I Am Terrible At This

So it’s only been 10 months since my last post. Oops? The truth is my SeaWheeze training was going terrible, I was gaining weight, and aside from the occasional race and November Project I wasn’t really running much.

After a few weeks of not being anywhere near where I should’ve been with my training runs I just flat out gave up. Fast forward to July or so. I was miserable. I hated how “slow” I was getting. I would randomly burst into tears at NP and nearly have a panic attack because I was so upset with myself, my weight, and how hard everything felt. A couple friends were pacing the 1:50 group at SeaWheeze, so in an attempt to put in minimal effort during the race and avoid being disappointed with my time had I actually raced it, I ran with them.

September should’ve been a turning point. I applied for Boston. I got in. I still barely ran. It was torture. I felt like I was dying, would look down at my watch and see my pace, and wanted to quit right there.

By the time October rolled around I was like SHIT. This race is in 6 months. I started to run a little more. A little. It wasn’t really until January when lululemon and Strava had a run challenge, so duh, I could totally run 80 km in 2 weeks for prizes. Nailed it. The week after the challenge was over my marathon training began.

This training plan is hard (thanks Gals Who Run). Really hard. Especially when you’re piling on NP and one or more Group X classes per day on top and your knee has been bugging. Me = not smart. I’m wrapping up the 4th week of training this weekend. My speed is coming back, but for some reason I don’t believe it. I see my pace and think “there is no way I’m running that fast. The GPS must be off.” I upload it and everything looks fine, but I’m still swallowed by self doubt. I’m not really that fast. I’m going to fail at my workout tomorrow. I don’t think I’m going to be able to run a marathon. Why am I even trying to PR? I’ll be lucky if I manage to re-qualify. I’m not going to re-qualify. I’m not good enough.  I’m not skinny enough. I might actually die at this race.

So yeah, I’ll be spending the next 8 weeks stressing the F out because my brain is not nice. That’s where I’m at. I just needed to get it all out because I literally talk to no one about these things. Awesome.

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Motivation

What motivates you? We all have those runs where we go into thinking it will be slow/crappy/unpleasant for whatever reason. Make excuses for why you can’t pull it together before you even manage to strap your watch on and tie your shoes.

I’ve been on night shifts all week and slept like crap every day. Yesterday I maybe got 5 hours of sleep total (not all at once) and ended up going to the gym twice for a total of 3 hours – the second trip after giving up on trying to fall back asleep when I woke from my afternoon nap. After working all night, I headed to my sister’s neighborhood to do my run before I had to babysit. I was dead tired. Brain said “sorry, nope, those tempo intervals aren’t happening”. So instead I decided to head out for a causal jog, finishing at my favorite coffee shop to grab much needed caffeine before I babysat.

I started out slowly and somewhere along the way decided I HAD to run through Balboa Park…as if I don’t do that every week at NP. I’m really bad at math when I’m tired, so by the time I got to Sixth Ave I looked at my watch and realized “shit, I really need to pick up the pace if I want to have enough time to get coffee”. I FLOORED it.

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Mile 3: 6th Ave to El Prado

Mile 5 was probably more in line with the 4th mile, but there was an incident where a bee got caught in my braid and I had to stop. I forgot to pause my watch because HELLO THERE WAS FREAKIN BEE IN MY HAIR. Finally got it out without being stung and proceeded on. On the last stretch I was becoming exceedingly annoyed that I kept getting stopped at red lights for ridiculous amounts of time. I hit sub 7 pace uphill for a little while. I really wanted that damn coffee.

While I could’ve opted for a much shorter, slower route, my desire to run through one of the coolest places in SD and to get my sweet delicious nectar of the gods kept me moving. Besides which, every time I run through that park all I can think about is how lucky I am to live here. Instead of the 8:15-ish average pace I was planning on, I ended up with a 7:41. Hey, whatever works.

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Obligatory stop at the Bea Evanson aka November Project fountain

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Made it!

Coffee shop: Dark Horse // North Park Way & 30th, San Diego
Drink: Champ // Espresso, steamed almond milk, honey, cinnamon, crack

In other totally unrelated news, my first trail half marathon is tomorrow! I have completed a trail 10K (and that course is part of my half course). “A” goal: don’t fall or break an ankle. Wish me luck!

Back to Half Crazy

Real talk. I only followed a training plan for my first half marathon. After that I wouldn’t really call what I did training, it was more like randomly going for a long run – especially since a couple months after that race I wound up in physical therapy for some gnarly IT Band Syndrome.  Up until this point I essentially showed up to a half and ran it. I did train for both marathons – an 18 week plan for Portland and an 8 week plan for Surf City as it was only a few months after Portland. There was no way of getting around that! I have a year (ugh, so long!) before my next full marathon. In the meantime I have plenty of shorter races to keep me occupied.

Seeing as how I’m already freaking out over my goal for Sea Wheeze, I decided to do not one but TWO training plans. In the past I had use some of the plans from Hal Higdon. They got the job done, and hello, they were F-R-E-E. In fact, when people ask about training plans I usually point them to this website. There are multiple plans based on your current ability and experience, which is awesome. This time around I’m trying something different though.

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Some flowers on my “long” run this morning.

This week I started the Gals Who Run 5 Week Advanced Run Program. It revolves around speed work as opposed to building up distance. I figured this would give me a “kick start” before diving into serious training. More importantly, I could use the boost of confidence in terms of speed. Marathon training was just so high volume that I felt like I was actually getting slower. Not cool, yo. Once my 5 week plan is over, I’ll be moving on to their half marathon plan. I’d say the first week went over pretty well. Between my Ragnar times last weekend and some of my runs this week my goal doesn’t seem so far fetched. I mean if I can pull of 8+ miles at a 7:33 pace on less than 2 hours of sleep in the back of a car I can definitely do 13 at 7:15 pace on a full night’s sleep in a BED, right? Right. At least I have 5 other halfs before then just to make sure 😉