Recommended reading: “Born to Run,” by Christopher McDougall

First off, let me get serious for a minute before we get into my marathon training recap. As you may know, I’m raising money for Team RWB, a great nonprofit that helps veterans readjust to civilian life. Right now, my home state of West Virginia has two chapters, one fledgling group and the one I initially joined, which is based in Morgantown.

Every other house in my neighborhood has some kind of tribute — a flag, sign, bumper sticker, etc., to the military. So after my marathon, I’d like to start a chapter here in Wheeling, the upper Ohio Valley. 

This is were you can help. I am raising funds for Team RWB so I can run the Marine Corps Marathon. For every donation, I’d like to honor a person(s) of your choosing by running a mile in his/her/their honor. I’m dedicating my run to military veterans and those who have been touched by cancer. As a donor, you also get to pick the mile I run in your friend(s)’ honor.

For donations of $50 or more, if you live within the continental U.S.,  I will send you some of my baked goods and a handwritten thank you card. Choices include pumpkin bread, Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes (vegan, no frosting), Moravian Spice Cookies (like gingerbread) and mint chocolate chip cookies.

Visit  Mountain mama for Team RWB to donate. 

Now for the training recap …

As I read “Born to Run,” I found my running people. I run for fun, never (except for this marathon) following a training plan. The longer I run, the more I can’t hear the voices in my head, the more I find a connection with those on the rail-trail with me.

And the book has inspired me to look into Scott Jurek’s book. The account of his running is just amazing.

It is now, 28 days until my marathon. I’ve done my super long run, five hours. I made it to the county line, some 11ish miles away from home. And I came back. I survived and was hungry for more.

Yes, the last few miles sucked as my legs and arms began to ache. But mentally, I was good, which is weird. Like my first 16-mile race, the longer I ran the more my mind was into the race. I was in the zone and wanted to finish strong. 

But unlike that metric marathon, my legs and arms started to stiffen around mile 20. I was OK otherwise. I feel confident that I will survive the marathon.

I’m already looking for the next goal to conquer. I accepted a challenge to attempt doing a sub-9 minute mile around Thanksgiving. 

After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

So far after my longest run, I have tried to add more strength training, so it’s back to using weights and Spitfire Athlete training app.

When my phone died, I made up workouts based on what I remembered from Spitfire. 

I’m also adding to my cardio, trying to make one of my easy runs a hard workout on the trails or gym machines that simulate trail running. 

I’m working on a race recap for later this week. Have a good run.