About 3 years ago I decided I wanted to run a marathon in every state. At that time I was 40 years old and had run 24 marathons, but only 7 different states. I decided it would be fun to do it before I turned 50 so that gave me 10 years to run marathons in 43 different states.
4-5 marathons a year in different states seemed pretty realistic to me. So anytime I had a free weekend and there was a marathon within driving distance I went out and did one. That took care of another 7 pretty quickly, but then I had finished all the states within a 12 hour drive so I had to get a little more creative with my time and money.
Earlier this year I happened upon a company called Mainly Marathons (www.MainlyMarathons.com) that does series of marathons for days in a row in different states to help cater to people who are running marathons (or halves) either in all the states or just racking up numbers.
I was coming home to Wyoming where we were parked at the time (a whole other story…we lived in an RV) from California where I was living with my sister for a month, and noticed the timing was perfect to detour and hit Kansas and Oklahoma on my way home. The catch is that they were back to back. As in one on Friday and one on Saturday!!
The only time I had ever run 2 races back to back was New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day…and those were only 5Ks.
So in the normal “Kir” fashion I thought “What the heck…I’ll give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? Well I woke up the morning after the first marathon barely able to get out of bed (for those of you who have run a marathon, you know exactly what I mean. Full weight on the sink and towel rack just to sit on the toilet RIGHT???). I made it to the start line and managed to run 18 of the 26 miles that day. PRETTY IMPRESSED WITH MYSELF I might add! It was AWESOME to check 2 states off in 2 days (I like checking things off my to-do list) and I learned a lot about how I was going to train and prep for my next series.
And that series JUST wrapped up last week. 7 marathons in 7 states in 7 days. WV, VA, TN, NC, SC, GA, and AL. I still haven’t figured out if that was the “easy” way to get in 7 states, or the “hard” way. EITHER way, I have been getting so many questions about HOW I trained for the series, so I wanted to share my secrets with you!
I actually had an amazing training plan. But 2 months before the series was to start, I developed a very angry sciatic nerve and couldn’t run (could barely walk) for an entire month. Like all I could do that month was walk slowly with my dog and swim easy. I had already registered for a marathon with Mainly Marathons in North Dakota the following month, so I decided to test out my healed injury. I went from no running for a month to running a marathon…again, totally “Kir” fashion!
And I was shocked that I could run the entire thing! However, the lack of training resulted in being more sore than I remember being in the past few years. Barely able to drive home and then the entire rest of the week was slow-going. The following weekend (again I was already registered) I ran a half marathon, and surprised myself by running the entire thing, even “negative-split” the course (that means faster the second half), but like the marathon, I was incredibly sore the next day. And I had 22 days until the series started. I took a week off (swam and walked) and then “started” my training.
My training primarily consisted of recovery. Secondarily of running 10 miles a day for 10 straight days finishing 2 days before we left.
Here’s how it went down…
Each day I would wake up and drink my Shakeology (a super nutrient dense protein shake), take extra turmeric and spirulina supplements and then run 10 miles. I don’t care how much I didn’t feel like running 10 miles, I made myself do it. The first few days were fine, but it got old fast! Same routes, same neighborhood, same number of miles. The hardest part was the time it took each day to get in all the miles. Some of the miles were super slow because I had to build my dog-walking time into the 10 miles to have enough time to do it all. A couple days I had to break it up into 2-3 runs which was even less appealing. But all the “not wanting to run” was the best part of my training. It trained my mind…which is the hardest part of a running series. Running even when you don’t feel like it.
One day I was so busy all day I had to wake up 3:45am to run at 4:00am to get it in. And most of you know…I am NOT a morning person!!
So the most valuable part of my physical training was the mental training and it really came in handy come race day!
It also gave me confidence because on the last few days I felt great! My body was recovering quickly and responding quickly to the training. I did forget to mention that prior to my injury I was training for a 50 miler that I didn’t get to run so I had done a 38 mile run. But in general, my weekly mileage was about 20 miles of running and 20 miles of walking with a few exceptions. I was pretty well trained before the injury, so my body bounced back quickly…PHEW!
After my run I would drink another Shakeology for recovery, eat a clean veggie heavy dinner, and take an ice bath before bed.
I repeated this 10 times, took a day off and then we left to drive 2 days to the series start in WV.
And it worked. I felt awesome during the races, recovered quickly, and kept a strong positive attitude throughout the week.
I have written 2 other posts about the series if you are interested. One is my daily video reports from my ice bath and one is the products I used to get me through.
Reach out if you have other questions or are wanting help training for any running or triathlon races you want to do.
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And thanks AGAIN for all the support and love you gave me during the series! It really helped get me through on the tough days! I knew you wanted to see me succeed and I didn’t want to let you down!
See you soon!