Today’s post brought to you by Rainbows.
I wrote a draft for my weekly marathon training recap last Monday, and tried all week to make it sound less forlorn. I didn’t succeed.
I’ve been trying really hard this training cycle NOT to act as dramatic as a World Cup soccer player about every little thing that doesn’t go as planned, but last week I hit the point where I have just about had it with this stupid running thing and I wonder on a daily (hourly?) basis WHY THE HELL I’M DOING THIS. It happens every training cycle, but for some reason I thought Amy Sunshine would overcome the black cloud of training despair with happiness and rainbows this time around (we’re in monsoon season, so we have lots of rainbows..but also lots of clouds and dark skies).
But, with 2.5 weeks left until taper, I am exhausted all the time, hungry all the time, my body aches in all places all the time, and, especially early last week, I felt like a complete and total training failure because I wasn’t hitting paces and I wasn’t feeling strong, and the dumb calf issue that I’ve had since Chicago resurfaced, and I really just want to sleep in past 5:00 am during the weekend.
Someone please call the Waaaa-mbulance for me. Or, maybe the W(h)ine-bulance because wine sounds good. Play me that sad sad song on that little violin.
But then, last Thursday, I was in the middle of a tempo run, 2 miles into the speedy part. I was definitely pushing the leg turnover, but I was relaxed, breathing evenly, NOT feeling like death, and overall doing well which was a happy change from other recent runs. Imagine my surprise when I looked down at my Garmin to see a 6:55 pace on the screen. Surely this was some sort of mistake. This training cycle, I’ve only been able to hit a sub 7 minute pace during track workouts, and thus far I’ve only been able to get one 800 repeat at that pace, so I wouldn’t say that sub-7 and I have gotten to become friends. To see that pace in the middle of a run was a huge surprise. I didn’t hold it for the entire mile, but considering that I’ve had a hard time dipping under 7:40 this entire cycle, and especially after a discouraging week of training, seeing those numbers felt magical.
Unicorns and rainbows and happiness magical.
And then, on the last mile of Saturday’s longish (down week) run, I saw it again. Only for a couple of seconds, but I saw it. 6:59
Somewhere in the sea of self-pity, I forgot a lesson that I’ve learned before. TRUST YOUR TRAINING. Your body does not change overnight. Training cycles are designed to get you to your peak right when you need it the most. If you put in the work and bust your ass, your body will respond, even though you feel like progress isn’t being made. It’s like those fad diet “Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days” programs. Your body does not lose actual weight that fast. Just like your body does not gain actual speed that fast. But when you do it the right way, suddenly everything clicks into place.
Please don’t judge me and my hippie moment.
2.5 WEEKS UNTIL TAPER! I am so exicted (until I get there, and then I’ll be likely complaining about Taper Madness…you just can’t win with me).
WORKOUT RECAP: WEEK 9
Monday: 4 Mile recovery run.
Tuesday: 4 miles at half marathon pace: I ran this with an average pace of 7:52 which includes an 8:22 warm-up mile. Fastest mile was 7:34
Wednesday: We made the mistake of rearranging our week to avoid 4th of July Costco madness (an obvious priority since a crowded Costco can be a real mood dampener). We did not do our run, but intended to make up for it on Thursday.
Thursday: Monsoon thunderstorms made us decide that we didn’t need a second recovery run this week, so we didn’t do it again. FAIL.
Friday: Tempo Run: 4th of July! We DID finally run in the morning. 7:40 average for the tempo part, but I didn’t feel well for most of it.
Saturday: 20 Miler #1: It went great until it didn’t. At mile 11.33, I felt a sharp pain to run down my shin. When I first touched the bone, I thought it was broken, so I did the rational thing: kept running. For the next 5 miles I had to stop every 5 minutes or so to massage the surrounding muscles and then finally I was able to only have to stop every mile. It obviously wasn’t broken, and I’m not sure what the issue was. I hate it when problems seem to surface out of nowhere. 9:24 average pace which is more than 30 seconds slower per mile than I want it to be.
Sunday: In one of my more rational decisions, decided to sit this scheduled 10 miler out because of the shin issue. I felt terrible about it, especially because of the missed 5 miler earlier in the week (a total of 15 miles that didn’t happen), but I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t just being a weanie. I consoled myself by hanging out at the Santa Fe Wine Festival all afternoon.
WORKOUT RECAP: WEEK 10
Monday: 5 mile recovery run
Tuesday: 7×800. It was ridiculously windy and there were high powered sprinklers that would cause me to hyperventilate whenever I ran through them (hyperventaliation isn’t useful when attempting to sprint). I was in such a bad mood and I couldn’t hit my paces. Most were in the 3:32 range, but then there were some in the 3:47 range.
Wednesday: I attempted my first ever lunch time workout at the gym. I managed 3 treadmill miles before my calf started bothering me (I was pretty much out of time anyway). And I was kind of smelly the rest of the day.
Thursday: Tempo Run: The magical one. 7:43 tempo average.
Saturday: 12 miles. As a down week, our long run this weekend was a gloriously short 12 miles. Average pace: 9:29, but on a much hillier course than we’ve been using for long runs. It is what it is.
Sunday: 6 miles at marathon pace: I managed to get 3 miles below marathon pace after it took 3 miles for me to warm-up. I brought up to Aaron that I was concerned about the fact that it is taking me 3 slow miles to get warmed up, and he reminded me that during training, I have a lot of left over stiff and soreness to work off during each workout. This problem will work itself out during the taper. Average pace: 8:48 (which is how fast I want to run my final 20 miler in 2.5 weeks).
This is the first week that I’ve really started to feel faster. I’ve been hitting several miles at or faster than marathon pace, and even rest/recovery miles have gotten faster. We’ll see soon if I’m fast enough to hit my sub 3:30 goals. This weekend, we have 20 miler #2. Hoping for a less dramatic run this time around!