Only about a week after writing about running more miles than my plan calls for, I’m in the middle of one of my lowest-mileage weeks in recent history. It was already a scheduled fall-back week, which I was happy for. I’d been feeling a bit run down recently – nothing major, just accumulating fatigue and soreness. Marathon training, essentially.
But my daughter caught a little bug this week and I was off the streets for three consecutive days while she was home from preschool. When I finally did run on Thursday, it was not one of the quality workouts my plan prescribes – it was simply some extra miles. Miles that were made a bit more challenging by the act of pushing around my almost-4-year-old daughter in the jogging stroller, along with her books and a stuffed animal.
Thanks to my bike trainer I was still able to get in some quality cross-training this week, so all is not lost. But biking isn’t running, and I was already experiencing a minor crisis of confidence. It seems as if I have been getting slower as my marathon training has progressed. Maybe it’s just all the extra miles that are wearing me down. Or maybe it’s just all mental. I’m intentionally running more easy miles, even though it sometimes pains me to see the paces on those runs. I’m still hitting my pace marks for my speed and tempo work, and I ran my 20-miler last weekend at a 7:25 pace, which is perfectly acceptable in my book.
Another part of it is that things just hurt more. When I was training for my half-marathon last fall, nothing hurt, and if I felt a twinge I would immediately wonder if my season was over. But now the minor pains come and go frequently. Oddly, I feel fine when I’m running, but later I could just be standing or sitting completely still and a shooting pain will rise up in my shin or foot, and then vanish just as quickly. My shins are often sore, too, which I think is a result of my beloved Kinvaras failing me with the higher mileage. I have just under 200 miles on my current pair and I feel like they’re ready to be retired.
But this is what marathon training is, right? You’ve got to be broken down before you can be built back up (or something like that). I’ve got a heavy weekend of training to make up all the workouts I missed this week before flowing into next week’s regular schedule. Thank goodness this was a recovery week!
And one last point – perhaps another factor behind this downer of a post, and behind my faltering confidence, is the lack of a specific goal for this marathon. Well, I’ve had a goal for a few months but I’ve kept it to myself. But the potential of a goal to light a fire in your psyche isn’t fully realized until that goal has been made public. Until then, there has been no risk. I have more reason to fight for that goal when other people know about it. So, in my next post, I’ll reveal my goal for the Shamrock Marathon.Bike: 35/92.6 miles Run: 15.4/63.9 miles