Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Feeling the beat down

The last couple of days have been challenging for me from a running standpoint. I'm still a fairly new runner, with my first half-marathon only 18 months ago. I was averaging about 10 miles a week at that time, and for my first two attempts at a marathon, I was averaging 20-25 miles/week. It's funny how your perspective changes... because at that time, I felt as though my body was being pushed hard. I also thought that it would be virtually impossible to train more than 40 miles/week... just felt that my body would not be able to handle it, along with feeling that time constraints would be such a major issue for me. Also, when you tell someone that doesn't run at all, that you run 10-20 miles/week, they think you are nuts... but times have changed for me. I now browse RW.com forums on a frequent basis, in which the average person on the marathon boards runs around 60-75 miles/week... with a good amount of folks averaging 80-90 miles/week, and going over the 100 mile mark a few times during their training. Also, most of these folks run twice/day.... and it is not uncommon to find many of them starting at 4 am to get their first runs in.... seems crazy, huh??? But common... one guy who is training for a marathon this fall, said he gets home from work at 10-11 pm, and usually runs from 12 am-2 am, goes to bed, and wakes up at 7 am to go to work... it's his way of managing everything and getting his runs in. Gosh... it really makes me feel horrible to even slightly complain about my running schedule.
So.. I have just completed my first 50 mile week.....ever... I was recently not driving 50 miles/week when I was just working at the North Tampa clinic... a year later, I am running that per week... how cool!!!! My schedule over the last 3 days was as follows:
18 mile long run on Sunday
6 mile recovery run on Monday
11 mile tempo run today

Sunday's run really exposed my weakness..... endurance. I have good endurance for the average person, but I struggled to hold pace at the end of the run... from miles 16-18, I tried to hold my goal pace for the marathon, and even though I did it... that was not about to happen for any more miles. I am hoping that over the next few weeks, I will build up my endurance by doing more of these long runs. Its just draining to do them.... but just like everything else, your body starts to get used to it.
Usually after a Sunday long run, I feel pretty good, and ready to do some sort of run by Monday... but I just wasn't feelin' it Monday morning. I did not want to wake up any earlier than I had to, so I ended up doing my run right after work (Bayshore... yeah!!!). It was supposed to be a recovery run, which it was for the first 4 miles. All of a sudden, about 20 high school girls and 3 older guys started to run in a pack by Bay to Bay Blvd. I was kinda intrigued, and one of the girls looked like one of my former patients, so I decided to run with 2 of the guys and started to talk to them about the group. It was the Plant High School cross country team, and I did a little marketing while I was running with those guys, and told them about what I do, and if they needed any of our services... (services are always needed!!!). So I ended up running the 5th mile faster than I would have liked, and the 6th mile was supposed to be sprints anyway... so I just don't think I really "recovered" from that recovery run...does that make any sense???? With that said, I knew I had a 11 mile tempo run scheduled for today, and I knew it would be a struggle.... and it was. I started a little before 6 am, and it took me a full 3 miles to feel somewhat warmed up. My heartrate was climbing, I was sweating heavily, and I just knew this was gonna be a crummy one. I guess the good thing was that I was able to fight my way through the tempo portions, and my splits were somewhat respectable. I really wanted to just walk home after I finished the tempo portion, but I just knew it would make everything prolonged... I just wanted to take a shower and climb in a bed or something.... but then I thought... this is what it will feel like at the end of the.... marathon!!!! This was a little test for me. I had to fight through it, and keep on going even though I didn't want to go... and you know what??? After a mile, I was ok.... not great... but ok. I could've kept on going, but once I got to my house, I was happy to get inside, go straight to the shower, and get in some clean clothes and hug and kiss the Todd Squad. My right outer ankle (peroneals) are on the sore side, so I definitely won't run tomorrow, but I plan on doing a 12 miler on the Gandy bridge Thursday morning before work with Shane. I want to be well rested for that, as this will be the first time I have ever done hill work. If my ankle (which is already feeling a little better) is not right by tomorrow, I will bag it for another day... but I think I will be fine. Saturday morning, I will have a scheduled 20 mile run, so the beat down will continue. I will finish out this week at 55 miles. It will be my highest week ever, and it will be my peak week for my training for Chicago. Let's keep on keepin' on!!!!!

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