a week off.

    What are you carrying to drink during your runs? Do you need a water vest?

    • July 30, 2014 / 7:47 am

      I always carry a large handheld water bottle or wear a fuel belt, but I always feel soooo thirsty and dehydrated during each run. There have been times where I chug an excessive amount of water from every drinking fountain I see. I also sweat A LOT (TMI sorry) and take salt pills as a result. It’s almost abnormal…

      I wonder how much water a vest fits? That might be a good option to explore, but the only downside I see is that it will make me overheat in the heat (i.e. b/c it covers my back and I sweat like crazy). Is it too early to say that I’m ready for fall?

  3. July 29, 2014 / 2:41 pm

    I don’t know about you, but I know for me, having a big race coming up (like the marathon) puts ENORMOUS stress on me, and makes things that may normally be very small into Major World Ending Crises. I think having the flexibility offered by Hartford, both in terms of distances and in terms of years, will take a huge weight off your shoulders.

    How’s your hydration the day before a run? I’ve found that can be a major gamechanger when it comes to how you feel on the run itself. If you know how much you weigh (or even have a general idea), divide that number in half. That’s the amount of ounces you should aim for. I rarely hit that number on normal days, but I do try to get there the day before a long run, and it can make a huge difference. I also like to carry a water bottle with me (or wear a FuelBelt on longer runs) so I’m not dependent on water fountains and can drink when I need to.

    • July 30, 2014 / 7:51 am

      Oh wow, half of your body weight in oz of water? I had no idea! That’s really good advice though. I try to hydrate well the day prior but nothing feels like enough. For some reason I’m always so so so thirsty in NYC. I mean, it’s abnormal and only happens to me here (not in Chicago). I wonder if it has something to do with all the walking in the heat that I end up having to do here? Either way, it’s a constant struggle and I always feel dehydrated, even on off days.

      I carry around a water bottle or fuel belt too. Have you ever tried a water vest? I’m wondering if that’s a good option…

      • July 30, 2014 / 3:24 pm

        I haven’t tried a water vest, no. I think I associate them more with hardcore ultra runners, and I don’t fall into that category 😛 Though if you want to carry around a lot of water, I imagine it’s a great way to go!

  4. July 30, 2014 / 5:34 am

    Hi from the most inconsistent commenter. Sorry to hear your initial marathon plans won’t work out. As odd as it seems there are two things I like to remind myself of in situations like this – hoping they’ll offer at least slight relief for you, too: 1. Destiny. Whatever happened must be some kind of weird logic planned by fate. I won’t lie and say I had serious doubts in why in the world destiny would throw me into certain plans at times, either – right now being one of those. But more often than not I feel there is some kind of good in it. Listening to your inner voice and doing what’s best for your health – and you’re still going to run a race after all – is great.
    2. Like my mum doesn’t tire of saying [the kind of thing that makes you roll your eyes every time]: There will always be a second time to do things. If I got a dollar [or Euro] for every time she’s said this to me before I’d be pretty rich by now.
    Either way, I hope your aches won’t last. I remember you mentioned them in the mail – that I still need to answer… – months back already. Fingers crossed!

    • July 30, 2014 / 8:00 am

      Hey stranger! So happy to hear from you 🙂 Thanks for the wise, comforting words. You are absolutely right with both points. My life motto is that “everything happens for a reason” and I firmly believe this. It’s often difficult to understand why something seemingly negative happens when it does, but days/weeks/months from now I’ll look back and (hopefully) see that it all worked out for the best. Life is so unpredictable and uncontrollable, so taking the pressure off by letting fate take the reigns is a breath of fresh air. At least this is the case for me.

      Sorry I’ve been horrible at commenting in general too, keep up the great posts! All your food is drool-worthy every time 🙂

  5. July 30, 2014 / 9:30 am

    I know how hard it must have been for you to make that decision on the NYCM, but I really do think it was the right one. I’ve heard so much about how incredibly stressful fundraising can be. Especially for the larger races where the minimums can be quite high. And if you’re dealing with injury worries, then that’s a huge sign, too. Why torture yourself? Running is supposed to be fun, not burdensome. The NYCM will always be there in the future when the time is right. In the meantime – rest up and take care of yourself!!!

    • July 30, 2014 / 3:28 pm

      Thanks for the words of encouragement 🙂 I battled with myself for a few weeks before finally reaching out to Fred’s Team and asking them what my options were. I didn’t want to give up fundraising completely and am glad that they let me transfer races with ease.

  6. July 30, 2014 / 10:41 am

    My water vest carries 2 liters. And I sweat a lot too and it does not bother me. I HIGHLY recommend the Nathan ones, especially the woman’s fit, for your frame (hope that didn’t come off weird).

    And Bethany is right – make sure you are drinking enough the day before! I hope you get it figured out! Have you tried a sports drink? Those don’t work for me but I know some like them 🙂

    • July 30, 2014 / 3:32 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation! I have some time off this upcoming week and plan on running a bunch of errands (including trying out running again). I’ll stop by a running store to check out my options including the Nathan ones (and no the frame comment is not weird at all haha).

      I actually haven’t tried sports drinks. I usually just stick with water! One time I even tried adding salt to my water in place of salt packets/pills and that was a disaster because I was soooo thirsty the entire run despite endlessly drinking the salt water haha. Are there any natural sports drinks you would recommend? Gatorade doesn’t sit well with me at all.

  7. August 1, 2014 / 1:03 pm

    I haven’t had luck with any sports beverage 🙁 I have been taking the more salty GUs though, and taking electrolyte tabs, which helps me!