Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Black Hole

It's been eons since I've posted. Oopsy. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote up in here:

* I've been working on something I've been wanting to do for years now. I'm not ready to let the cat out of the bag, but I definitely need to siphon the tiny bit of time and energy I direct to this blog to that project. Hence, I won't be posting much around here, me thinks.

* Oh, and that whole holiday thing. It seemed to sneak up on us faster this year!

On the running front...

* I ran a little 5 mile p.r. at the Turkey Trot.

* I paced a good friend to a nice juicy 5k p.r. instead of going for one myself.

* I ran a 70 mile week, then a 75 mile week.

* I got sick ... AGAIN.

It's been tough to get the miles in. I'm really not used to running a lot this time of year. I'm not going to lie. Every week when I open my email from Coach I think he might be smoking something. 13 mile brisk-paced Saturday runs! 16 mile long runs... already! 10 mile tempos! Plus a fartlek or trackish workout! YIKES! I am used to coasting along and taking it easy. Not this year.

It hasn't been easy. Since I was sick at the beginning of this 10 week training block I struggled to just get the 60-65 miles in he wanted me to do for the early weeks. After Thanksgiving, though, I decided to put hitting my mileage goals as the first priority and hitting workout paces the second. That's helped take some of the pressure off.

I've decided I am just going to do my best and attempt to meet the goals for the week, but not worry about it if I can't. And there always seems to be one day when I can't. That day is typically the tempo workout. I was sick for the first one. Then I ran a pretty solid 6:48 pace for 8 (when the goal was 6:45). The next week I was supposed to do a 10 mile tempo with 8 @ 6:45 and 2@ 6:35. I had to do it super early and it was insanely windy. I stopped looking at my watch when I started to see 7:xx. I got the 9th mile down to 6:45 (running out of the wind, no less) and bagged it when I needed to head back into the wind to get back to the car. This past week I woke up on tempo day sick as a dog so I didn't even run at all, let alone attempt the 10 @ 6:45 on tap.

I told Coach I thought I might need to back off for a few weeks. Here's what he said:

Salty,

You're starting to want to be in that comfort zone again. When you're sick I want you to do what ever it takes to get well (more rest ,missing workouts, etc). But to back off on the intensity of your training at this time is not a good idea mainly because I know you have more ability than you think and the intensity is based on what I know you can handle. This is new territory for you to be training like this at this time of the year. Also each phase builds for the next and to back off is not going to make the next easier more the opposite. Every workout is not going to feel great that only happens if you under perform or as when we started and I intentionally had you train in your comfort zone. I'm not looking for you to hit every workout exactly right now. Trust me this work will lead to some outstanding performances.

Coach

He's totally right. I might not hit the targets, but I'm going to continue to try. I think I get caught up in maintaining a pretty training log of perfectly executed workouts and start worrying when things get a little sloppy; I struggle to hit the paces or need to bag a run, etc. I'm not supposed to feel on top of the world right now. Time to trust the man and the plan!

Photo: This is what happens when you let a 3 year-old boy (obsessed with Mighty Machine videos--he is doing his rendition of the Mighty Machines theme song here) pick out a Christmas tree the week before Christmas. I'm not complaining, though. Less tree means less work for me!