this was one of those weeks for me, and not the good ones…
the weeks where you struggle to get out the door for every run, where you question your goals and why you are training, where you consider just quitting.
the numbers don’t look so bad when you put them on paper, but if you were in my head this week, you would have seen a big mess. i didn’t want to run, i actually skipped a run for no reason except that i just didn’t want to go (i think that’s a first ever for me), and i just really was struggling mentally.
wednesday morning i had 10 miles with 5 at LT (lactate threshold) scheduled. i woke up, drank my coffee, ate a banana, and sat there and battled my mind. it was dark out, i was planning on driving somewhere to have a better route, i just didn’t want to go. i ended up getting back into bed and told myself i would go after work. 5:00 came and went and i was still sitting at my desk. by the time 6pm rolled around and i was walking out the door i had zero motivation to go running, especially for the dreaded LT run. so i went home, i sat on the couch and i didn’t go. i did go to sleep before 8pm though. i mentally rearranged my schedule, hoping to still be able to get in my miles (60) and hoped i would get my LT miles in the next morning. if there was any run i should skip, this was not the one.
thursday morning i got up and made it out the door… kylie jumped out the door too. she wanted to go with me SO BAD. she sat there with those eyes just pleading and i put her back inside and headed off into the darkness by myself. i had 12 miles that day, and thought i could make up my 5 LT miles in there somewhere, which is why i left the girls at home. the miles kept ticking by, but i never started the LT miles… i was having a hard time keeping myself out there for the entire 12, but i did. i missed my dogs the entire way and wished i would have just brought them with me.
12.0 miles/1:50:51/9:14 avg pace
i decided to just add some miles onto my recovery runs to help make up for wednesday’s missed 10 miler. friday morning i took kylie and emma with me, for 4 miles each and very much enjoyed their company. it’s not so hard to get out the door when they are with me. i am learning that having them with me is like having a different kind of running partner, i have company the whole time, but yet i am still alone and get my alone time. we kept the pace easy since it was a recovery run.
8.0 miles/1:17:00/9:39 avg pace
the weather has warmed up again here so i wanted to get up early for my long run saturday. my alarm started going off at 5am and i finally drug myself out of bed at 6am. i was in the car and on my way to where i was starting my route by 7:15, and as i was almost there i realized i had forgotten my garmin. i turned around and headed back home, and was trying to think what i wanted to do. i could run from home to save some time and a little bit of heat, but i knew i was asking for postponing my long run as soon as i did the uturn. sure enough i got home and didn’t want to go. i decided to do sunday’s recovery run + a couple miles instead and save the long run for sunday… can i torture myself anymore? i took the dogs, and kylie was being SO hyper and crazy, that i was just getting frustrated. after 3 miles with her, i grabbed emma and headed out for 4 more.
i don’t even want to admit what was going through my mind, but one of the things i love about having this blog is being able to look back at both the high and low points and reflect on what i was going through. i was pretty much ready to call it quits training for this marathon. i was sick of the pressure i am putting on myself, i was sick of having to get up and run every single day, i sick of running slow all the time, and i just kept thinking back to training for eugene and how all my runs were great and i was so “on” mentally and how i fell apart come race day. it’s a miracle i made it through this run and didn’t end up back home in tears. i just decided to leave it out there and not think about it, i feel like all i have been doing this week is thinking about running.
7.0 miles/1:05:35/9:22 avg pace
chris and i had talked about heading up to lake berryessa on sunday, but since i didn’t do my long run saturday we went that day. once i got back from my run i switched gears into get ready for the lake mode. we have brought the girls up here a number of times, but hadn’t been up yet this summer, so i was looking forward to a relaxing day outside. we picked up sandwiches and snacks, loaded up tennis balls and lawn chairs and hit the road.
we always go to this spot where there aren’t really any other people around and the dogs can just run free and swim and play. they had a BLAST and emma, as usual, was all about fetching the tennis ball in the water – she could not get enough. kylie even got in a full swim a few times. they are both still wiped out
we had a great day, but were definitely worn out! i was in bed really early with the alarm set again… i just kept telling myself to just get up and get it done when it went off!
the air was cool to start off and i just tried not to think too hard about anything. my best runs are runs when i can’t remember what i was thinking about, i just can zone out and let the minutes and miles fly by. right around mile 4 things started clicking and i was there. i had my music on, i was in a groove, i was totally zoned out. before i knew it, i was at the turn around point and continued to just let myself run. i wasn’t paying attention to my mile splits, in fact it was one of those runs when i would look down and be at .17 into the next mile and feel like i had just checked and it was .9. i think i missed every single mile beep from my garmin. it was getting warm towards the end but i was still feeling great and strong and just kept in my groove. i was surprised to see my splits when i was done because i definitely didn’t feel like i was running at the pace i was, it just felt effortless.
1st 9: 1:22:04/9:07 avg pace
2nd 9: 1:17:57/8:40 avg pace (last 5 in 8:30s)
total: 18 miles/2:40:01/8:54 avg pace
total miles for the week: 56
i probably wouldn’t have been very happy with these stats training for eugene. i was training so much faster and both my 18 milers had an average pace in the 8:30s. BUT i am training differently now, and it felt SO good to run that run today. it really helped me mentally knowing that i can still run a little faster when i want, and i think i am going to let myself every few long runs. i need to feel good and have that zone, because otherwise i am going to be a big mental mess again.
i thrive on long runs, they have always been my favorite, but lately i have just been so concerned with my pace, and running slower, that i just haven’t found that same zone that i used to get from my long runs. i needed this run today, i needed to find that zone and i needed to remember how it felt to have a solid long run by myself.
as much as weeks like this suck, i am glad it happened. if i learned anything from training for the eugene marathon it’s that no matter how hard you train and how well your training goes, you still might have the bad days on race day and you have to know how to deal with them mentally. i didn’t really have any rough mental spots when i was training for that race, so i just kind of expected it be easier come race day and it was far from that. call me superstitious, but i think i just need to get these bad days, weeks, runs, etc out of the way before race day so it doesn’t happen again i am ready to put this week behind me and start fresh again next week.
so during those bad days, weeks, runs… just remember, the only place you are going to find your running spirit and heart is out on a run. you just gotta keep getting out there to find it and it will come back to you, even if it takes a little time. it came back to me today.