Road to London Marathon: 6 Weeks to Go and Killing It

Tuesday, 12 March 2013  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

This begins a weekly post (or more if I’m giddy) on my training for London Marathon happening on April 21, 2013.  Like I always say: The marathon is the icing on the cake; it’s the journey leading up to the race that I absolutely love. Thank you to Unilab Active Health for the trip and to Timex for the registration.

COUNTDOWN TO LONDON: 6 WEEKS TO GO

Say what?! 6 weeks?

london-marathon1
- London Marathon. Photo: www.manchesterrag.com -

It seems like only yesterday when I told you about how lucky I was to have my best cousin’s wedding and the London Marathon just two days apart.  Then, I told you how much luckier I was to have been given a slot in the marathon by Timex.  Then, the good ol’ peeps from Unilab Active Health committed to sponsor my trip.  And, the best news of all, the entire family will be coming with me!

I am blessed.  And, I am oh-so grateful, too.

KILLER TRIATHLON + MARATHON TRAINING

With all these blessings that seem to have fallen from the sky and straight into my lap, I committed to giving it my best (read: killing myself in training). So, I started on my triathlon program with Coach Andy Leuterio as early as the 2nd week of the New Year and never looked back.

This is entirely new for me.  Training for a marathon as a triathlete.  The program will train me for two A races: London Marathon in April and Ironman 70.3 Cebu in August.  The Coach initially said it was a challenge for him to prepare this program as 42ks aren’t really recommended within a long-course tri season.  Marathon training will compromise my bike and swim training around 8 weeks before the marathon, and then there’s another month after before I fully recover. For a moment, I gasped in panic when I learned this.  Then, I raised one eyebrow, clenched my fists and pounded them hard on the table, and declared: “Pfffft. I can do both.  Let’s go London!”  Then, I fell back into the couch, popped a handful of Cheetos into my mouth, thinking:  “What the hell am I getting myself into? I am so dead.”

The good news? I’m still alive.  And, I’m actually enjoying the training!  I’m trying my best to maximize each workout and balance my workouts with the rest of my life without going insane.

What have I loved so far about the marathon/triathlon training?

1) Keeps injuries at bay – You all know I’m injury prone because of my flat-feet.  But, since I can cross train with biking, swimming, and Bikram yoga, I can workout without stressing my knees, ITB, and feet too much from running.

2) Variety – I enjoy waking up to each day knowing you’ll do something different. Don’t get me wrong. I love running the most, but the variety of each day makes the week more colorful.

3) Weight loss – I dropped a full 10 lbs already.  I’m exactly at my goal weight.  And, I reached it while eating sensibly (e.g., no strict unreasonable diets, but everything in moderation.)

4) Allows for balance – I always said that while running and triathlon are important to me, I would never let it take over my life; after all, it isn’t my life.  I love how this program can fit seamlessly into my schedule with treadmill and trainer workouts that can be done in an hour or two.

5) Progress – Modesty aside, I seriously think the program is working for me.  I’ve never felt fitter and healthier in my entire life.  As one of my good friends would say while nudging my shoulder in disbelief: “Woooo choooz!” but, seriously, I do feel strong and steady and it’s an awesome feeling.  (I bet my Coach is in tears now.)

TO PR OR NOT TO PR AT LONDON…

Yes, that is the question.  And, honestly, I don’t have an answer.

After eight marathons, majority of them abroad, I’ve learned that everything—from fitness level, weight, weather, sleep, diet, gear, traffic, race organization, hydration, shoes, down to how much petroleum jelly you put in between your toes—must all come together and work perfectly on that single day of the race.

All I know is that I’m working hard and I’ll give it my best.  Cliche I know, but that’s really what this running and tri business is all about, right?  Now, now, I better not hear anyone saying “Woooo chooooz.”

“It’s not records I chase, it’s self improvement.  And that cannot be done by taking it easy.”

- Chrissie Wellington