Welcome to week 15 of our Marathon Training Blog series! Click here to read week 1!
Monday: Rest–thank you, Jesus, for rest days!
Tuesday: 4 miles in 44m, 05s with an average of 11:00 min/mi. We ran outside for a change because it was lovely and cool! The hills on every single route we do are killer so our time reflects that often.
Wednesday: Crosstrain. Squats, lunges, sit-ups… I don’t feel like I put in the effort on these last week and thus it showed in the long run Saturday.
Thursday: 5 miles in 54m, 15s with an average 10:51 min/mi. Gym. This time I started Parks and Rec and I’m LOVING IT! Laughed my head off.
Friday: CT or Rest. Rest.
Long Run Saturday–18 miles in 3:49:31 with an average pace of 12:44 min/mi (for me… I’ll get to that in a minute). We thought we were wise in choosing a new route and starting an hour later due to predicted fog… We were wrong. The route we picked played games with us mentally because we were within a few miles of our house the whole time, but running in a wide radius circle around our city. So, if something happened, we could have been home in roughly 20 minutes, but that meant we had to keep reminding ourselves we had a lot more to go at every single turn. There was traffic. And hills. SO. MANY. HILLS.
Honestly, we did very well until miles 14-15. We had planned water and potty stops, the sun didn’t come up and beat down on us until about mile 14. We thought we were in the home stretch!
We reached a sports park about 3.5 miles from our house and filled up our water bottles. I remember giving my husband a high five and encouraging him that we were almost done! He and I both were beginning to have cramps in our calves and were stretching for a second. He didn’t look too well. We ran through the park and made it back to the very narrow road filled with traffic to run home. We had to run single file. Not going to lie–it was dangerous. We should have found a different way, but I was determined for us to finish. I heard my husband get sick. I’ll be honest here… I was not a good wife in this moment. I was annoyed. I wanted to finish so badly. I turned and he was quite a ways behind me, vomiting :(. He motioned for me to run on, so I did. (Something I will never, ever, ever do again.)
We run 2 mins, walk 1 on long runs. On every walk break, I pulled out my phone and checked his progress. He was behind me, but moving along. At that point I was a mile from finishing and decided to hurry and finish and then run back to find him. I finished and stretched as best I could on the side of the road. it was incredibly hot all of the sudden. It couldn’t have been more than 75-80, but the sun was beating down and having just completely nearly 4 hours of activity, it felt like I was on the surface of the sun. I found my husband… his calves had seized up on him several times and the pain had made him very sick to his stomach (hence the vomiting). He was beating himself up for not running the last two miles, but I was trying to make him see the positive of finishing 18!
We arrived the steps on the sidewalk in front of our house. Our house sits up on a hill, about 4 feet off the street. He made it up most of the steps before a leg cramp hit him and he writhed in pain. I’ve never, ever seen a muscle contort that way in my life. We were both powerless. His foot was tightly flexed and there was no way to work it out. He sat on the step and said, “I think I’m going to pass out.” Before I could say or do anything, he tumbled over and rolled down the hill. Thankfully, his head missed the hard concrete steps and the sidewalk. Instead, he rolled in the grass and landed face up. He was only out for 2-3 seconds before he was trying to stand back up and I had to make him lay back down. Thankfully 2 sweet passerby’s stopped and stayed with him as I ran in to get ice. We checked his heart rate and he was alert. We got him to his feet and into the house.
Side note–to the people who stopped… thank you. I don’t know what we would have done without your kindness. I was in shock at that moment. I’m normally pretty good in a crisis, but I was a basket case after witnessing that. You helped me make clear decisions and acted with such care and kindness. I have no idea your names or where you live, but I hope to be able to pass on the same kindness to someone else one day!
His calf cramps/charlie horses from hell continued for another hour or so. We were trying hard to get sodium and more fluids into his body and eventually the cramping stopped and he began to feel better.
He saw his doctor to confirm what we suspected… we didn’t get enough electrolytes. We drank plenty of water (60 ounces each!), but since we do not drink Gatorades or Powerades (paleo–we stay away from refined sugars), both out bodies lost a lot of salt and we didn’t replenish. He sweats considerably more than the average person so his electrolytes became very imbalanced. We had some electrolyte/sodium pills we are going to try in our long run training to see if that will help with performance and ensuring something like this NEVER happens again.
It was so scary. Last Saturday was the closest I’ve ever come to throwing in the towel. I feel like I can make myself push through most things. Pain doesn’t scare me one bit. MS doesn’t stand a chance at stealing my joy… but when my people are hurt? To see my beautiful, strong husband collapse like that? I would do just about anything to ensure to never ever see that again. It broke me. I cried. A lot. I declared our running days were over and this was not worth it. My husband, you guys. In his sickness and feeling pretty rotten, took my head in his hands and said, “Not a chance. We’ve come too far. This is a bump in the road. This road does not end here.”
Sunday: Rest. Thank you, sweet Jesus, for another day of rest.
So, the final assessment of week 15:
95%… “Finish and don’t die” has been our joke motto as we’ve been in training… This week it took on a whole new meaning. We want to finish. We don’t want to die in the process… or pass out or have horrible, run-stopping cramps :).
Keep us in your prayers as we finish up these last 5 weeks of training!!!