Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not feelin' the love.

I am not feelin' the love at the moment. Yours, yes! Oh yes! But the running love. That's not coming my way right now. I am just exhausted. My non-running buddies look at me and tell me it's because I'm running too much. But I think that's unlikely to be it - I have, after all, trained at this intensity twice before and the first time I was holding down a demanding job as well as doing it - and I had far more energy than I do at the moment.

I am finding my runs hard. I got my 53 miles in last week but not with great grace, style or speed. My long run - 17 miles in windless sunshine - was run at a slower pace than my crazy 20 miler in torrential rain the week before. My speedsession was okay-ish. Sunday I set out for 13 miles with 8 at HM pace. I managed 5 at an 8 min/mile pace before I called it a day and slowed down and settled for 11M in total. Just wiped. Now - in all honesty - I have to tell you that I went to a friend's birthday party on Friday night and drank too much white wine and stayed up too late. Saturday's dismal 5 miler was therefore to be expected. But I must be getting old if it's still affecting me on Sunday? I didn't drink that much.

And this week it feels like concrete has been poured into my legs. 8M at 5:30 am on Tuesday morning? Slow. 12M yesterday? Slow.

And today? Today has so not been my day. I had all my long run kit laid out for me this morning but realised after I dropped my son off at school that I had forgotten my gloves. It's around freezing, so that wasn't going to work. Running a post-office errand I then went off and bought some gloves from a charity shop across the street. Good, cheap but a tad snug. Then on my way back to my car I dropped 50 dollars I had just exhanged - had a good samaritan not pointed this out they would have been lost. I then got to my car just as the woman parked in front of me backed into it. She damaged my number plate and front grille. She was very apologetic and I was feelings so defeated by this stage that I didn't have the energy to argue. Took her name and number and now need to get this fixed. Then realised I had lost my car keys. Back to post office where I had left them. Finally finally finally got to my running place. This morning I was meant to go out for 18M with 14M at race pace. I got to about mile 3.5 when my phone rang with an urgent domestic message which meant I had to turn around and cut my run short - and I have to say I was relieved. Although I had been doing 8:25 min/miles until that point I was beginning to doubt I could keep it up - I was just feeling whacked and exhausted and a bit dizzy. So I made it 6.5 miles and will try again tomorrow.

So what's going on? I am sleeping enough - 8 hours a night. Taking my iron pills. Not running more than I have done before. Eating well - I think. Lots of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, carbohydrates. Not much wine or junk. I wonder whether I am not getting enough protein though. Any views on this? Maybe I need to have some of those disgusting shakes sometimes. Ideas? Suggestions? I am in the process of trying to get a doctor's appointment - I don't suspect anything is seriously wrong at all but I am somehow not on top of things right now. Which is a bit demoralising with only 5 1/2 weeks to go until Boston.

Otherwise, things are fine though. All the above may also just be mental fatigue from training for so long - I feel I have been at this a long time. I am conscious of the things I am not getting around to doing because I am training. Hrmm.

And another ray of sunshine has just been delivered, courtesy of the lovely Melisa - 4 gigantic bags of dark chocolate M&Ms. This may just be the food of champions. We shall see... Hope everyone else's running is going okay - keep at it and I will do the same.


lizzie lee said...

I'll be writing longer later but I am exactly where you are w/different distances and speed but same situation. I was going to ask same advice. One day we are good (your 20-miler) next day we feel like crap. I am doing some investigation, and will share my findings, if any....

Marathon Maritza said...

Maybe you're just tired (knackered?) after so many weeks of training so far? I don't know about you, but when I run in the cold, I'm much more exhausted muscles are tightened up more to attempt to keep warm in the cold. Maybe 53 miles in the cold just tired you out a bit.

I would say definitely watch your protein intake and make sure it's enough and just rest more. :) You will be back to it in no time.

I can't give you running love, but I can give you person love!


ShirleyPerly said...

If you think it's nutrition-related, you can see what your C-F-P numbers are if you track your food intake for, say, a week. Last year I was feeling the same way and used the Daily Plate online food diary to make sure I was eating enough calories and protein. Stress in other parts of your life can also be a HUGE factor, I think. My husband is under a lot of work stress and is often exhausted even when he's sleeps 7-8 hours a week, eating right and working out less than he has before. It's like a runaway computer process zapping his energy constantly in the background.

Whatever it is for you I hope it passes or is resolved soon!

Anonymous said...

