Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Time

You know what really starts to wear on you and mess with your mind? Multiple rough long runs.

While my shorter runs are finally picking up some speed, I've been fighting brand new (to me) issues on my long runs. I'm talking calf cramps, side stitches, stomach cramps, the threat of impending vomit, and the threat of...other gross issues.

Needless to say, my last two long runs have been disastrous. But hey, at least I went.

I've been doing a lot more walking than I'd like because of all these problems, and that leaves me feeling even worse about the whole situation.
Two slow and kind of miserable long runs.
When our bodies revolt like this, it's a sign. I'm a seasoned enough runner that I know this doesn't mean I'll never run a successful LSD again; but this is definitely a wake-up call from my body.

It's time to actually crack my calendar and get all my weekday runs done as planned so my long runs don't feel as hard.

It's time to check my eating habits. We've been eating out more often since I went back to work and since the kitchen demo, but that doesn't mean I need to eat junk. And our stove and grill both work; I should be cooking meals at home.

It's time to get back into morning runs. I switched back to evening over the last couple weeks, and that means I'm skipping more runs because time gets away from me.

Basically, I've been really slacking. I haven't been applying the knowledge I've gained over the last few years about training for races, and if I honestly have any hope of PR'ing at BDR, I need to get back on track. I need to want it as much as I keep saying I do.

And boy, I do want to ring that PR bell!
Ever since Sean told me about the PR bell, I've been dying to ring it!
I have a 10k scheduled for mid-October. I think focusing on it will help give me a sense of urgency that I've really lost. I'm going to keep experimenting with fueling during runs and, more importantly, eating and drinking like an athlete.

I've been complacent. It's time to step up; a marathon is a big deal no matter how many you've done, and I've only done one! I won't reach a PR without putting in some real work.

It's go time, guys. I'm feeling my determination and inherent motivation coming back, but I know I'll need your help and encouragement over the next few weeks!

What's the best way to tough it out when you're just not feeling it?
How do you keep tough runs from getting you down?



  1. Don't worry too much. As you know, these things come and they go. I think having parts of your house under construction is very stressful. Maybe you aren't even realizing how much you're juggling at the moment and your body is trying to point that out to you. I'm sure being more aware of your food choices will help with some of the less pleasant issues, and being more consistent with weekday runs will help as well. I think you just need some time and things will come together for you again.

    I love the idea of a PR bell! How fun! I'm sure you'll be back on track with your training in no time so that you're able to ring the bell!

    1. I'm finally, FINALLY feeling more like myself. Thanks for the support :)

  2. GET IT, Ali! I love your determination. I really thing getting your weekday runs done will make the long runs easier. Just a couple months ago, 5 miles seemed like a HUGE chore for me, but then I just forced myself to run MORE, (not longer, just more often) and after awhile, my body adapted.

    My run Sat was tough. It was only 10 miles but I wasn't even a block from my house and I was like "Ugh I don't know if I can do all this." Then I told myself, "Don't make any decisions during the first mile!" LOL. Just like we shouldn't make decisions on a hill, right? So maybe just play some mental games with yourself.

    1. I'm finally beginning to feel good again. Took awhile! Now I need to figure out how to make up for my missed training :|

  3. Sounds rough! Hang in there. Sometimes it's impossible to know why a particular workout sucked so much, but I think you're on to something with that what-and-when you eat and drink beforehand. I have unpredictable effects with caffeinated or carbonated drinks on the day of exercise, and such bad effects with alcohol that I just don't drink it at all anymore. I don't know enough to say whether missing some running workouts during your week is really bad or not. For paddleboarding they say you really need to intersperse days of rest with the workouts.

    1. Thanks, James. I definitely think personal stress and eating junk as a result was the main problem! I'm feeling a bit more back on track. Rest days are important, but too many really undermines training in running!

  4. I think we all go through periods like this in our training. I know I did. Marathon training is so dang long, and it really starts to wear on you mentally. But it feels good to get to that point where you pull yourself together and bounce back, too. A lot of people make it seem like training is effortless week after week, but trust me, we all go through this. Some people are just more comfortable being honest about it than others.

    A lot of your long run struggles may be mental, too. When we are feeling down on ourselves or not having fun out there, we are more attuned to the negative stuff. Sometimes there is a lot of power in simply telling yourself "I'm going to have a good run out there today. This is non-negotiable". Even if the run doesn't end up being that great, you're at least setting yourself up with a positive mindset at the start and that can really help.

    Good luck!! Hang in there, it really will get better

    1. I'm glad to know I'm not alone. I think some bloggers focus so much on the rosy parts of training that the tough parts get overlooked.

      I definitely think the mental struggle --> poor eating --> tough runs. I'm feeling a bit better these days!

  5. You got this!! Don't be too hard on yourself, the good news is that you know what you need to do to get back on track! Go get that PR!!

  6. "I need to want it as much as I say I do." That perfectly sums up the first 1.5 months of Chicago Marathon training for me. I struggled big time being motivated to actually get my training in. I WANTED to run Chicago but my body fought me on the increased mileage and tougher speed work sessions. Eventually I settled in to the routine and it felt perfectly normal to be in training again. That moment will definitely come for you too. Hopefully the weather cools down a little bit for you in October. I know the nights that we dip down into the frigid 80s I feel so much more motivated to run long/hard!

    1. I'm so glad this isn't just me. Your training has been so consistent and strong this cycle, so I never would have guessed that you were dealing with a lack of motivation. I think I finally feel back in the routine and excited about training. I just to make up for some lost time, though.

      Lower humidity has been helping, that's for sure!