Week 5 needed to be on point for me. I was a little nervous with the New Year holiday being my three busiest days of work of the year, but I was determined to get in all my workouts no matter what. Monday was my usual hot yoga session and did it feel good. My body, especially lower back were sore from running 12M with Kona the day before. It was like tug-o-war with her the entire run. Tuesday was a rest day. Work was so crazy and I was exhausted so I just needed a glass of wine and my sweatpants. Wednesday was New Year’s Eve and every appointment slot was full. Patients needed to get in before the end of the year to use up their insurance. We normally close at 6pm on Wednesdays but I didn’t get out of there until 7:00pm so by the time I got home, a workout was definitely not happening. So instead I celebrated NYE by going to Georgia St. downtown for my husband’s event. Thursday was New Year’s Day and I had an easy 7M run on the Monon. It felt great to get outside. It was chilly, but the sun was shining and I felt refreshed. Friday was a hot yoga session. I had planned on going swimming or for a run afterwards but ended up have brunch with my shishy. I can never pass up brunch or hanging out with my shish. Saturday was my first computrainer session since August, 5 months ago. I was in for a treat. It was a two hour ride but I only rode for 1.5 hours and then ran mile repeats on the treadmill. I only got through two repeats before my legs were so scorched I had to stop. I finished out the last two mile repeats later that afternoon. Sunday was supposed to be a 14M run. It was blistering cold, 25mph winds and snow. I was bundled up to the max and ready to go. Kinda. Mentally I just wasn’t there. There was no one else out running and I felt alone on the canal towpath. It was kinda spooky with it being so ominous outside. Instead of running to the Naval Armory I turned around early at the IMA since I was kinda freaked out. When I got to mile 7or 8ish at my gas station pit stop for a water, I had to regroup. I just couldn’t wrap my ahead around that I was only half way finished. Not only was I mentally not into it but I was physically not into it. I felt weak and never warmed up or got into a groove. Once I got go Broadripple, I decided to cut my run short and head home on the Monon. But my last mile was brutal. I felt sick. I thought I was going to pass out and it was all I could do to maintain an 11:00min/mile pace. What was happening to me? It was so strange. When I got home from my run, I had to hold back from crying. Yes the elements outside were brutal but I can count on one hand how many times I have cut a long run short. I hated that I did this but I physically could not go on. Week 5 Total Mileage: 21.5 miles + 1 computrainer session + 2 hot yoga sessions.
Week 6 was not much of an improvement. It’s like I had lost my motivation and inspiration. I needed something to pull me out of this dark hole. I’m totally one of those people that gets all sad and weepy during the winter months. I’m missing sunshine, I’m missing warmth. So Monday I did what I do best…hot yoga. Tuesday was computrainer class. It was difficult not having been on a bike in so long but it was just the kick I needed to get my gears going again. I had a great 1.5 hour ride and felt rejuvenated. Wednesday was a hot yoga session. Again just not feeling the running thing lately. Thursday was an interval ladder. Intervals have become my new favorite run workout. Something about running and feeling fast in short bursts has made my treadmill runs bearable. But then again, I’ve always enjoyed interval workouts. Maybe I should be training for a 5K instead of a marathon? Friday was a rest day. I planned on going to the gym to either swim or run but then I just kinda forgot after I got home. Saturday I had to work and again after work I just wanted to go home. I should have brought my workout bag with me to go straight to the gym, but that was a fail. Sunday I desperately needed to get in my pace-plus run of 15M. Bryan talked me into going to the gym early around 11:30 so I could get it out of the way. He’s so great at motivating and supporting me through all this. I was able to get my favorite treadmill on the first floor in front of the mirrors so I could watch my form and creep on all the people doing sit-ups (hey I have to keep my mind occupied somehow for 15 miles). I knew the first 10 miles would be the most important, so I ran the first 10 miles straight through as if I were in a race. I even took my gel at mile 5 while I was running and didn’t stop. Once I got to mile 10 the treadmill starts over, otherwise I probably would have kept going. So at I mile 10 I took a quick restroom break, filled up my water, and had a second gel. The last 5 miles felt great and were my quickest miles. I ended up averaging a 9:20 pace for my 15 miles – right where I needed to be. Week 6 Total Mileage: 22.1 miles + 1 computrainer class + 2 hot yoga sessions.
