Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fancy Seeing You Here.

Days 'Til Marathon: 24



To say that we're getting down to the wire is an understatement. 

The bulk of my training has been really great, enjoyable, stellar, even. In contrast, the past couple of weeks have been...not. 

I like to think of myself as a pretty positive person. I try to be "go with the flow," "focused" and "flexible."  

Marathon training has proven to be challenging in so many more areas other than distance training. Here's why.

1.Time management.

Running 10-20 miles takes a pretty darn long time; 2-4 hours on average, not to mention the time spent showering, icing and basically laying around afterwards. For the past 4 months, my Saturdays have been spent doing just those things, in that order, leaving me pretty much worthless for any other activities that my family may be interested in. Week in and week out, with an entire Saturday spent this way, it gets a little tricky to get all the other things done that need attention and that are usually taken care of on Saturday. 

Added to this time-management juggling act is a part-time cleaning gig that takes me out of the house for most of Sunday as well (the extra $ is awesome, but the time away from home is iffy). Needless to say, my own house is a bit dirtier than it once was, my laundry a lot more piled up and my family slightly more neglected than they'd like (can't blame 'em). 

Lately I've caught myself daydreaming about a Saturday spent doing normal Saturday things; heading to the park, lounging in my PJ's, taking Lu for ice cream.

2. Friggin' weather.

Everyone already knows this, but this winter has been CRAZY. Between dealing with the frigid temps, pouring rain, pounding sleet and unrelenting snowfall, sticking to a regular training program has been nearly impossible. The frustration of dealing with this weather and trying to fit my runs around the whims of Mother Nature has been especially challenging. Wake me when its Spring.

3. Nagging (yet bearable) injuries. 

I guess it would be pretty naive (and cocky) to think that I could triple my weekly mileage and not have any injuries along the way. Well, until about a month ago, I had done just that. I actually thought I was going to get all the way through this training and a 26.2 mile race and have zero injuries or issues. SO dumb. 

About a month ago, the joint of my big toe started hurting during my long run. I thought it was a one-time thing, that I must have stepped weirdly or whatever. Unfortunately, this little discomfort has been coming and going ever since, popping up during most of my long runs, eager & willing to keep me company. 


The toe issue has been on my right foot. Not one to be left out, my left foot of course had to pipe up with a minuscule (but equally annoying) pain in the ankle area. I'm pretty sure both issues occurred due to increased mileage, lack of sufficient cross-training and doing so many runs in the snow and ice (making a twist/tweak even more likely). 

The recommended course of action for overuse injuries like these are rest, ice, ibuprofen and try another sport. Yeah, right.  

Ice and ibuprofen have become my new BFFs until March 16, at which point I'll be happy to rest, relax and try Zumba. 

4. Burn-out. 

Speaking of Zumba, I'm really looking forward to being able to spend more time off-trail.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE running. I love it so much that I've made this commitment to achieve a major distance goal that I know I'll be incredibly proud of. 

I love the breeze in my face, the dirt under my feet and the salty sweat that I'm covered in after a great day on the trail. But, as I'm nearing the very end of this journey, I'm looking forward to the finish line and to achieving the goal I've worked so hard for. The part when its over.

After that, I'm looking forward to doing other stuff. 

Body Pump? You betcha.
Spinning? Can't wait.
Boot Camp? Why the hell not?

Of course, this "seeing other people" phase will likely last about a week before I'm itching to get back on the trail, but think of the options!

5. Friggin' weather.

I know, I already said that. But still.

All of my bitchin' came to a head yesterday on a cold (burrr!) morning run at Pocahontas. I left the pups at home, planning on tackling my long run that hadn't gotten taken care of over the weekend (thanks, Mother Nature). From the first mile, I knew I was ruined. The snow/ice mix from the weekend was still covering the trail, making for a slippery, slushy, messy run.

 Fun level=0. 

Around mile 2, my left ankle started pinching with every step. Great. By mile 7, I'd accepted the annoying ankle pain and was compensating a little by altering my stride slightly. Then, predictability, my friendly big toe piped up in protest.  

Fancy seeing you here. 

My not-so-long "long" run came to an end at just under 9 miles. 


I went home annoyed, defeated and pretty over it. Luckily, I have an incredibly supportive, patient and wonderful husband who listened to me whine and complain about my running woes until I got it all out of my system. I spent last night being irritated and just wanting this whole thing to be done already. I got my bitching & moaning taken care of and decided that today would be a good day, whether I wanted it to be or not. 

Funny how things work out. 

For today's short run, I decided to try out some new compression socks with my trusty Saucony sneakers, giving my Brooks Trail shoes a day off. I also (admittedly) did a little self-medicating by popping 2 Ibuprofen before hitting the dirt (take that, obnoxious pseudo-injuries!). Mother Nature smiled on our run today, granting us sunny skies and much warmer temperatures. I took my K9 trail buddies with me and cranked up Pandora (Pop Fitness Channel!), determined to feel good and run strong, despite yesterday's pity party. The result? The best, strongest and most fun 6 miles I've had in a while. 

With less than a month until the marathon, I'm feeling pumped and ready to go (with a little boost from my pals Beyonce and Ibuprofen, that is). 

Pity party & bad attitude, get outta here.