Marathon training was going very well – up until last week.
My training plan involves running 4x per week. Usually, I’ve been doing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. I vary it a little, but with the exception of a couple very hot days in the summer, I’ve been able to hit every milage goal. For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking “Don’t break the chain!!” (from Jerry Seinfield’s productivity theory). Meaning, don’t miss a run! You’re so close now!
This week involved very long days, a sick child, a husband with a strained back, and gobs and gobs of school work. I knew this week would be hard, but I didn’t realize HOW hard. Luckily, this week was a “dip” week (a lower-total-milage recovery week) in the plan, but even that didn’t make my body want to cooperate.
Tuesday I was supposed to do 4 miles + 4 strides, but after last weekend’s 16 miler, my left hamstring was still sore, so I took an extra rest day, and planned to just do 3 runs total this week. I planned to do 4 + 4 on Wednesday morning before work, but because of time constraints 4 + 4 turned into 3.5 miles and no strides. I knew it would be slow so I didn’t even put my Garmin on because I couldn’t bear to look at my pace. It was kind of a dead-legged run, but whatevs, I got most of it done.
Thursday, I was tiredly psyched for 6 miles. I had to wait until hubby got home from work. I headed to the rec center and do as many miles as I could on the paved, flat trails, and then do hopefully little-if-any inside on the treadmill, as I had done before. But I had a lightbulb moment – with that lightbulb literally appearing over my head – I could wear a headlamp! Some of the trail is lit, and some of the trail is in a dark, dark forest, so I was all set to plop my headlamp on my hat, and cruise around and scare the deer. I even took this photo, in anticipation of writing a post solely about the headlamp:
After I took the photo, I turned the lamp off so that I could do some pre-run stretches and whatnot. I went to turn the lamp back on – nadda. Nothing, not even a flash. I checked the batteries – they were fresh. I wrestled with the damn headlamp in the parking lot of rec center for 5 minutes, all the while thinking, I’m losing daylight! Nooooooooo! I grudgingly threw the lamp back in the car and moped into the rec center.
I was so pissy about the darn lamp, how dare it ruin my night run! But I never get to watch TV anymore, so I put on HGTV, switched the pace to a pokey 10:45, and started pounding the belt of the dreadmill.
Me no likey the treadmill. There’s no breeze, no sunshine (or moonshine) and I’m at the mercy of the belt speed. It makes my hips sore, I often accidentally smack the emergency stop button and have to reset the whole run, and I can’t look to my side without clotheslining the arm rails…I know, I know…first-world problems.
Being that I got an average of 5 hours sleep each of the past 3 nights in a row, I put in 2 miles and just…stopped. I couldn’t go any further. It wasn’t a matter of hydration or hamstring. I was just plain pooped.
Not one to let it go easily, I decided to at least power-walk another 2 miles, and even that turned into a slog where I found myself lowering the pace bit by bit. That, and I wanted to see how House Hunters turned out. Go for house number 3…number 3, people!
I moped home and went to bed. I knew it was just a minor setback. But still, in my perfectionist mind, I broke the chain. I bombed. Could it happen again in training? Could it happen in the marathon? Ugh, I let my mind go there. And then I couldn’t sleep again. Get me off this crazy train!
Bad runs suck hard. How do you get out of that hole?