Well, I capped off a crappy week of running with one of the worst long runs I’ve had in about a year. Without getting into the gory details I basically ended up getting sick every 1/2 mile starting at mile 7 and slogged my way through a really miserable 14 miles. My reward for finishing was nausea and a headache that persisted all day and hunger I simply can’t kick. I knew I was due for a bad week of running after how hard I’ve been training but this week was a doozy. I’ve never wanted to call someone to pick me up from a run so badly in my entire life. I should have known it’d be bad when I was hungry at mile 5…
I need to do a better job of listening to my own advice and going easy on my easy days rather than running with the girls who are faster than me every time and I definitely need to do a better job hydrating and eating right. Oh and sleep would be a good idea.
I know in my head, and I tell people all the time, that training and our sport is not all rainbows, butterflies, spiritual revelations and lots of fun. In fact, much of the time it is hard work done in the wee hours of the morning. I think it’s easy to tell people about the amazing runs where you’re flying and happy and PR-ing and all is right with the world, but it’s also disengenuous. For every bright and happy and difficult run, there are runs where you feel like you could die any moment and end dizzy and dehydrated (btw according to my scale I sweated out SEVEN pounds of fluid on Saturday). Dealing with them isn’t great, but rest assured they happen to all of us.
There’s a great article in this month’s Running Times magazine (I prefer it to Runners World– that thing is so repetitive!) about habits great runners all have. And one of the habits great runners have is the ability to brush off bad workouts or even full bad weeks. I think I could be in real danger if I was obsessed with the fact that this week, quite frankly, sucked. In fact, I think I might even quit if I were to dwell on all the bad and painful runs. The article’s not online yet, but the gist of it is that you need to be able to see the forest from the trees and view your training as a whole.
Was my week terrible? YES. Does that mean I haven’t improved? No. In fact, it is far more likely that my body hit a point where the repetitive stress was simply too much too bear and it was forcing me to slow down in order to absorb all that quality training.
My coach has me stepping back from higher mileage this week (the last 3 weeks have been 52, 54, 53) and I’m hoping it gives my legs the chance to rest and repair they so clearly need. Don’t worry, I still love running and I’m still confident that all my hard work is going to pay off at some point, I just think my legs are freaking out a little bit on me over here!