Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Manic Marathon Training

My marathon training is making me manic. With about 10.5 weeks to BayState, I've been going through a whole spectrum of emotion (actually I'm not sure emotion is the right word). There have been a number of days where I'm convinced I must be a lunatic. I'm just guessing, but my 5-6 weeks of building up to 70 miles of running a week might have made me question my sanity. Just a thought though. (I did wind up running 71 miles last week, which is a distance PR for me.)

I'm the type of runner that is quite happy to run 40-50 miles a week, so this push to increase mileage has been difficult. Some days I question that I'll be able to make it to the start line without an injury (which, let's face it, remains to be seen). Some days I question why I feel the need to train for marathons at all. I clearly do not have a marathoner body, and I've been running quite well at shorter distances, so why am I set on marathon training? I don't know. In the marathon, I have a lot of self doubt. Is the risk of injury worth the effort? I guess it is, because here I am, in the thick of marathon training.

Those questions have been plaguing me as I have slowly built up mileage. I'm sure part of it is being tired. Obviously, increasing mileage for a number of weeks in a row is going to be an adjustment. Then yesterday, something new happened, I was dragging the trash and recycle down the street (long story), when I suddenly had the urge to run. I was in flip flops though, so I didn't, but I wanted to. Then this morning I couldn't wait to run! I really really wanted get out there and run! Of course, by the time I had the opportunity to actually go (7:45 pm), I didn't want to. Now you see, my desire to run is completely manic lately. One minute I can't wait to get out there, and the next I want to take a nap instead. And while I'm running (in between the moments of wanting or not wanting to) I get these brief glimpses of me getting stronger. They usually only last a couple miles, but I'm suddenly running taller and realizing that a difficult pace doesn't feel so difficult. I like those moments. They feel more promising.

This past weekend I ran a 20 miler at 8:18 pace. It was warm and ridiculously humid, but for the most part I felt okay. I did have a headache and a bit of nausea afterward. The next day I did a 10 miler with 40 minutes at 6:35 pace. My experiment for this training cycle is running some type of workout the day after my long run. So far, it seems to be working out. My legs haven't fallen yet anyway. I guess that's where I am right now: training hard, grateful my legs are still moving, and hoping to get stronger.

Anyone else out there go through manic running times?


Karen said...

Awesome on the week mileage PR!! I think we all go through ups and downs in our day and weekly training, especially so when we're a little worn down and more vulnerable. I don't think many of us have a "marathoner" body, but who cares? Do what you like and if it gets stale, find something else you like. :) You're going to rock the marathon!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Katie, you are one funny gal:) You will benefit immensely from this increase in mileage, particularly since you are still doing some crazy tempos! So excited for you! When I train for the marathon I try to not even ask myself whether I want to run or not - I guess I don't want to know the answer since I have to run no matter what the answer is. Lol. Fingers crossed for an injury free training cycle. Once you toe the line, I have no doubt you will get a HUGE PR!!!!

Katie said...

@Karen: Thanks! I guess I was pondering the fact that I wasn't so sure I was enjoying the training and it doesn't seem to be where my talent is.

@AM: You know, Nick tells me I'm funny too, except I'm not trying to be funny! :o I definitely need to stop thinking so much. I am excited to be running injury free. I'm still a little bummed that you're not running right now though. I miss running with you!

Raina said...

Boy- you are one blogger I would like to meet in real life! So many things you blog about are also in my head, but I wind up penning different things. Sure would be NICE to just run when you feel like it - and nap when you feel like it. I am afraid that is only for people up to age 4 though. :)
What is up with "marathoner body"? I think it's only true to a degree. Always amazed that women who look like they don't have the build can blow right past me.
Incredible T pace run for day after such a strong 20 miler. Pretty sure the new mileage is going to make a great race recipe for you, Katie!

Katie said...

@Raina: I would love to meet too! I didn't necessarily mean that want to run whenever I feel like it. I meant I want to want to run all the time! If that makes sense. I'm a huge believer in doing it because you love it, and if it becomes a chore then is it worth doing anymore? The problem with marathon training (for me) is that I can get worn down and running starts to feel like a chore. And I want to love it! I'm getting there!

Pam said...

Wow! I am so excited to see where this high mileage program will take you! Between your talent and all the volume... FUN! Just don't get injured!! It sounds like you are doing a good job of that so far. Keep us posted!!! I should probably go back and delete some exclamation marks, but I won't:)