Monday, February 18, 2013

Technical difficulties

Some days you just can't get your act together. This morning was one of those days.

The day off work presented the opportunity for a morning run, so I'd planned 6 to 8 miles. This being my "first" week of training for CCM half, and with a two-day swim meet this weekend upcoming, I've got a plan that pushes my long and tempo runs to midweek, along with other screwy stuff that may not make sense. But I get ahead of myself.

Anyway, six to eight miles this morning.  Should have thought of that last night when I allowed "just one more" episode of TV until nearly 11:00 pm. Should have thoughtful that when I sat for nearly twelve hours on a hardwood floor,  cross legged, sorting receipts and other sundry tax paperwork. Should have thought of that when my food intake yesterday  basically consisted of a large bag of pretzels and black coffee. So, no, I did not set myself up for success this morning.

Regardless, it was wonderful to wake up without the alarm clock, somewhere around 630, and recognize that it was already light outside (yea!) and I was looking forward to a run. Made my toast and juice, got dressed, told my hubby I'd be home by ten, and headed to the lake.

First: it was COLD out. Fully ten to fifteen degrees colder than what I've been running in the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to dial in exactly what to wear for any given temperature run, and I thought I'd done okay with my jacket over a short-sleeved shirt.  It was at first. But a mile in I realized I was going to be too hot in that getup.  So, stopped at the car on that loop, which was preordained by the fact that I'd left my gels at the car, instead of putting them in my pocket. Dropped the jacket, and had a gel since my body was not feeling like I had any energy (coffee and pretzels, anyone?). Started back out, and got maybe 200 yards before I recognized that I still needed SOMETHING on my arms or I would be frostbit by mile 4. Back to the car for arm sleeves. Get a block away and go to press the button on my Garmin - it's not there! Yep, it back on the hood of the car where I left it.  Nice, real nice.

So. All that back and forth, and I'm two miles into this run. I should be warmed up and things should be working. Except they're not. My back and hips just feel weird, not firing like they usually do and splaying everywhere. My form is crappy. I'm trying to keep an easy consistent pace, yet I'm not succeeding on either measure. I am now just trying to make it to the water fountain at the next mile marker. And I'm indulging a moment of despair. Really? Why is this run failing today? If today fails how am I going to make it through the plan for the week? How am I going to make it through the next thirteen weeks? I'm an idiot, thinking I could pull off marathon training.

Yeah. Love my mind on a despair bender.

The good thing is, I've been there enough times that I recognize them. I also know and trust that they're false in every way. Somewhere that rational brain says, shut up. You're lying to yourself.  Stop talking. And I do.

When I got to the water fountain I stopped for a gulp and considered my options. I've got an aggressive schedule planned for the next two weeks, both running and the rest of life. I'm coming back from two weeks off for illness. Pushing now, if I'm not prepared, has consequences. So I made the choice to call it good.  I headed back toward the car, finishing with four miles - miles I'm happy to have banked for the week.

* * * * * * *

Planned for this week:

Monday – 4 miles (adjusted from the 6-8 intended)
Tuesday - 5-6 miles
Wednesday - off, most likely
Thursday - 5-7 miles
Friday - 3 miles
Saturday - off
Sunday - if I can get it, 3-4 miles.  (depends on swim meet progress, but my bag will be in the car. And I hear there's a lovely trail next to the aquatic center.)

The overall plan is also pretty ambitious - I'm preparing for the Capital City half marathon in May, after which there are exactly twenty weeks to the Portland Marathon. When I really get my head on straight, my only goal for this training cycle leading to Capital City is to get my weekly mileage consistent and up to the level I need to enter the marathon training cycle. I'm estimating that to be about 25-30 miles per week, consistently, by May. I'm using the plans from Train Like A Mother, a bit more loosely right now than I'd like, but they're providing the structure and I'm riffing off them.  Last year was the first time I'd used a training plan to prepare for a run, so this is all new territory for me. 


  1. Sounds like a rough run! We've all had runs where it feels like we can't pull ourselves together. But it'll just help you to appreciate your next excellent run!

    1. Thanks, Amy, I appreciate the encouragement!