Week 7 was a turning point for me. I would be half way through my training program and nowhere near to my weekly mileage that I should be at this point. I should be in the mid 30’s approaching 40 but instead I’ve been hovering in the 20’s. Ahhhh winter why must you make me feel this way?! Monday was a rest day because I had to take Carson to the vet after work and didn’t get back in time for yoga. Tuesday was computrainer class. I decided to continue my Tuesday computrainer classes until a few weeks before my marathon because it seems like the only thing that gets me excited for training right now. Plus, it can only make my legs stronger and give me a good baseline for 70.3 training in the spring. Wednesday was a 7M easy run at the gym. My legs were toast from biking the evening before. Thursday was a rest day. I just couldn’t bare the thought of treadmill running and it was 6pm before I got out of work. Friday was my interval day – 1200m and 400m repeats. I got down to a 7:13min/mile pace at one point. I felt strong and the sauna post work out was amazing. Saturday was supposed to be my 9M tempo, but after getting my life in order, it just feels like its in a scrambled mess right now dealing with student loans, refinancing, and such adult things that I didn’t set out for my run until 6pm. Where did the day go? So obviously 9 miles was not happening. So Bryan and I took Kona for a 3 mile evening run. It was actually very pleasant and peaceful. I wish I would have got my butt in gear and ran earlier in the day. Sunday was finally my 14 mile run that had been haunting me. Two weeks prior my 14 miler was cut short due to my mini meltdown in the snow, so this week it was happening. It was a pleasant 30 something out but very windy. Bryan and Kona set out to run with me. I wanted to stay within my pace-plus range of 9:00-9:30 like I did on my 15 miler the week prior. The first few miles were slow. No big deal, just warming up. When I finally thought I was picking up the pace I was actually running slower. WTF? Finally at around mile 7ish Bryan and Kona headed home and I still had half my run left. I was feeling very disgruntled about my slow pace but Bryan reassured me that it’s a long run at easy pace, and even though it’s slower than usual at least I’m getting in the distance. I told him that this wasn’t fun anymore and had yet another mini meltdown. But I had to keep going. I decided to keep an easy slow pace and just get through the miles. It was windy and cold and I wasn’t running fast enough to stay warm. Finally it came to a point that my run path was so muddy and slushy from all the melting snow that I just had to laugh. It may not have been what I call fun but it was definitely funny dodging mud, snow, slush etc. It came to the point where I would literally have to walk around large areas of water crossing the entire path, but I did it, 14 slow miles of wind, cold and mud. It was definitely ugly but at least the miles were finished. Week 7 Total Mileage: 30.09 miles + 1 computrainer session.
Week 8 was all business. I finally had reached a 30 mile week so I needed to keep it going. Monday was my usual hot yoga session. Tuesday was a killer computrainer session. Wednesday I got home from work late and instead of going straight to the gym, I had to come home and let the dogs out since Bryan was working late, so heading back out to the gym after being home wasn’t going to happen. I thought about going to hot yoga, but felt bad for the pups being home alone for so long, so I did some cross training at home with a 5 rounds of air squats, front/back/side lunges, pushups, situps, and planks. Kona ultimately thought I was playing with her and she insisted on jumping on me during situps and placed all her toys on the back of my legs during planks. Thanks coach Kona. Again on Thursday I had to come home right after work to let the dogs out since Bryan was working late, so no gym for me. So instead I took Kona for a 4M night run. I really enjoyed it, despite the fact it took her 3 miles to run my pace and stop pulling me. Night running is like scuba diving at night, just complete darkness with lights every so often bouncing around on the monon from other runners. I was amazed at the amount of people I saw running at night. It’s like a whole new experience. I may have to do this more often. I obviously couldn’t run fast though because it was difficult to see where I was going, but definitely would work for my easy recovery runs. Friday was a rest day. I had every intention of going to the gym for my 9M tempo run after relaxing for an hour, but Bryan and I purchased our vacation tickets instead and we got too excited planning our trip to Europe. Saturday was an evening run at the gym for 9 easy miles, nothing fancy. Sunday was my long run day. I desperately needed to sleep in so I did. Bryan got up early and ran at Eagle Creek and I had just got out of bed when he came home. I kept procrastinating my run and we had a winter weather advisory. It was only raining outside but I didn’t want to get stuck 10M away from home when it started to wintry mix so I sucked it up and went to the gym for 17 miles. Uggghhhh. I had a great 15M treadmill run two weeks prior so what’s another 2 miles? I ran the first 8.5 miles nice and easy and figured I’d pick up the pace for the second half. Nope. The second half just didn’t seem to click. My mind was wandering and I had to break up the second half of the run a lot. My average pace was 30 seconds slower per mile than I would have liked. My body felt fine, my breathing was fine, just mentally I was in the red. I finished it, but wasn’t very pleased with my performance. Week 8 Total Mileage: 30 miles + 1 hot yoga session + 1 computrainer session + 1 cross training/strength session.
I’m nowhere near to where I thought I would be at this point in training. I thought I’d be starting at 30 miles from the first week and moving up to 45 miles at my peak in a few weeks. But Week 7 was my first week hitting 30 miles. I’m worried that I’ve slacked off too much. I’m worried that I’ve let the weather affect my mood too much. I’m worried that work had been so stressful over the holidays that I’m just mentally drained from everything. Where did my joy in running go?! Even hot yoga has only barely escaped my negative woes. The one thing that actually has reawakened my drive to workout is computrainer classes on the bike. I never would have thought that I’d actually look forward to punishing myself on a bike for 1.5 hours each week. But I guess it’s just what I needed to awaken my senses. Finishing strong at the end of week 8, I’m hoping that my mojo has come back and that it will carry me through to the following weeks because now is when it really needs to count. I have my 18 miler and 2 twenty milers approaching and these need to be solid runs. I need to get my tempo runs in and stop slacking. If I want to reach my marathon goal, I need to work hard and stop using the weather as an excuse. Other people are out there running in the same conditions so I can do it too.