I was feeling very uninspired to write in the blog today, feeling content to just browse other blogs, Instagram and Daily Mile to see what everyone else was running today. I started to see a slight commonality amongst a few of them, particularly those who like myself, are training for the Columbus Marathon. I’ve seen “physically, and emotionally tested”, “uninspired” which are in perfect synch with my “feeling drained” Instagram post from this morning.
I’m in a funk, plain and simple and I want to snap out of it. First, I need to explain my NEW Columbus pace goal and how this all came about. It’s was 8:45 for the first 9-10 weeks of training. I hit my marathon goal pace numerous times. Actually, a few seconds faster. Then the Montour Trail half marathon “happened”, a dark day for this runner. I found myself re-thinking my training and where it has gotten me.
Then, I bounced back, like a good, consistent, optimistic runner.
I had a great week, hitting all my paces and dominating my 20 mile run this past Sunday.
Well, somewhere between Montour and my epic 20-miler, my coach suggested, gently, that I might want to back off the 8:45 goal marathon pace and consider an 8:50 pace. He’s been listening to my feedback for weeks and wants me to be 95% confident on race day that I can hit my pace, not 65%. Yes, I was hitting the 8:45 pace, but it was an effort. Probably more effort than it should be, I guess.
Sooo, last week 8:50 it was. I tackled most of my miles last week at an 8:50, even my 8 mile run on Saturday, Running mile after mile at or seconds off the 8:50 mark. Was it easier? Yes, I would say it was. Way it waaay easier? Not really.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to be 100% confident come race day too. But, honestly, I wanted to be 100% confident at an 8:45. An 8:50 WILL get me a Boston qualifying time, but it leaves very little wiggle room. I NEED to hit that 8:50.
The next thing that happened after the “epic 20-miler” is that I got a cold. Seriously, after 3 years of NO illness, I get a cold. It’s draining me. I missed a freakin run this week! I ran Tuesday, I ran today, but missed Wednesday. Neither run was epic, not even close. I finished them, got the miles in but they weren’t easy. Again, I find myself questioning my readiness.
Why, why, can’t I run consistently? ONe week it’s good, one week it’s bad.
Then I saw other posts (mentioned above) from other runners who were also feeling drained, uninspired and basically blah.
Anyone training for Columbus right now and following a plan is about where I am right now. In a lower mileage week in between two high mileage weeks. Between Tuesday last week and Tuesday this week I ran 50 miles. 50 miles. It’s a grind, it’s exhausting. No matter how worth the work it is, it starts to wear you down emotionally and physically.
I try real hard to think back. Did I have these feelings of doubt, exhaustion and uncertainty during my other marathon training cycles? I have no clue. I have carefully tracked my miles, but the emotions and feeling associated with those miles are not captured. But for some reason I think I did.
Yesterday, I spent 26 plus minutes watching the Columbus marathon course video (link on my facebook page). I studied the course map, the turns (must run tangents!) and I started to get genuinely nervous. Already. But this is what I do. We are 31 days out and Kim is getting antsy already.
For non-runners, yes, I appear to be extremely dramatic. It’s just a race. But for me, this is my first REAL SHOT at a qualifying time. Of course there will be other races. This isn’t do or die. But, man, will it be disappointing to not make it.
Next week will be my week to turn this around and get confident again. I need to get rid of this cold, get plenty of sleep and gear up for next week. I believe I’ll hit another 45-47 miles which includes a 22 mile run. Then the taper.
And, I write all this like I don’t love every minute of it. What would I be doing if I wasn’t struggling through a marathon training season?