I haven’t written in over a month. Since starting at an awesome new client, I’ve been a little overwhelmed, but really, that’s an excuse. I haven’t blogged because I have felt so unmotivated and that all my runs have sucked, so why would I want to relive the misery of each run by writing about it afterwards?
August was my highest ever mileage month (137 miles is high for me.) I felt it badly. I had crappy long runs, failed tempo runs, and my easy run pace was dropping, not getting faster.Does anyone want to hear about that? Actually, maybe they do. In an internet where everyone shows their best face and every run is #OMGBESTRUNEVA #CRUSHEDTHOSEINTERVALS #MADETHOSEHILLSMYBIATCH, sinking into your own personal running black hole is even more demoralizing. I’m sure that if I sucked it up, put my big girl pants on, and got excited for the hurt that marathon training is, I would be in a better place. But, my head hasn’t been in it. And my body is tired. All. The. Time.
By body is tired because instead of doing a standard 16 week training program for Wineglass, I’m hammering all my training into 12 weeks. Do you know what gives when you smoosch all your training together? Cutback weeks. I hadn’t had one in 11 weeks of training. Summer has just felt like one long run after another, in the heat. Slow, trudgy miles. Miles that were usually a minute slower than my easy runs during the spring. While I love the summer, and do enjoy the sweat-drenching high of hot summer run, I hate the mind games that the heat plays with you – do I suck, or is it the heat? Can I ease up on this interval because it’s already so hot out, or do I need to push through? I’m only running a 9:30 now, but does that mean come October when it’s 50 degrees, I run 8:45? With spring training, you know where you are. Am I hitting the paces? Yes or no.
So yes, my head has been a bit of a train wreck this cycle. That doesn’t mean that it’s been all bad. I’ve had some of the best interval sessions of my life; I’ve been hitting 800s at a 6:xx pace, which is something I never thought I would see in my life; I’ve had some very social long runs, met new people, become even better friends with other runners, and, more than ever, stuck to a training plan more closely than I ever have before. Most importantly perhaps (though not definitely – the jury is still out on this one), I’m simply running a lot more. Most training cycles I have averaged about 25-30 miles, and this one is closer to being consistently at 35-40. On the flip side, most other training cycles I’ve done some sort of crazy endurance event (a Ragnar, another marathon), and that has given me endurance confidence; in this training cycle my endurance is what I feel freaked out about. I have one last twenty to run tomorrow morning, and then that’s it – I’m done! I’m hoping for a good one to close my training on a high, and settle in for the taper crazies.
This has been a major vent post. Now that I’ve let that all out, I’m hoping to let to good vibes in. What does anyone else do when they feel their training cycle has not gone well?