Boston Marathon Training Weeks #7 and #8

I’m here, I’m here!

I realize I’ve been super MIA recently, and I know everyone is sorely upset about it.

Turns out… when you move, attempt to settle into a new routine, start a new job, and continue to train for a marathon, blogging gets put on the back burner. Huge surprise! And while I certainly haven’t had any time to spare for RBR, the truth is that I’ve also kind of been avoiding talking about training, running, and generally how I’m feeling about Boston.

I’m trying to spare the internet, in a way, because all I’ve really felt inclined to do when it comes to running and exercise is whine about it.

But, for the sake of honesty, here’s a bit of an update.

I’ve been severely lacking in both motivation and inspiration when it comes to running. As in, I can barely get out of bed in the morning every single time I’m supposed to run. This is probably not unrelated to the fact that my legs in general feel really heavy and off, and just about every workout takes an insane amount of mental and physical effort. Not to mention that my IT band still aches sometimes, my feet have been unhappy, and – perhaps most significantly- my stomach has not been on board with running whatsoever.

Before you get too concerned, I am not in any way experiencing the same ailments as I was last December when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and was out of commission for a month. Not at all. Generally, my daily life is just fine and normal – with the exception of making bathroom stops when I run. I was doing much better in this regard a few weeks ago, but with the stress of the move and the general routine switch-up, my mending stomach wasn’t having it. So, I’d call it a small step backward, which I’m hoping will improve before too long, but it’s definitely not helping my running motivation.

Ultimately, I’m just not feeling like myself. I don’t feel fit, and despite the fact that I’ve logged the miles and on the surface I should feel ready to run Boston (see: training below), I just don’t have the confidence I normally have. Part of this is self-inflicted by my inability to ignore the clock and to accept the fact that I’m not as fast as I used to be. But a bigger part is due to the fact that I simply don’t have the endurance or the strength that I’ve had before, and a lot of that is out of my control. I wholly admit that I underestimated the toll that being so sick and being injured would have on me. In certain respects, I still think both are still having an impact, and while my brain feels ready for full speed ahead, my body isn’t ready yet no matter how much I wish it were.

So, while it’s really hard for me to accept my limitations, I’m going to need to put my pride aside at least for the time being. It’s easy for me to say that I want to just enjoy Boston and survive the race, but there’s always a voice in my head that hates the fact that the clock won’t reflect what I know I’m actually capable of. As awful as it is, I can’t help but play the comparison game to both my former running self and to others. Real talk: it’s so hard to hear the Boston goals of others who have a similar qualifying time as me and not cringe at how I would otherwise have the same goals.

If you think I sound like a stubborn asshole right now, I agree with you.

And perhaps the worst part of all is that I know I should be appreciating the journey for what it is and be thankful for the position I’m in. I’m lucky enough to be running the most historic race in the running world, on perhaps the most significant occasion of that race, and I should just put aside my personal issues and just enjoy it. Again, this is much easier said than done, and while I certainly do not take this opportunity for granted, I am having a hard time expanding my perspective.

I suppose it’s been a good learning process though, and it’s forced me to have some serious self-talks about my priorities as a runner.

So, these next few weeks before Boston are going to be about letting go, being grateful, and trying to garner as much positive energy as possible before race day. I am very excited for the race, and I think with a little work on my mindset it’s going to be an incredible experience. Let’s hope that my body follows suit, as well.

So now that I’ve admitted to just how competitive and self-critical I am, let’s look at some training. The past two weeks were my technical “peak weeks” and here’s how they looked:

Week #7

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 8.5 miles + lifting

Wednesday: Spin + stair-stepper

Thursday: 7.5 + lifting

Friday: 2 mile swim

Saturday: 20 miles

Sunday: 6.75 miles

Total=42.75 miles

Week #8

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 10.35 miles

Wednesday: 7 miles + lifting

Thursday: 2 mile swim

Friday: 6.75 miles

Saturday: 22 miles

Sunday: Rest

Total= 46.1 miles

Time to get it together. Both my body and my brain need a good dose of rest and TLC in order for Boston to be a great day. Hopefully my next post will have a little more cheer and optimism and a little less negativity. As I’m sure you know by now, this current mindset when it come to running is not my style – and I’m hoping these past few months of frustration will result in a brighter running future for the rest of the year.

And hopefully at some point I’ll get to tell you all about my new Denver life. It’s pretty great so far 🙂

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