I didn’t know what to do with myself after the Thanksgiving 5K. I floundered a bit with my running. I didn’t know what roads to run or how far I should bother going. Every run felt slow and boring. Regret from ditching the NCR Marathon plagued my thoughts. Annoyance at my past year’s lack of running performance persisted. I was grossly unmotivated. Why am I even doing this? I kept asking myself. I didn’t really hurt, but I just didn’t care anymore.
That was my cue to find a race & find one fast! I’m someone who struggles without concrete goals. I need to have a very real purpose, like a date & time on the calendar. But deciding to find a race in December has it’s challenges. There were a few mid-winter/very-early-spring races available, but that only gave me 8-10 weeks to prepare anyway. Was I so cocky that I thought I could pull off a quality performance in such a short amount of time? Yes, yes I was. I found a small marathon in Hyannis that was being run at the end of February & decided to just start training. What’s the worst that could happen?
December 10: Commence last minute marathon training. I upped my volume from under 20 miles a week to over 45. Probably not a good idea. I was scrambling to get in as much quality (i.e. fast!) work as possible. I threw in progression and tempo runs, and dropped thousand meter repeats like they were nothing. I was all in baby.
The next week my long runs got longer and my speed sessions got faster. I used running to divert my anxiety away from the looming holidays and the giant party I was responsible for throwing. Run run run. I felt pressured to hurry up and get fit. I felt like I should be in the middle of a training cycle – I only had a few weeks left until race day! Hitting splits before the snow began to fly was my all consuming goal. I couldn’t deal with real responsibilities like cleaning the house or cooking meals. I was on a much greater mission – a mission to be fast!
The holiday week was stressful since I had to do everything last minute, but I went ahead and took a breather from running. My knee and back were screaming at me, so I ran more for enjoyment at a slower pace, and ditched my long run. 30 miles, but it was all pretty much quality. After Christmas, but before New Years, a friend sent me a text message asking about doing a spring marathon, like VCM. I didn’t want to go to Burlington again, and she still needs a Boston Qualifier, so I did a little digging. We agreed on a race in mid-May in the Poconos since neither of us had been there and it’s touted as a fairly quick course. That put two marathons in 3 months on my plate. I decided to approach Hyannis as an elaborate build-up & run it as a quality workout and go all out for Poconos. What’s the worst that could happen?
Then it was the new year. A new week. Kids were back in school, husband was back at work. The break was over. No excuses. GO MAZY, F-ING GO! I whole heartedly threw myself back at it, attempting a speed workout that left me hobbling for a few days, followed by a long run that blew up in my face. It’s been 3 days and I’m still in considerable pain. (It seems that I don’t have a full grasp of what “marathon race pace” and “easy pace” means.)
So now I’m sitting here, trying to convince myself to hang in there and not drop out of anything. I’m a little more than a month away from Hyannis and second guessing myself. I feel like it’s Hartford-NCR all over again. I’ve contemplated dropping Hyannis down to a half, or running somewhere else. But, I also want to stick to my plan and see this through. But the thing is, I know better. I know better than to fall into despair & pull out. I’ve been here before & I know where this road goes. I also know better than to train so recklessly. I don’t know why I’m doing this. Is it a form of self sabotage? Is it an excuse for not hitting my future goals?
It’s time to reassess my goals and plans and make sure that they are truly realistic. I also need to admit that perhaps this is a wee bit of mania showing through. I’m strong enough to reach my goals, I just have to be smart enough that I don’t destroy myself on the way there.
I’m taking the rest of this week “off” and running slow. I still plan on running Hyannis, but at this time have zero goals. Maybe I’ll make it a long run. Maybe I’ll make it a workout. I’m honestly not going to stress about it and attempt to have fun in the meantime. Poconos is my goal race and I don’t want to screw that up. I’ll figure out what I can safely do without hurting myself or causing anxiety as I get closer to the race. Hyannis is definitely going to be a “no pressure” build up to the greater goal of a fast marathon time in the spring. I mean, it makes sense to use a marathon to build up to another marathon, right? What’s the worst that could happen?