I think you're just due for a cutback week. This has happened to me before. 2 high weeks and it's time to luxuriate in a cutback-- I think it'll help mentally and physically.

Hang in there-- some weeks are just really tough, especially if you're tired.

And like M said, make sure your eating habits are good. Personally when I'm running that much I just need a ton of carbs.

You doing great and Boston is just around the corner!

Emily said...

I haven't read all of the comments but would assume it is the mental side kicking in. I'm sure the winter weather has something to do with it too. Don't you think? You are doing quite awesome however and have put a lot into this training cycle. You're running Boston FFS! You'll do great! get to party with MOI. We need to make plans to meet up pre and hopefully post race as well. Josh and I are thinking about going to Fenway the day before but that is about all that I've planned. My sister keeps on insisting to drive me to the race start but I'm worried it'll be a cluster. What is your plan?

Hang in there! Take a few days off if you feel you need it. And don't feel bad about it!

peter said...

Ah, Petra, you're sounding like a first-time marathoner, frantic that somehow despite all your hard training, you're just not there. Well, you're a first-time Bostoner all right, but your training sounds fine to me, and sometimes life intrudes. Altho you did have a worrisome string of mishaps, I think you're coming along just fine.

Alisa said...

53 miles is still a heck of a lot, maybe you're bod is fatigued and needing a little rest.

Running is so day-to-day for me. I can have a fantastic run one day and totally stink it up the next. I find when I'm mentally getting down about running my pace SUFFERS-BIG TIME. Stay mentally strong and positive =).

You're still doing great runs!

Irish Blue said...

I think you hit on it when you said fatigued from back to back training cycles. That, or the nutrition thing is also a possibility. Maybe too little protein or too few calories. A trip to the doctor is a good idea, assuming it's a good doctor, that is. I've had some that I would call not-so-good.

Hang in there!! Maybe you just need some spring weather.


lizzie lee said...

Petra, I agree with what many have said here. In my blog I addressed how I am trying to resolve it. The mental break was big part of the therapy this week. Not sure if is part of the solution, though. I'll see how I am next week. But, trust yourself girl.

Road Warrior said...

Protein could very well be a problem. I try (keyword being "try") to get protein equal to half of my weight in grams each day. It's a goal, but I know when I do that I feel so much better.

Have you thought about the fact that maybe you need a change? Could you switch to some bike rides to change things up again? I'll be all over the bike rides once the weather gets palatable around here.

Also, um, I don't believe it's possible for you to be a rockstar 100% of the time. Even superheroes need a break from time to time. Maybe your body is reminding you that you're human.

Susan said...

I ovte for mental fatigue and definitely more protein is in order. Just my opinion...

I am sending you a gigantic hug!

Geoffrey said...

Petra, I haven't followed your training closely, but it sounds like you're over-trained. You know that advice that's so easy to give and so hard to follow, "listen to your body"? Take a week off completely. It won't hurt you a bit. Or ten days. Throw out whatever plan you're using. I'm sure you have enough experience to make your own plans from now on.

One thing I noticed about Boston as a first-timer last spring: everyone in the crowd looks serious and fast and it's almost impossible to go out slowly enough--there's a great temptation to keep up impressions. I know you're planning to start out moderately--it's an excellent plan, just very hard to do...

Good luck--

Unknown said...

Oh Honey, I know what you mean. I had two weeks of feeling like I had cement legs and I just felt fatigued and exhausted too. I can relate. I think that my problem was too much stress from school and report cards AND the stress from a few too many emails from our running leader who is a little too obsessive about Boston. For some reason, just taking two days off and not even thinking about running...except other people's running through the blogs, helped! Truly girl, we only have two/three more weeks of this and we're home free and things will lift. It is mental. Last night our coach at track told us that we need to be kinder to ourselves when we're tired and just be gentle and patience with your fatigue. It's all part of this process. I'm here for you and I KNOW what you're feeling but it will lift! Forget the grace, style and speed, just take care of yourself!
HUGS and I can't wait to see you,

Unknown said...

Sorry, I meant to say "patient" in that last comment!

misszippy said...

I think it's probably just a case of all the miles catching up to you mentally. You're at that really tough point in your training. Just focus on getting through these last few weeks and then you get to taper! Good luck.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I would try a "step back" week. If you have a long run, you can still get it in if you need it mentally, but maybe cut back your overall weekly mileage and run easy all of the other days. We are so close to the taper. Hang on! Run Petra Run! Good Luck! I can't wait to run Boston. 31 days - woo hoo1