I run my third half marathon in 2.5 weeks. The first time, I had so many butterflies running around in my stomach. The second time, I felt determined, strong, confident, and powerful. This third time, I just feel tired.
My body is holding up fine, for the most part. My brain is just fried. The only physical issue I’m finding is that my normal socks all of a sudden became inadequate and I can only run in the 12 dollar a pair nike dri fit socks. Which is fine – but I lost my only pair, so I had to do without until I got to the store, and ended up with blisters the size of quarters on my arches after my 11 mile run. No wonder I slowed down at the end! Anyhoo, I’ve rectified the sock thing and splurged on two more pairs, so I should be good.
The brain thing is more disturbing. Going into that second half earlier this year, I may have been sick as a dog physically, to the point where I PROBABLY shouldn’t have ran, but I was mentally tough and that’s what carried me through. I’m having the opposite problem now. My body is fine. I’m barely feeling the miles. I just can’t get my ass in gear to do them at a pace that I want. I’m only aiming for 10 minute miles this time. I want to PR, and I want to run a good strong race, but I also have to recognize that this is my fourth major distance race in 10 months. My last few long runs have been great starting out, but after the 10k mark I get mentally tired and start slipping. First my pace creeps into the 10+ mins regularly, then I start seeing 11′s occasionally, then I have a hard time breaking OUT of the 11′s. The last mile is always the fastest because I have tons of juice left, but I can’t quite make up my pace and end up with a 10:30+ pace. No bueno.
I have hope though. First of all, I have had some of my best competitions after crappy, crappy practices. So maybe my dear ol’ bod is saving the mojo for the race. Second, I had a GREAT run yesterday, first “great” run since before the tri. I found 1 mile intervals to be the hardest last time, this time they were almost easy. Where I was struggling to keep an 8 min/mi pace for a quarter mile, I had less trouble keeping an 8:30 for a mile. I may just operate my race like that – push the pace for a mile, take a break. I had one of my best run times/paces in a while – about a 46 minute 5 miler, even with 1 mile of that being at 12 min/mi pace. And I felt like I still had juice at the end. I may give that another try tomorrow.
Regardless, I feel healthy and though work is crazypants and life is crazypants, I’m keeping things going a-ok. Sometimes, that means skipping cross training days if I’m at work ’til 9:30. Sometimes that means a fast 10k at 9pm after getting out of work late. Sometimes that means taking a half day Friday so I can get my long run out of the way that morning so I can Halloween party all weekend. It’s about balance.
I am kind of over this whole mental fog thing though. I am totally and completely still sticking with the story that I love my life and everything I’m doing is just a big pile of awesome, but that pile has just become a mountain. I’m just not able to put 100% into anything lately. Hopefully I can pull it together on race day because… it’s the last push. Cross your fingers for me!
That being said, here is the workout stats from last week:
Monday: 6 x 800m sprints (6 miles, 60 mins)
Tuesday: 30 min swim (1 mile), 30 mins weights
Wednesday: off, worked until 9:30pm
Thursday: 6 mile tempo (after working til 8:30) – just under 10 min/mi pace
Saturday: 11 mile run @ about 10:30 min/mi pace
This is the last serious bidness pants training week:
Monday: 4 x 1 mile sprints (8-8:30 pace) – 5.5 miles total, 53 mins
Tuesday: 30 mins weights (had to work late)
Wednesday: 7 mile tempo run
Thursday: bike? swim? some sort of x train
Friday: 12 mile run (aiming for 10 min/mi)
Yes, I am taking off a half day on Friday to do my long run before having a short day at work and get costumed up and party all weekend. I think after all the work I’ve put in, I deserve it.
However, let’s not talk about food tracking or weight. I actually just can’t bring myself to track my food or get on the scale. I don’t think I’m doing horribly or anything, I just am not ready to face it. My clothes seem to be fitting ok – and I’m eating my normal mostly healthy (with maybe a few not-so-healthy things occasionally), so I think I’ll worry about it when I’m ready. Maybe that will be tomorrow. Maybe after Thanksgiving. Who knows.