Friday, September 12, 2014

I'm Alive!

In case you cared.  ha.

Yes, once again I disappeared into the abyss.  I had to.  HAD TO.  But, I'm feeling like today is the day I should break the silence.  I will try not to write a novel.

Let's just get one thing perfectly clear:  Marathon training is fucking HARD.  No, I did not expect it to be easy.  I'm not a total idiot.  However, I totally underestimated how much it consumes you, drains you, yet somehow strengthens you and keeps you coming back for more.  I was in no way prepared for the fatigue both physically and emotionally, the time spent either planning runs, fueling for runs, recovering from runs, sharing runs, and the actual running itself.  The highs and lows are like PMS overload.

Of course outside of this whole marathon thing, I have a life as a wife, a mom, a trainer and I have people counting on me to be fresh and available for them.  I had work drama, family drama, moving issues, school issues, sick kids, sick spouse, etc.

When I have a lot going on and hit that about-to-explode point, I find myself trying to overanalyze and overshare.  It all becomes very overwhelming.  I hit a really hard low point a couple weeks ago.  I hated getting up in the morning, I hated running, I resented the time I was missing with my kids, and I was seriously considering just saying fuck it all and cutting the plan down or just doing a walk/run thing or anything to take the pressure off.  I really needed to pull back and refocus.  I think (I hope!) I'm over that hump now.

I kept my DailyMile up to date with my workouts and I randomly post crap on Instagram.

I'm now almost at the end of the first week of the 3rd mesocycle in my training plan.  This section is focused on race preparation.  Just a few more weeks to go. I think I can do this!

Some highs and lows of the past several weeks:
The very first week of the 2nd mesocycle I had a terrible flare up of tendinitis in my right leg.  It still comes on every now and again, but it is controlled with rest, compression and ice.  I had to skip a long run, but I reworked my plan and it was fine.

In the revamping of my plan, I cut out the planned half marathon I was going to use as a test race.  I was going to do the River Run Half in Berea, OH.  I don't think that I'm screwed over by not having a race in the training plan.  In fact, I probably saved myself from injury again.  I'm ok with it.

I've built myself up to running over 18 miles!  And it was awesome!  Ok - let me be honest.  I'm having to break these longer runs up into sections because when I'm at mile 3 and I think "15 miles to go!" that's just completely demoralizing.  But, I also can't seem to grasp "just run the mile you're in"... because I still think "holy shit I have to do this X amount more times!".  So, I've found if I pick landmarks like "just make it to Hot Metal Street", I do well with that because then I can say "well, I made it here, next up - Steelers practice field!".  Then on and on.  I've used this method the whole way to the Waterfront and back home.  YMMV.  I plan on using this during the race, too if need be.  Make it through Georgetown... Washington Monument... Capitol... Beat the Bridge... You get the point.

I've skipped some speedwork.  Remember, I said I was going to do this when I started this plan if I wasn't feeling great.  I've stood by that, especially the last couple of weeks.  I've traded intervals for strides or just said eff it and ran easy but got the miles in.  If I'm not fully recovered from the last run, there's nothing I can do about it other than take care of myself and move on.  Forcing out half assed speed work isn't going to do anything but land my ass back in the ortho's office.

I ran 17 miles in the pouring rain.  Alone.  This run was a sheer test of willpower and determination.  And I did it.

Speaking of that particular run (and some others) I've learned a valuable lesson in chafing.  I always wondered WTF people were bitching about in regards to this.  I've never had an issue with it before.  Well, that's because you need to run a longer time, I guess... I started having chafing when my runs surpassed 14 miles.  Heart rate monitor?  Ouch.  The shorts I was wearing during the 17 mile rainstorm?  Never again.  Of course I get the chafing in sensitive parts... Lucky me!

Non-running high:  I helped a long-term client hit a weight loss goal and see progress that surprised her!  So happy and proud!  I love clients that are honest, stick to their program and are open to try things, even if they seem goofy to them at first.

All in all, this has been quite a journey and a learning experience.  I'm doing things I didn't think were possible.  I've made peace with some things and waged war on others.  This week is a recovery week and I'm loving it!  I'm thrilled that I "only" have to run a half marathon this Sunday.  Who am I? LOL  Next weekend I do my first 20 mile run.  Then another cutback week, then another 20.  Then... it's taper time.  Already.

I've made it this far and I'm going to see it through to the end.  44 days to go.  Staying healthy, calm and happy is the goal.