Blogging silence for nearly 3 weeks - why? Well... mainly because I've been overloading myself with arrangements. One of the most common tricks in my books is to say yes to too much and to make too many (complicated) arrangements. Travelling to Holland with 2 kids just after coming back from Western Canada (long before anyone's jetlag had worn off) to visit my parents who had just come back from 3 weeks in Mongolia (!) was hard work from time to time. While it was lovely to spend time with them and to spend time in beautiful Oosterbeek, the kids were fairly full-on and demanding and my poor father was ill with pneumonia. I felt quite guilty asking them to mind the kids while I got my runs (though they did it happily) but felt very much that, apart from that, I needed to take charge and plan and manage. Tiring for all. I was quite worn out. When I came home I had to deal with unpacking from both trips and then getting ready to leave the kids with a sitter while Adam and I went off to Oxfordshire to celebrate my mother-in-law's 70th (that's her with my 2 sisters-in-law and myself at left) at a wonderful and very luxurious hotel and I then went to London to see my friend Dawn and came back for a business meeting in Lincoln. Haaaaarrrrggghhh!!!! Complicated plans and travel arrangements - I should know that when it all gets too complicated to think about, it IS too complicated. Anyway, good times were had and now we're slowly heading back to normality - school begins 2 weeks from today.
Running. Ah yes. We were going to get to that weren't we? Well.... It went very well in Holland. Since I came back, the results have been mixed. I got my long run (only 12M) last week which was fine. But with all the to-ing and fro-ing I have missed a few of my midweek runs. I've been reading other people's blogs and it seems many (Maddy and Melissa, for two) have been trying to work their ways out of some slumps (Susan, you don't count because you were ill and you HAVE to take time off then. Boss's orders..). It seems that somewhere in the middle of all the training life sometimes steps in and says, either through other commitments or through your body just being exhausted, that you can't always prioritise your running. So where am I now? Struggling to be honest. Not struggling to run - I'm finding it easy and fine to go out and run 5 or 6 miles. But I'm going nowhere fast - averaging over 10 minute miles in all my runs, 11 minute miles in my long runs. I'm beginning to wish I'd picked a program with some speedwork in it. And I am finding it hard to motivate myself for 18 and 20 milers. I went out for a possible 17 today and left it at 6. Hrmmm. Not good. What now? Well, running along today and listening to the always inspirational Zenrunner I tried to line up my options. As I see it, I have 3 (but do tell me if you think differently):
- I just grit my teeth and get on with my current schedule.
- I jump down to an easier program. Maybe it will be easier to motivate myself if I run slightly shorter distances. I might find myself less exhausted and possibly, a bit faster as well. I'm currently doing Hal Higdon Intermediate II, I could easily go down to Intermediate I.
- I don't do the marathon. While this is a tempting solution I'm loathe to do it. I'm running with my friend Sally, and it's her first. She would not have done one, and certainly not this one, without me. I think I owe it to her.
So that's where I am. All is well actually - after a few weeks of erratic and not necessarily healthy eating and drinking I'm back on Dr. Monte's track and I'm feeling fine and beginning to feel better rested. I am enjoying running, but seem to have just misplaced my marathon mojo.
If I'm brutally honest, what I would like to do right now is just run 5 milers 4 or 5 times a week and then run a 10 miler on the weekend and just stick to that for a while. But .. it's only about 8 weeks to the marathon, I've (sort of) come this far and I truly am not fussed about my time at this stage so perhaps I should just get on with it. What do you think?