Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Calm Yourself!


Recovery Week -- that time in the training cycle when you think about race day goals, scare yourself shitless, and then try to calm yourself back down and then think about how your training cycle fits into them.

I set out for a recovery run this morning with the intent of thinking about my goals for Santa Rosa. If you've been following along here for any point of the last 5.5 months, you may remember that my marathon goal is to break 3 hours. Ah, the elusive 2:xx marathon... It scared me shitless before Newport, and it still scares me shitless. I can't help but wonder, "Am I ready to crush that goal?" So before I start to spiral into a web of self-doubt, I'm going to just take the rational route here and think about my training.

I can't say that I had any major catastrophes this training cycle (knock on wood). I still had some aches and pains (e.g., piriformis), but that's nothing new. I didn't end up doing as much core and strength work as I said I would. The first few weeks were good, and then I moved, and suddenly, everything went awry on that front. Simply finding the time and energy to run seemed like a miracle.

You know what else didn't happen? Sleep. Old habits die hard.

I didn't focus as much on speed as I should have. But between the superhero 5K and a workout of 5x600m intervals at 5KRP that I ran 20+ seconds faster than 5K pace, I think the speed work that I did do went quite well.

But what did happen? Well, I made a more conscious effort to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet, and my GI system has been happier. Maybe not happiest (refined sugar seems to also send my GI system into distress), but happier. And that's progress.

I did at least one of my long runs at 6am. Yes, it required me waking up at 3am, but I did it. And I survived. And it went well.

I ran an ultra relay at altitude (4000+ feet above sea level), and over a span of 29 hours, managed to run 35 miles at an average pace of about 7:30.

So my overall point here is that while some things didn't go right, some things did. And focusing on those is keeping me calm from freaking out.

It's hard to believe that this will be my 10th marathon. If you asked me when I started this marathoning business if I'd do 10 marathons, I would've looked at you like you just took some crazy pills. And now, I feel like the one who's taken some crazy pills. It's hard to believe that the 5.5 months that I spent in continual training for two different marathons are about to come to a close. Part of me is expecting to deal with the post-marathon blues, and to be tempted to sign up for another marathon as a means of coping with them. But we shall see...

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