This past week marked halfway to the big shot at trying to get a BQ. 8 weeks under my feet, 8 more to go. As I’ve been running this week, I’ve been reflecting on how I think it’s going and will continue to go until we get to Washington. Generally, some days I feel like I’ve got a really good shot. And other days I think there’s no way I can run that fast for that long.
Stuff That Makes Me Feel Confident:
- I haven’t missed a track workout. I’m really proud of this! Even on the cruise ship. Even on days when I couldn’t do it in the mornings and I had to hit the treadmill or run in the heat of the afternoon. I’m logging those fast paced miles and I know that it’s keeping me strong.
- Strong long runs. Until recently, I’ve logged some relatively fast, not too painful long runs. I try to keep those in mind as they’ve gotten harder in the past week or two.
- No major injuries. Aside from falling down on a hike in Alaska and jamming up my back (fixed by Dr. B), I’ve had a relatively pain-free training cycle thus far. This has never been the case in my past three rounds of marathoning. I give credit to strength training, yoga, and regular chiropractic care.
- Race conditions. It will be cooler. It’ll be downhill. I’ll have lots of people around me. And it’ll be game day.
Stuff That Makes Me Worry:
- I haven’t run long enough. I wanted to have at least one or two 20 milers under my belt by now but the most I’ve done is 18 twice. I’m glad that these runs don’t leave me too sore or tired the next day but I still want to hit that 20 mark. Because there’s being conditioned for that long AND having to hit it at goal pace.
- I miss my running partner. I’ve been logging some of these longer runs on my own because M has been battling her own injuries and our schedules just don’t match up well. It makes getting those longer miles in super boring even with playlists and podcasts out the wazoo.
- It’s f*cking hot. I did a 16 miler last weekend and was soaking wet hair to bra to shorts to shoes and it didn’t even rain. I wish it would have rained – I would have been just as soaked but cooler. It makes hitting the distances hard, and the paces harder. And it’s only going to get worse.
- There’s only 7 weeks left. That’s all.
Yesterday, I tried to go out for a simple six miler. One mile easy, 4 miles hard, one mile easy. I quit at 2.5. I’m not one to give up mid-training run but it was in the afternoon. It was hot. My legs were shaking and felt like I was running sub 7s but I was barely even in the low 8s. I sat down on the west side of the Tulsa bridge and cried for a minute while I thought about what I was gonna do. I decided that probably not enough rest, and not enough food (I really have a mental block with later in the day runs. I don’t want to eat too much and get a cramp so I usually end up not eating enough) and the heat contributed to how I was feeling. I threw in the towel because I really want tomorrow to go well. I want to feel strong and rested when I hit the pavement at 5am.
I’m feeling pretty discouraged. And I have to come to terms with now the thought of what if we don’t get it? This is classic Sprenkel. I always like to think of the worst possible outcome to something, and how I’ll handle it. So, I’ll keep lacing up and doing the best I can these next seven weeks with a huge emphasis on proper rest. Then come Sunday, July 30, I’ll give Jack and Jill my best shot. But if I don’t get that 3:30, I’m betting that I’ll hit a massive marathon PR in the process and have a breathtaking new state to cross off my list.
Photos by Kayla Tandoc.