Wednesday, January 4, 2017

25 days to go...

I haven’t said much about my #halfmarathontraining lately because quite honestly, I was feeling a bit of in a slump.  My body was feeling tired and close to breaking and because of it, even the thought of running was unappealing.  Perhaps I was nearing a burnout.  Perhaps I just needed a good break.  Perhaps the neurotic weather jacking with the concept of seasons in this town finally got me.  Or maybe it was the fact that I was religiously taking the joint and amino acid supplements my chiro prescribed and completely forgot to keep taking them after my return from Costa Rica.  

Whatever the case, I was pretty much doing everything on my training plan but I was struggling to hit the fast paces for long periods of time.  I was also having a really tough time recovering from long runs.  I felt like I got hit by a bus and before I started feeling a little ok, I was up for another long one. Of course, all that physical stuff starts to creep into the mental space.  Doubt about my abilities, my strengths, yadda yadda.

Anyway, I knew something had to give.  I just needed to get back on schedule, FIRST.  I had been shuffling the runs around to accommodate the my schedule and honestly, the sloppiness of my plan was starting to get on my nerves (why I hadn’t sent them to you lately, coach). 

So this week, I am back on track.  Sunday long run (although technical difficulties and a new route threw my pace off) was done.  Monday was an off day (though I worked my a$$ off on in the garage project) and yesterday I was set for “easy 3-6”.  Except, I went back to work.  I had a long work day with no lunch break so by the time I got home, I was beat.  I almost ditched it.  Can you imagine, to come this far on a clean slate and ditch it? Hell. To. The. No.

It was late, but I laced up and took off into the night.  Because it was so dark and late, I decided on just the 3, but it was also cold so my "easy" turned into a "fast".  I was quite pleased with how I felt the whole time.  I felt like I got my bounce back in my step and although I had another 7 miles to do in the morning, I was excited about them rather than apprehensive.   I negotiated with myself that since I had run 3 fast, I could go easy on my 7, haha.  

This morning, my plan was: "1 easy, 5 @ 8:30, 1 easy".  Hitting an 8:30 for that many miles is hard for me.  In fact, I have yet to do it.  I have come close though.  This morning, it was 45 degrees.  It was windy, but absolutely gorgeous out.  All my technology was charged and ready to go.  I had some fuel (almond butter on raisin bread) and coffee (duh).  I wasn't trying new routes where I'd have to resort to my map often.  No excuse to not hit the pace.  

I didn't dress in enough layers but I figured after the first mile or two, I'd be fine.  And I was.  I felt fantastic!  I waited eagerly for the voice on my app to tell me at the end of each mile how I was doing.  I guess I should be wearing my Garmin but I just rather not.

Again, my average speed kept dropping but my split speed didn't quite hit the elusive 8:30.  Ugh!   
New life.
But then something happened.  I changed my frame of reference.  Rather than chasing it,  I started thinking that I wanted to test my ability and gauge my race pace.  So I started to do some math.  My dad would be SO proud.  I figured I would have to do a quarter marathon in an hour and an eighth in half an hour.  So then, my goal was not to hit the mile pace at 8:30 but rather, hit 3.275 miles under 30 minutes.  I did.  By quite a bit.  Then, I needed to hit 6.55 miles in an hour.  I was so excited that I did that with room to spare.  And guess what?  I was almost done! By the time I got to that point, I should have been running easy but I figured I finish strong all the way home.   Ultimately, I hit 2 miles under 8:30, 2 pretty close and 2 more under 8:45.  That's 6 fast miles instead of 5 AND I had hit 2 miles close or under 8:30 the night before.  Goal, check!

If I continued this thinking for another 3.275 or another 6.55 miles, I would have crushed my goal. This running thing is such a mental game.  Granted, I have been taking my supplements again for the last 4 days without fail, I am drinking protein shakes immediately after workouts and in addition, I have added slow release Casein protein before bed.  Here is the link on why.  This could be a factor, the weather too, of course.  But there is also will.  My will to push when I think I can't.  

My body is back in, my head is back in and now the countdown is ON.  Follow along, I'll try not go MIA again.  Although, that is where I will end up.  Ha!  #seewhatIdidthere 

Oh, the photo of the plant up there...yea, that is a lemon tree that was literally next to the trash bin a few weeks ago.  I thought it was dead and I was urged to just get rid of it.  But my heart told me that there was still life in it.  Somehow.  And then, after not actually taking it out with the trash for a couple of weeks, I saw one little green leaf appear on the bottom.  I rescued it, took it back and trimmed the dead trunk.  The photo above was this morning.  New life!  Much like the the gratitude in my rescue dog Harley's tail, this tree has hope.  And for whatever corny reason, I included it here because I do to.

Happy New Year all!  Here is to a wonderful 2017!