Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Funky Turkey

I started a post earlier in the week about the funk I've been feeling in the last few weeks, but now with Thanksgiving staring at us tomorrow that funk just seems silly. I realize how normal it is to feel a little unspeedy, a little chubby after gaining a couple of post-marathon happy pounds, and a little lonely on the run when I'm stuck on the treadmill and not running with my friends as much as I did during the summer.

And more than that I feel incredibly grateful for my wonderful silly, thoughtful and hardworking handsome husband and my incredibly adorable healthy children. For the cherry on top of that I am so thankful to be a healthy strong woman capable of running as much and as fast as I do. It's easy to focus on those minuscule things I don't have, like faster prs, but my goodness in the grand scheme of things I've got a great life and I wouldn't change a thing!

So tomorrow I am going to leave my watch at home and bask in the Turkey Trot experience--running through my favorite city with some of my favorite people and feeling so lucky to be able to do it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flex Time

I am a weirdo. Half of me is a big unorganized mess. The other half of me is a very rigid person who hates to deviate from her schedule. Mrp often laughs at the blaring contradiction that is me. Before the marathon I would say I became very ocd about my training schedule and did everything I had to do to ensure I adhered to it to a T. Now that I am back to base training and our whole world is recovering from marathon training, a summer of farming and farmers marketing, etc. I need to loosen up about training.

Easier said than done! Now that I am mostly a SAHM, my running feels like my only lifeline to order in my chaotic life. Sometimes I feel like if I let go a little on the running then everything else will fall apart too. It needn't be so, of course. I get that. I realize I would be wise to add a little more order and rigidity to my non-running life and to let go a little in my running life. I'm trying.

I received orders from Coach last weekend that for my third week of running post-marathon I was supposed to run 65-70 miles. "Ha!" I thought. "I'll be happy to log 60." I decided that I was not yet ready to give up my one off day a week I've been enjoying since a month before the marathon and with the shorter days and busy schedule doubles were out of the question. So I would be very happy to get in 60 in 6 days. Wow. Look at me loosen up!

Cue virus.

By the end of last week I was knocked down by a nasty cold. Sure, it only cost me 2 miles of my long run so I only got in 58 miles for the week. But it's cutting into this week too. I am working hard not to sweat it. I'm probably not going to get in 65-70 this week either and this time I might also not get in all the workouts I'm supposed to do.

Instead of panicking I'm remembering the point of the base cycle. It's a period of renewal. Recover from the previous cycle and rebuild strength and endurance for the next. Breaking myself down to a nub is not in keeping with those goals. So, I am readjusting my expectations and taking it one day at a time. I'll do my best. I might not be able to get in that speed workout on Tuesday, but by Friday I can probably squeeze it in. And as hard as it is to believe sometimes, I'll be better for it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Crustacean

After the marathon I took 6 days off and when I say off I mean OFF. I did not run one step nor did I do any formal exercising of any stripe. I only ran on Sunday because it was so beautiful out and peanut and I were on our own for a couple of hours. We decided we couldn't pass up a run\ride through the neighborhood. The first run back is always a little crusty, but it wasn't too bad all things considered.

Then last week I ran 39 miles total. I didn't wear a watch at all the first few runs back, but then I was stuck on the treadmill one day and threw in 2.5 @ 7:00 pace just because I was bored and was curious how it would feel--not bad! Then on Saturday I met the girlfriends for our annual Halloween pancake run (run followed by breakfast!). I got there a little early and noticed DD and CV were finishing up their workout so I jogged up to meet them and I ended up warming up for the easy trail run with a 6:45, which didn't feel bad at all. But them WHAM! On Sunday I headed out on a gorgeous afternoon and slogged my way through 10 @ 7:50 pace, which felt like 10 @ 7:00! It wasn't pretty, but it's done.

This week I'm getting back into the swing of things, building my base back up. I have 55-60 miles with 2 workouts and 2 longer runs. The workouts are fairly cake, at least they would be pre-marathon. But, I'm expecting my tempo, which is 20 seconds per mile slower than pre-marathon tempos, to feel pretty much the same as a pre-marathon tempo. I am going to err on the side of lesser miles and even running my runs a little slower rather than forcing the pace if need be. I believe these few weeks after a marathon, even one that was jogged in more or less, are the weeks that can make or break your next season. If I don't fully recover I'm cruising for injury or burnout. I'd rather lay low through the end of the year than enter 2012 feeling like crusty crud.

So that, my friends, is my completely unglamorous post-marathon running life.