This week I’d hoped for a turnaround in my training, better speed and to feel stronger. That didn’t happen. Then, late Friday night, my Dad died rather unexpectedly. As I write this on Tuesday, I feel numb, disoriented, sad, tired and empty. The world feels weird and off-kilter, and so do I.
In light of this loss, it could seem odd or even “wrong” that I’d be thinking or worrying about my training for Boston and the race itself, but I am. I suspect many of you DO understand how important it is to me though, and that everybody grieves differently.
My chiro today suggested I focus less on my time goals – while still aiming for them – but try to “enjoy the heck out of the next two months of training and the race” and remember that it’s already an accomplishment to have qualified (good fortune combined with hard work), to – as Dave McGillivray would say – have “earned the right to toe the start line”.
A year ago at this time, I was still dreaming and hoping for my first BQ. Perhaps I haven’t celebrated or absorbed or “owned” that accomplishment, or my PR which BQ’d me for 2016, as much as I might have, always focusing on the next goal. It’s a bit like not believing it really happened or like it might somehow “un-happen” or get taken away from me. I have to, want to, keep getting better in my running and racing. But some dreams have come true, more will yet, and I want to get better at taking joy, pleasure and satisfaction from those achievements.
Well, that was pretty rambling….that’s kind of how I am right now. (trying not to beat myself up about it, only partially succeeding) I’m easily distractible (can barely read one blog post before I click to another tab, searching for who knows what), interrupt myself in the middle of one task because I remembered I should do something else, and forget or can’t come up with words or finish sentences. I’m also (sorry DH) easily irritable, though mostly it seems to come out at myself or at drivers on the road. I feel waves of sadness or emptiness and try to surf them till they pass. It’s all still somewhat surreal, and I know from experience I just need to let things happen as they will, let my mind and body go through the process without trying to direct it. The body/mind is wise in some things and will try to protect me and keep me safe; I just need to figure out when to listen or if I ever need to override them. (impulses to stay in bed longer than necessary or overeat comfort foods are not ones I need to listen to)
I AM going to be trying to get a little bit more sleep (nudges from the universe over the weekend in the form of a tweet from Greg McMillan and a podcast with Sage Rountree made me decide to give it a try). Heck, it’s cheaper than most of the other efforts I’m willing to throw at my running though it’s not easier. So what that effort means, since I have a day job that governs my schedule, is trying to go to bed earlier. This is frustrating because it’ll get me further “behind” (in my own little mind) on blog and web site reading, posting, books, household stuff. It may also drive changes to my eating schedule. But we’re approaching 2 months to Boston (inside 10 weeks) so now’s the time to get started. Boston training (physical and mental) have to be my priority.
I expect that my posting schedule and topics may change for the next few months due to the circumstances of training, work and life, but I do intend to keep the blog going as much as I can. I enjoy writing the blog, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Feel free to ask Qs or suggest topics, though I’ve a list of topics already… I hope you will continue to read, and be patient with me on this part of the ride.
Now, last week’s training. (doesn’t it seem like ages ago?)
Run: 46.25 miles – wanted to get over 50 miles.
- T – 10 miles. Wanted to hit a MGP run, 4x2mi. Not even close. 2mi warmup, 2mi MGP (felt too hard), 1mi recovery pace, decided to try a different speedwork run (6-8 x 0.5mi faster than MGP) did one 0.5mi rep and said “nope”, 0.5mi recovery pace, decided, ok, the last option is 1min on/1min off at that pace, did 1min and just bagged it, did the rest of the run at recovery pace. Took about a gel and a half over the course of the run. My legs just don’t want to go fast and it all felt so hard. I do NOT understand. In early Dec., I did 6mi at MGP plus a mile faster and nailed it. I should be well-recovered from last year’s races and the ultra by now. Is this stress?
- W – 5 mi ez pace. Warm in the room (61-63)
- Th – 7 mi recovery pace. Tired, groggy, bad dreams. Hormone ick. Decided to just run “whatever” and that’s what it was – my default lowest speed. Room was warm again. I seem to be reacting more strongly to any kind of warmth. Sore from the TRX (mostly arms/shoulders). No appetite.
- F – 3mi in new Asics with my orthotics instead of their cushy insoles. Not as comfy, but more room in the shoe. I noted less slapping. Room was 57 degrees, felt much better. Shoulders and arms still sore from TRX.
- Sat – 16 mi, slow long run. I’d been up till at least midnight first finding out about my Dad myself around 9:30, then telling DH and calling my uncle, my Dad’s youngest brother, then had a hard time falling asleep. I woke up around 6 but spent way too much time doing things other than running prep, so I didn’t even start my run till 9:30. Boston starts late, right? 2mi w/u, then tried close to MGP for 0.25mi (too fast, pulled back), then 7.25mi at 70s slower than MGP, then 6mi ez pace.
I listened to Marathon Talk first of course, and told myself I could stop after that if I wanted (which would have gotten me 10 miles, very important to me to get double digits on a long run day). When I got close to 10 I decided I wanted to try for more miles even though I didn’t really feel like it. Taking such a huge mileage hit on a long run as the race gets closer would just really bother me. So I decided I’d treat myself and listen to RunnerAcademy with Sage Rountree, since I find her very comforting and supportive, and decided just to run at recovery pace for that podcast. Took Vanilla Bean Gu at mi 4.75, Straw-Kiwi Roctane at mi 12. 61 degrees in room (too warm). Possibly my back discomfort could be related to the FlipBelt in which I carried 9 Gu again. Hoping my back is just going to adjust. Some occasional sharp pains (fleeting) in feet – both feet, different places, kinda weird. Myrtl stretches after. 15min on bike an hour post run still helped. (that distraction stuff again, delayed my cooldown)
Saturday post-run, I watched the web feed of
- Sun – 5.25mi, recovery pace. I had thought about running a 5k today, only a few blocks away – and the weather was ridiculously warm for February – but decided against it. No way I could hit a pace I’d be pleased with, thus no need to pay $ to run a route I can run on my own. The forecast for the (fairly close) 10k on 2/15 is way too cold, I think. The same running store is putting on a 5k/10k/double on 3/1 in DC. Part of me feels like I should do either the 10k or the double as part of my training (and/or to set a 10k PR) but it’s far enough away I won’t decide yet.
Bike: 30 min Mon, 15 min after Sat long run
Core: M, W
Wharton flex: T-F
Chiro exercises: nope, and I can feel the bad effects of missing this, GSM and too many core workouts in my running
Coach Jay GSM routine: Myrtl stretches W, Sat, Sun
Other leg/body strength: Wed at lunch: TRX incl 3 sets of 5 hanging ham curls, lots of arm, a little attempt at core. Runner startups not quite right. My core w/o plus more supermans, swimmers. Pigeon each side. Standing hip openers.11 x 30sec on/off intervals on rower, level 1 – 1000 meters!
Calf stretches: managing these daily I think, but calves continue to be tight
Walk: 15 min before runs
Drills: As usual, though I did skip them Friday and Sunday
Other: Chiro Tues, massage Sun.
Definitely need to get back into my routines with chiro exercises, Coach Jay’s GSM and my core. May not be in top form, but must try anyway.
Trying to keep in mind a quote attributed to Lauren Fleshman, though I can’t find the original piece right now (if you have it, please put the link in a comment):
“there is no such thing as a perfect training cycle, but there is such thing as excellent adaptation”
Hope your training is going well, especially those training for Boston or training in New England!