Okay, so before I talk about last week, I want to talk a little bit about my mental game because, well, it sucks right now. For 6 months, I’ve been training for a marathon. For 8 months before that I was training for half marathons–my first and then training to PR at a couple of others. That is a long time. Surprisingly, my body feels okay. I feel much stronger than I did a few months ago during the first round of this training cycle, and while my body still doesn’t seem to love the idea of running a marathon, I’m not in a constant state of pain the way I was while training for New York. My mind, however, is a little done.
The last 2 weeks have been lower mileage, and let me tell you, I have done the bare minimum. Last week I ran something like 22 miles, when just a couple of weeks ago, I had a couple 7 day periods (not M-F weeks, but still technically weeks) that were double that. Somehow I doubt cutting back means halving my mileage. Unless I have plans to run with a friend, I’m having a tough time forcing myself to do much of anything. I’m sure I could come up with a million excuses–it’s too cold now to ride my bike in the morning, I’ve been so busy that it’s hard to get to the gym for spinning or strength training (to be fair, last week was tech week…), etc.
I actually think the cutback weeks might be partially to blame. I get excited about challenging weeks with high mileage, and I get excited to get them in. The last two weeks, I’ve felt excited for my races, but the rest of the time I can’t get into it. So maybe the world could just plan races on all of my running days, so I could get excited about them too? I would love if everything could just revolve around me. 😉
In all serious, I know it will be fine, and I know that a 7 month marathon training cycle is a little ridiculous, and I would be a freak of nature if I didn’t feel some burnout, but the fact is, I have 3 weeks left of real training before we go into taper, and I need to make the most of it. I want to get to the starting line of PF Chang’s feeling confident and like I’ve done everything I can do to run the best marathon I have in me. I’m not a person who settles or simply does something to “get through it”. After everything that’s happened, I need to do my best, and cross that finish line with no regrets.
Okay enough rambling. Here’s how my kind of lame week went down.
Monday: Strength training. I did the same thing as last week, but did my push ups and reverse push ups in sets of 12. I know I’ll have to change it up eventually, and get to a gym or get some free weights at home, but for now, I’m adopting the “something is better than nothing” approach.
Tuesday: Speed work!! YAY!! First, let me say, it’s a lot harder when I can’t go to track. I love the track. I love it’s perfect 1/4 mile distance that you can see the end of. I love Coach Susan standing there with her little clipboard, and telling her my paces at the end.
I love watching everyone whiz by and leave me in the dust. It’s not quite the same along a path of the canal, but I did have Nicole there to kick my butt. We did a little over a mile warm up, then 4x400s at 7:21, 7:29, 6:58, 6:44, then a mile at 8:59, then a cool down. I kind of wanted to die, but it was good. I really miss the track, and I can’t wait until spring when it moves back to mornings and I can go again! We ended up running 3.7 miles in 35 minutes.
Wednesday: Push ups? That’s all I did. My regular push ups and my dip push ups. I did half of that at the theatre when I got there for rehearsal, and the other half while I was getting dressed. I’d made plans to go for a bike ride, but I forgot about a meeting, and just ran out of time to do much, but I guess something is better than nothing.
Thursday: Off. I guess I could call it “rest”, but I’m not sure what I’d be resting from…
Friday: 9 mile run. After a really stressful week, and honestly, a pretty crappy week emotionally, I just didn’t want to run that morning. At 1am when I was still awake, I *almost* texted Nicole to cancel, but plans hold me accountable, and even Steve reminded me that I’d feel worse if I didn’t do it, so I woke up at 6am and ran with Nicole, and you know what? It was AWESOME. After the run, I felt like a new person, and the stress of the week seemed to melt away, at least for a little while. I felt strong almost the entire run, and Nicole was great and let me vent about everything that was bugging me. We did 3 miles easy, 2 at marathon pace, 1 easy, 2 at marathon pace, and 1 cool down ending at an average pace of 10:03, which is pretty darn good considering my goals for this marathon. In fact, it was probably “too fast” and I probably don’t care in the slightest. 😉
Saturday: Rest. But okay, for real this time. I ran 9 miles on Friday and had a 9 mile race on Sunday. This one was actually intentional.
Sunday: Hot Chocolate 15k, Full recap coming soon. I didn’t really race it the way I had planned, but I’m actually pretty proud of my performance and how I did all things considered.
So there you have it. Hopefully this is the last you see of the whining and complaining about training until I get to taper, where I will inevitable complain about how my life sucks because I’m not running enough, I’m getting “fat”, and how after a 7 month training cycle including 2 20 milers, I’m so ridiculously “under prepared”. At that point, feel free to judge me.
What do you do when you’re in a mental and motivational rut? Inspire me please.