You know how some weeks everything clicks and you feel like a MONSTER on the road ready to take on more miles and more intensity? All you crave is more, more, more and your body seems to be managing it perfectly! You crush the workouts, your energy is up, and your mood is lifted; everything in your training is just seamlessly coming together. FINALLY!
Then something strange happens during the following week: you’re so exhausted and you can’t seem to get enough sleep, your runs are slower and you just feel off. Then you completely blow your workout of the week. You wonder, “WHAT THE F IS GOING ON WITH THIS BODY?” You’re frustrated with your body. You’re trying to stay confident but you’re even starting to doubt yourself. The cherry on top? Your kiddo became afraid of the dark this week (super duper awesome); commence temper tantrums, later bedtimes than usual and a whole new level of stress to the mix. Super duper awesome.
How can those two weeks possibly happen back to back? Not a clue, but they did!
Two weeks ago I was over the moon exhilarated with how my training was coming along and then last week came and umph… well that stunk! Last week was the toughest week of training I have had in a while and most definitely one of the worst workouts I have had since last summer! Yikes.
So let’s take a closer look at what happened….
January 11-17: 50+ miles (the week of awesome)
M– 9 mi @ 8:11 pace~ 6x hillbounding!! ouch (hard)
T– 4 mi @ 9:20 (easy)
*my recovery runs seem to have been getting faster at the same HR — that my friends is called GAINING FITNESS!!
W– 7 mi – 2×15 min tempo run: Interval #1 @ 7:28, Interval #2 @ 7:09 (hard)
*not my best, but a very SOLID tempo pace!
Th– 3.7 recovery miles @ 9:40 pace (easy)
F– 8 miles @ base pace 8:04 (moderate/easy)
S– split run:
AM run – 7.3 mi @ 30 min z1/30 min z2- 8:11 pace on tread boo!// PM run- 7.5 @ base @ 7:59 pace ~ felt really strong on round 2!! (hard)
*I expected to run 8:20-8:30 for my afternoon split run, but the legs felt surprisingly fresh so I rolled with it! I was able to push down to a 7:25 final mile in zone 1… say whaaaaat! A VERY solid day of workouts!!
S– 3.7 recovery miles @ 9:23 pace (easy)
*I don’t know about you, but I’d call the week above a solid week of training. Fifty miles, solid split run, solid tempo run AND seeing fitness gains on other runs- yes, yes, yessss!! One happy runner!!
Then last week happened! Ugh….
After completing 2 build weeks of increasing volume in my marathon training (48 miles, 50 miles) last week was earmarked as a recovery week. Recovery weeks are typically much lower mileage (I had 2 planned days off) and lower intensity (no tempo run/speed work) and typically conclude in some sort of effort run (ie. a race or a nasty speed workout). Due to motherhood, snow storms and work obligations I had to change my Saturday effort run (mile repeats) to Friday. Due to childcare I was also forced to take to the tread for my weekend runs; this was less than ideal, but sometimes life happens and I’m learning how to roll with it.
The entire week I felt utterly exhausted! I slept from 9/930 until 7 am most mornings and woke up barely feeling rested. Then I totally flunked my main workout of the week: mile repeats. Instead of throwing down 6:40’s or lower, I barely BARELY held on to 6:56’s. This is a solid 15 seconds a mile slower than usual- WHAT?! This was the worst mile repeat workout I have EVER done since I started running!! How is this even possible? I always come back to Beth from Your26.2’s comment that “Life stress is real stress.” I’ve been under more than a smidge of stress lately and last week my body felt it- my mind too. I had trouble mentally focusing and giving it my all on the road. I wasn’t purposely holding back, but I was getting frustrated during the workout. My body felt like cement and I didn’t have any more to give to the workout. Did I? I don’t think I did. My body, mind and soul felt exhausted and I just couldn’t push through it on that run. If you want to make progress on the road you NEED to listen to what your body is telling you. Last week my body told me 2 things: (1) sleep more and (2) eat healthier. Last week I felt tired, so I slept more. I also forced myself to cook balanced homemade meals (It can be so easy to fall into a routine of doing take out or scrounging) full of protein, vegetables and carbs. Here’s hoping that a little self care goes a long way and this upcoming week my runs will be stronger!!
Last week’s meals and miles…
Miles- 3.3 recovery @ 10:36 on tread
Meal- BBQ chicken and steamed broccoli. (forgot to snap a pic!)
*I was SUPER DUPER excited to pick up Lillian from school and spend the week with her!!!… she was SUPER DUPER excited to watch My Little Ponies on REPEAT for 7 days straight! lol 🙂 Love this child like she was my own… oh yeaaaaa she is 🙂
Meal- Left over BBQ over spinach salad with tomatoes, carrots and other fresh veggies. BBQ sauce and low fat peppercorn ranch dressing. Drool. SO. FLIPPING. GOOD.
Miles- 7.2 descending pace miles @ 7:52 pace
Meal- Around 5 pm I ate a Trader Joes Greek Yogurt with some trail mix (my new favorite combo snack). It was so surprisingly filling that I just made a sweet potato for dinner and called it a night :).
Meal- Homemade chicken parmesean with string beans and some pasta.
*Since I have been on my own I have been getting in the bad habit of not cooking real meals. I have made a promise to myself to cook at least 1-2 “meals” a week to ensure that I am taking care of my body and really my soul too. Because nothing warms the belly and the heart like a home cooked meal.
Miles- 4×1 mile repeats on the road and into the wind @ 6:59, 6:58, 6:55 and 7:08 … what happened? No clue! Ouchfest, 100% ouchfest.
Meal- Same pic, different day… 🙂 I noshed on leftover chicken parm with peas while I reviewed my schedule for the next week! Wowza so much to dooooo!
Miles: 3.4 recovery miles on the mill @ 10:05 pace
Meal: Behold my “I DO NOT want to cook anything so I’ll just throw random food together in a bowl and pretend it’s a meal… doesn’t it look pretty?” About a half a bag of steamed string beans, edamame, diced and roasted sweet potatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese…. the result? Surprisingly DELICIOUS! I’m making this again!!
Miles- 6.5 miles @ 8:22 (on the tread)
Meal- Homemade black bean burger (Recipe found on Solano’s Kitchen), served with string beans and corn on the cob
*Lilly and I spent the meal practicing learning how to tie her shoes with this cool book (Red Lace, Yellow Lace) my mom got her for Christmas! Lillian is nowhere close to tying her shoes… but hey, you have to start somewhere!
Total Miles: 28 miles!
Even though the runs were less than ideal I still managed to eat pretty darn well. Plus I got to spend the week with this amazing little lady paining crafts for her new bedroom….
And building lego veterinary houses that took me an HOUR… but still I DID IT!!! MOMMY IS NOT HOPELESS when it comes to legos!! Phew!!
Up next: a week full of higher mileage, *hopefully* continued healthier eating, more sleep and BETTER quality, more focused runs!!!
Bring it on BOSTON!!