Marathon Training Journal: Day 10
This is Marathon Training Journal, Day 10. It didn't all go according to plan. Thank goodness for another easy run! The lack of photos is a reflection on how my time management left my control later today.
I actually nailed my easy pace, according to my time chart, which is based on previous performance times. I'm not as sore as last week, although my calves are very tight right now. Nothing a bit of extra rolling won't fix.
Our household must have picked up a mild version of some kind of stomach bug. Not enough to stop life and got to bed, but enough to feel a bit queasy. Oddly, I felt fine while I was running, but it was a good reason to work at keeping my pace slow.
Please, just slow down!
I actually feel pretty good now, other than my unsettled stomach, but I made sure I had some breakfast and electrolyte water. My trusty nuun hydration. What would a Floridian runner do without you?
It's hot. The air is soupy. This is summer training. The warm season can suck the life out of your paces. This is almost a gift to me, even it it doesn't feel like much fun.
My slow runs are getting better and I'm learning to be more aware of keeping steady and easy on my non speed days. Strange as it sounds, I have a bad habit of kicking it up a notch. Starting out slow is great. My body keeps me in check because it's slow to wake up.
Distractions Can Derail My Focus
Distractions can be great if you're trying to get through a tough workout or more miles than you think you can finish. Not so much when trying to run easy. I'll see another runner I know or a cyclist will ride alongside me for half a minute as we make some small talk and I perk up a bit and start putting some speed in without realizing. Can you see why running to music would be terrible for my pacing?
Or a common one is a driver will blow through a red light without looking and I have to hot-foot it onto the median or jump back onto the sidewalk. That makes me really angry. You know what happens when you get angry. Adrenaline starts flooding in and a little speed that doesn't belong on an easy run creeps in.
Why is this slow running such a big deal?
It is for me. I know that I don't give my body enough easy runs and I've been working on this for a couple of months. There is a science behind this that I don't question too much. The experts (including my coaches, who I trust completely) agree that those easy runs build endurance and allow your body to recover from hard workouts at the same time. It's all part of the smart training. There is not enough difference between my easy and hard paces. I don't push hard enough and I don't chill enough.
This has nothing to do with what your pace is compared to the next person. It is all about having the wider variation in the effort levels and other aspects of your runs. Perhaps that is a post for another day.
Keep Working At It
I'm getting better at this and it's a big victory for me. Part of my problem is paying attention to my pace rather than running by effort. But I know if I can get this under control, I can learn to pace myself more effectively by effort.
My Marathon Training Journal Brings Challenges Today
Sometimes life gets crazy. My schedule has been pretty full the last few weeks with a lot of stuff going on. Today was one of those days that was peppered with interruptions. I got about three quarters through my strength training and then had to go tend to one of the dogs who was bitten by something. We don't know what, but I couldn't ignore it. Almost two hours vanished in the chaos, never to return and anything planned for that time isn't going to happen today. That's life. Let it go.
I'll spare you the details but everything else on the plan was completely derailed and I ended up not even getting around to my dinner. Not a great way to care for your body in training – or at any time for that matter – but I am human and sometimes the day's demands are bigger than my capacity to cope with them.
I'm sharing my marathon training journal as is. I am a real person and stuff goes wrong for real people.
My Other Run Got Ditched. Tough.
It was also a double run day and the heavens unleashed thunderstorms and lightning on us. They stuck around from early afternoon past sunset. The run didn't happen and honestly, I was glad for the excuse I didn't have to make. I don't like running in the rain, but I won't run with lightning. It's hard to PR when you're dead.
It's late. I have the option to stay up and finish some of the things that didn't get done. Or I can go to bed and get some sleep, letting the overflow pile on to tomorrow's workload.
I choose rest. Besides, I don't get nearly as much as I should, but that's because I'm a regular person trying to do too many things in too few hours.
As for the workouts? So what? I can push myself and totally sabotage tomorrow's run. Or I could just call it quits for the day and let it be what it is.
Sometimes the line between your running life and its goals gets very blurred with the life of the real world in which we live. Occasionally I need to keep myself in check. Ironically, the times I do are usually when a day turns out the way this one did. I did less than I wanted, but gave it my all. It's still better than doing more and giving less. It's fine. My shoes aren't going anywhere without me.
Investing In The Bank of Awesomeness
Best of all, it's good to fall off the plan once in a while. It keeps you real.
No matter what part of your day is derailed, if you learn from it, you are richer for the experience. Last year I stopped referring to runs as ‘bad runs'. There is no longer such a thing. The same goes for the other aspects of my training and I'm learning to apply this to other areas of my life too. The rough days present an opportunity for me to shine. I call it Attitude Training. My phrase for it is: Investing In The Bank Of Awesomeness. I can let it crush me or make me a better person. I choose better. It goes well with wine.
My marathon training journal is just that. It's my thoughts about my experience and things don't always work out the way I want. There is always tomorrow and I will make it count. Just like I did today.