A Week in Workouts: The Marathon Runner
This week Veronica Martinez (34), New York – an avid runner, volunteer and co-founder of Teny – tells us what a week in training for a marathon looks like, and also why she feels so lucky to be running this year’s NYC marathon.
For the last year (and many prior), running and movement have been my only constant and has been the thing that guides me through uncertainty, loss, fear, changes (a lot of them) and even joy.
I know that I’m lucky to be able to get up every morning and decide how I want to move my body. In 2020, I had convinced my sister Karla to run the NYC marathon with me, but then Covid happened and the marathon was postponed. When we saw that Every Mother Counts had spots on their team, Karla text me and said, “I’m signing up”.
I’ve run 4 marathons, 2 with Every Mother Counts, because, although I’m not a mom, I know how important maternal health is and how lucky the mothers around me, including mine, have been in getting proper pre and postnatal care.
This time around my training has felt different…maybe because I think about crossing the finish line with one of the most special people in my life, in a city we called home together, or maybe it’s because I can’t help but think of NYC coming back to life after all that it’s endured over the past year. Either way, I’m full of excitement and emotions.
Marathons are a gentle reminder of the power that your mind has. “I’m stronger than I know” is my go-to mantra. This year, not only am I running for the mamas, but I’m running for the people who I have lost in my life, specifically two in the last year, who fought their battles valiantly and whose minds were stronger than they knew.
I wrote this workout diary a few weeks back, and I’m now in the final days before the Marathon (2, to be exact!). The nerves are creeping in and mixing with the pre-race anxiety most runners feel. Even with that, I can’t overstate my excitement about this weekend. I recently heard someone say that as humans we are happiest when moving while surrounded by other people and I can’t help but think how lucky I am to get to experience exactly that, on such a huge level, raising money for such an important cause, in such an amazing city, with my best friend by my side. If you’re in New York, I hope you’ll come cheer us on. It’s going to be a beautiful day.
My running has been planned and very routine for the past 3 months, but this week was a bit unusual because I’ve been traveling. I’m in my final weeks of training, which means the milage is high and requires the biggest level of emotional and physical commitment, even when you’re out of your routine.
But if there is anything you should know about me, it’s this:
- No matter the length, I never take a trip without my tennis shoes
- I listen to the same songs over and over again. Many remind me of my people & our mems. This time, my rotation includes Oceans Away, To my Love, I’ll wait, Todo de Ti, La Canción
- I don’t wear workout clothes outside of working out. A fun fact is that I literally don’t even own a pair of sweats.
Sunday: 17 Miles
I was doing my long runs on Saturday’s but this week my body felt extremely tired. It’s taken me a while to learn to rest. I’m starting the home stretch of marathon training. I ran 17 long miles today.
Some things to know about my long run days:
- I wake up at 6/6:30 and have half a banana, thin rice cake and peanut butter before heading out the door around 7:30
- On mile 7 I take God’s gift to runners…Gen Ucan. It tastes like shit, but I always say it’s crack cocaine for runners.
- I do the majority of the run without headphones but will listen to a few songs when I need a boost. There’s something so nice about hearing yourself breathe.
- I have 2 pairs of shoes and have run the last 3 marathons with the same style of brooks. At this point in training, I’m wearing what I will be wearing the day of the marathon every long run.
- This is my first marathon wearing a different hat and running belt than I’ve worn in my other 4.
Monday: 2 Miles
Despite being pretty sore, I did 45 minutes of The Sofia Method. I discovered this workout via a friend, but we started conversations with her for Hispanic Heritage month and I knew I had to incorporate it into my training. This workout is really complimentary for runners that are training for a race. After that, I went for a short 2 mile run and 2 mile walk.
Rest day – even on a rest day, I go on a walk. My body was still feeling tired so I went for a 30 minute walk prior to flying out to Jackson where I knew I would be very active for the rest of the week. The haters will say I can’t stay still. They’d be right.
Wednesday: 4.5 Miles
Woke up in Jackson and I couldn’t have been happier! 4.5 Miles in fresh air (I struggled a bit with the hills!), followed by my favorite, Tracy Anderson. I tried Tracy a few years ago in NYC and to be honest, I hated it. I started doing it again virtually during quarantine with my oldest sister who now only does her advanced classes. We talk about the moves all day long.
I try to do Tracy 3x per week now that I’m training, but prior to training, I would do it 6x a week. It’s a good workout to integrate into training because it strengthens your glutes and quads.
Thursday: 4 Miles
My favorite part of running is that I can experience new cities on my own (no one usually wants to wake up and go running). Today, I dragged myself out of bed and did 4 hilly miles, followed by some weights, mainly deadlifts as my ankles and feet have been hurting and this helps with stability. I added a short 15 minute Tracy video.
That day, we also went on a 4 mile hike. I was asked how I have so much energy to do all of this…I’m not quite sure, but I know I must be annoying to travel with. The only people more annoying than me are my sisters, who work out just as much as I do so it was only fitting that when we went on our sisters trip to Nayarit, we woke up every morning to work out.
Here are some pictures from my recent travels to Nayarit, Mexico City and Jackson. How can I not be grateful to be able to move around every city I go to?!
Rest day, so another long walk with a furry companion.
Saturday: 18 Miles
Earlier this year, I signed up to volunteer for Achilles International, an organization that transforms the lives of people with disabilities through athletic programs and social connection. If you are a runner or walker, I encourage you to look them up – you won’t regret it.
Today I ran 18 miles and then did a walk around the reservoir with Achilles. This day, I met a special woman. We walked the reservoir while she told me her life story and how she became blind in her 50’s. After our walk, she asked if she could take a picture with me to send to her children and friends. This organization reminds me what a gift movement is and the power that it has to change someone’s life. Here we are after our walk:
All in all, a really packed week of running – 45.5 miles! The marathon is right around the corner, so I can’t stop yet.
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