Chicago Marathon Training Week 7

Sunday, July 19: 13.8 miles in 2:25:50 for a 10:36 pace.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, by my watch’s stats.

Monday, July 20: Rest.
I intended to do yoga, but my day ended up being PACKED, and I just didn’t have time. I figure resting the day after a half isn’t the worst thing in the world, anyway.

Tuesday, July 21: Dance.
We finished (I think? I hope!) a combo we started last Tuesday that is COMPLICATED in hip hop, and were all over the place in break. We worked on transitions, we worked on falling, we talked about how “real” bboys battle and perform. I continued attempting to put forth a solid effort in both classes, especially after some registration ~dRaMa~ for hip hop next session.

Wednesday, July 22: 6 miles in 1:03:42 for a 10:37 pace.
This…was not a good run. I really didn’t want to go for a run (story of my training cycle), but I knew once I got out there, it’d improve. You know how a lot of people talk about how the first mile is the worst one in every run? Yeah, for me these days, it’s everything leading up to the first mile. As soon as I get out there, I’m good to go 99% of the time, but man, the struggle to convince myself that running is better than laying in bed and doing nothing has been REAL lately. Anyway, headed out for my run and was surprised by how lead legged I felt. I decided to try a new-to-me route, which I actually really enjoyed. I had some great views, and I think it’s fun to spend three miles on the same road in Chicago because of how DRASTICALLY things can change in that short of distance just by passing through a handful of neighborhoods. My legs loosened up within the first mile, and things were fine up until about mile 4.5, where I bonked so hard. HOW. How do you bonk a six miler? Even more importantly, how do you bonk that early in a six miler? I could barely pick up my feet for the last 1.5 miles and basically shuffled home. I really couldn’t believe how miserable I felt. That was so out of character for me.

Thursday, July 23: 4 miles (tempo) in 41:25 (9:22 and 9:38 tempo miles) for a 10:21 pace.
Same story, different day. I, once again, started my run out with lead legs that plagued me for the first mile. I was happy from both a time and effort standpoint with my tempo miles, but my “cooldown” mile was a DISASTER. I ran an 11:56. WHAT IS HAPPENING. Once again, I could only manage to shuffle instead of actually run, and when I got home, I was so, so beat. I sat on my floor recovering for a long time and hung out with my legs up against my dresser for awhile because I didn’t even have it in me to stretch (I did stretch eventually).


Friday, July 24: Rest.

Saturday, July 25: 6.33 miles in 1:03:00 for a 9:57 pace.
BTN Big 10K, by my watch’s stats. Full recap tomorrow (last race recap for two months, I promise. Thanks for bearing with me 🙂 ).

Wednesday and Thursday concerned me a lot. Both days had a few things in common: it was in the low 80s while I ran (and even though 80s are much better than 90s or worse, it does feel 20 degrees warmer when you run, so low 80s is still low 100s as far as my body is concerned), which is warmer than I’d like it to be (though not by that much), I had a somewhat heavy snack between coming home and heading out for my run, I only drank maybe 30ish oz. of water during the work day instead of my minimum target of 48 oz., I got less than seven hours of sleep Tuesday into Wednesday and Wednesday into Thursday (when I know I need to get as close to eight as possible, if not more). Any of those elements could have played a role in feeling like I bonked twice in as many days. My average heart rate was right on target for where it should have been/has been, so I don’t think this was so much a question of cardiovascular fitness as it was of muscular endurance. I suppose it’s entirely possible that I needed more recovery time from Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I haven’t taken extended recovery time from a half in ages, and in a couple of weeks, my long runs will be longer than a half marathon anyway, an obviously I can’t take a week to recover from those. I don’t know what happened, and it’s frustrating and upsetting.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if I’m overtraining. It seems so unlikely – how on earth can you overtrain on three days of running a week? I mean, yeah, I’m active (usually) six days a week, but I do take full rest days, and my activity is SO varied: rock climbing is nothing like dancing is nothing like running is nothing like circuit strength HIIT workouts is nothing like yoga. And it’s not like six days of activity is new for me. I’ve been engaging in five-six days of activity per week since I was in college. I have a little bit of physical soreness, but nothing major or consistently lingering. Mentally, though, I’ve been a mess for weeks. I’ve been inexplicably weepy, I haven’t been engaged at work, I haven’t wanted to run at all, as I’ve mentioned several times on here, and to be honest, I haven’t wanted to do much of anything at all but sleep or otherwise be lazy. I feel a lot like how I felt in early 2014, when I wanted to run away from real life and responsibilities and go on a permanent vacation. Incidentally, when I felt like that in early 2014, I was also doing fairly intense training (more intense than what I’m doing now, I’d argue: every run was either an interval, tempo, or long run), and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection between the two. I want to try to take better care of myself over the next couple of weeks and see if things get better. If they don’t, I may have to reevaluate my training plan. It’s really frustrating, because while hard training isn’t fun, I know it pays off. I earned ENORMOUS PRs off hard training in 2014. Rock ‘n’ Roll proved to me that my hard training has had a major impact on my fitness this year. I desperately want to run a faster marathon this year, and dialing in my training isn’t going to get me there…but neither is hating running. I honestly don’t know what to do, and it’s really bothering me.

6 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 7

  1. Great week of workouts… Sometimes I question “over training” which is why I typically FORCE myself to take a rest day… I find it not only helps me physically, it will emotionally help me reset and feel more rested in all aspects of life. Hope you have a fabulous day!

  2. You know I question whether or not I’m overtraining all the time. That’s what worries me most about jumping into “official” marathon training now. While 4 days of running a week gives me flexibility, I’m still very active on non-running days and I’m afraid of burnout. I think taking an extra day or two off or shifting the mindset about going for a run really makes a huge difference. For example, last weekend’s race was laughable it was so awful, yet today I ran almost as far and had no problem hitting my paces. I actually enjoyed it because in my head I WANTED to run rather than feeling like I HAD to. So strange. But I’m with you on feeling like a mental mess lately. Definitely broke down last night and have been pretty regularly for the past couple months, so something has to change. I’m not usually this emotional.

    • I’m trying really hard to shift my mindset about runs and see them as something I get to do rather than something I have to do–and, even more importantly, something that will pay off much more in the long term than being lazy, which is what I want to do in the short term haha. It’s so tough to find that balance between pushing yourself to improve and pushing yourself too far, though! I wish there was a clearer way of recognizing when I’ve crossed that line.

  3. Do you think it’s all the focusing on time that’s stressing you out and causing you more anxiety and to feel like crud about running? I know that when I focused on time I did get faster but I also burnt out. Now I rarely wear or even look at my watch when I run and I’ve found that I still run fast when I run by feel and I don’t feel so stressed out about it.

    • It’s definitely possible. I was going to be all, “I don’t care about my time! I only care about my effort!” but clearly that’s not true. I mean, I do use effort as my gauge for hard workouts more than what my watch says, but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t getting bent out of shape over my times, too. I like wearing my watch so I can run wherever I want without having to come up with a route ahead of time, but I know I can reconfigure my watch to show different information. Maybe I should reset it so it shows me my heart rate (effort) and distance but not time to keep me from getting all caught up in that numbers game.

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