We’ve finally reached July, and that date that seemed so safely far away when we signed up for this race is now in the current month. I’m about to go on a complaining rant here with the understanding that this will be the last time I let myself complain about how this training is going, so if you don’t want to hear the whining then just scroll on down to the next section.
It’s the final grind of the marathon training. Peak mileage weeks, the longest of the track workouts (2k should NOT get to count as track work) and tempo runs that used to be long run distances are making for one tired and grumpy gal. Coupled with that is the start of the hot and humid season in Oklahoma where whether you run in the darkness of the night, or just before the dawn, there is absolutely no time in the day when you won’t feel like you’re wading through the air or have lost half of your body weight in water by the end of the run. Running has become flat out miserable. I can’t hit my goal times, and sometimes I can’t even hit my goal distances. Michelle and I are both too busy balancing work and personal lives to match up our schedules so much of our long miles are being done on our lonesomes. I miss strength training 3 times a week (have been keeping it around 2). I miss sleeping in on Sundays. I miss donuts, ice cream and cookie dough.
This past weekend I ran back to back doublers within 24 hours of each other. I wanted to get the 26 mile distance in that time frame, even if not all in a row. It was a horrible struggle. Saturday, I did the 10 miler in the heat of the day because I’d put it off and put it off, knowing I would be tired and not on pace. But so pumped I got it done. Then, today, Sunday, I got up early to do 15. I made it a miserable run/walking 10.4 before I just completely threw in the towel and walked the rest back to my car. As miserable as I was on both runs, I used that time to make some determinations about the remaining 4 weeks.
- I’m still in this. Yes, training might suck right now but I’m going to keep fighting through it and finish the last 4 weeks as strong as I started. I can’t worry about if I’ll hit that magic 3:30 time, only that I will give what’s left my best shot.
- No more complaining. Period.
- Prioritize rest. I’ve been feeling mentally and physically wiped out the past two weeks. And while I can’t control the busy, active nature of my schedule, I can make a few improvements to how I handle it.
- No electronics after 9pm.
- In bed by 10pm, books only.
- Up at a consistent time each day – still debating this one but thinking it’s gonna have to be in the mid to late- 4ams.
- Prioritize healthier eating. I’m about an 80% well-rounded eater about 80% of the time. Recently it’s dropped to maybe 50/50 on both because of travel and socializing. I am committing to making a conscientious effort for the next four weeks to eat a healthy mix of carbs, fats and proteins and as close to whole foods as possible.
- To encourage me to stay excited about the 12 training runs left, I’ve dedicated each run to a person or group of people. This will help keep each run fresh and motivating to me to run in that person(s) honor.
Once again running is showing me that just as in relationships and in life, you can’t give up when it gets hard. Stick with it, tweak your approach and take care of all the areas that are a part of the bigger picture. In running this means the training, the resting and the nutrition. In relationships it might mean taking care of communication struggles, or paying more attention to the needs of your people. And in life, it means taking care of your whole self, body mind and spirit.
I still love running, I just don’t have to like it all the time. (But now I’m disliking it without complaining).