Sometimes you need to sleep

I got up! I was going to run. I truly was. But I ended up deciding that running three this morning and four tomorrow and then 10+ on Sunday might not be the best use of training time. I hemmed and hawed. Fighting with myself for almost ten minutes while standing at the end of the bed.

I checked the weather. I sought every reason I could think of not to run this morning. I tried to come up with a reason that was more than the fact that I was merely tired. Not just kind of tired, I felt exhausted. I had genuine concerns about my level of fatigue and striking out to run, so I made the decision to crawl back into bed.

A decision I realized when I woke up an hour later after a hard, sound sleep was the best decision that I could have made. I woke up feeling rested and refreshed. Something I hadn’t felt when I initially woke up at 4:30, granted who in the world feels refreshed at 4:30 am?

As frustrated as I am that I have missed my training the last couple mornings, I do recognize that sometimes you just need sleep. And I am one that needs a little more sleep and rest than the average runner. My years of battling various auto immune disorders has left my body a bit more prone to exhaustion than most. My need for sleep and rest sometimes appears out of proportion to the cause.

I realized this morning that I am now at the half way point in training. Typically by this time I am feeling utterly tired and run down. Though in comparison to past years I am less tired, for that I am grateful. I believe it is a factor in why I am enjoying this year so much compared to previous years.

Before I fell back to sleep I made a plan-I am going to run the seven miles that I missed Saturday and complete my Saturday long run of 10 miles on Sunday with Regina. I am excited that we are going to tackle the course for the trail run I signed up for plus do some additional miles.

While I am frustrated to miss miles, I have missed fewer miles this year than last. I have found that unlike in previous years where I would just beat myself up for missing the miles, I make a conscious plan to either make up or adjust for miles missed.

In addition to my plan for this weekend, I also make plans for the remaining half of training. This weekend I am going to sit down with a calendar and spend some time focusing on how exactly I am going to spend the last half of training. I am going to focus on dialing in my nutrition (I have put on the typical marathon training weight). Also, I want to work on making a better more precise plan for training so that I will be dialed in these last few weeks. To some it may not seem like a lot of fun to be so regimented, but a mantra I have tried to focus on during training is that by getting to hardwork and unfun stuff out of the way, race day will be much more enjoyable.

How is your training going?

Happy Running!

 

Not quite the day I had planned

Today wasn’t quite the training day that I had planned. Mostly because I didn’t get up to train. Jesi surprised me last night with tickets to the local theater production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, so we were out later than usual.  I hadn’t slept particularly well so when the alarm went off, I literally hit the off button instead of snooze. Thankfully I have several alarms set for the work week so I didn’t miss out on getting up for work.

I had planned to do three miles this morning, to make up for my missed miles yesterday. My usual Thursday evening run had been cancelled so I was going to run solo after work. As much as I didn’t want to split my mid-week miles in half I didn’t want to miss my miles.

But as they say the best laid plans of mice and men. Whatever the hell that means.

I had planned to run after work, maybe not the full seven but I would run something. Instead, Jesi and I ended up taking  a walk together. Our fitness journeys have been interesting. Typically during the off season, our journeys are intertwined. We go to the gym together, we do Zumba together, we walk together.

Since our car accident in February (we were rear ended at a stop light) combined with some personnel issues at her job, Jesi hasn’t been able to maintain a fitness and gym routine. After some discussion last night after the play, we decided to restart our joint fitness journeys. It is definitely more fun to do things together. Jesi will embark on some things solo, but together we’ll resume Zumba and maybe try a spin class.

I enjoyed the walk with Jesi, especially given that so much of my training is solo. It was nice to chat while I put in some steps. If I were to combine my lunch walk and my evening walk mileage, I racked up almost all my scheduled miles for the day. Even though the day didn’t go quite as planned it wasn’t as if I was sedentary.

I think one of the conscious decisions I have made this training season is to avoid the use of the time on my feet philosophy of years past. While I find it to be a viable training solution/strategy I think that it has been part of the issue in training. I found it easier to not push as hard because “I had x number of minutes on feet” rather than making a solid effort to work on speed and endurance and push through the hard things.

The last couple of days haven’t quite been my best in terms of training, I think that I will look towards the weekend and my long run and use that as a restart for my mental brain. I will use that time and mileage to refocus my priorities and think about my next goals over the last remaining weeks of training.

Happy Running!

 

 

 

Falling asleep while stretching

7 miles! I was set to do seven miles. I had my alarm set. My clothes laid out. I had my route planned. When the alarm went off, I hit snooze once and then realized I needed to get moving if I wanted to get my seven miles completed. I realized that my left Achilles was a little sore, nothing terrible just a little tender.

I decided to stretch it a little bit. I had seen some foot exercises on a Run Experience video and decided to do those in hopes of loosing in my tight tendon. At some point during the process I fell asleep. It’s what I get for trying to stretch in bed, in the dark while in my pajamas.

I headed out at 4:45 am and managed to get a respectable 3.1 miles. It was a cool morning, which I was grateful for however it was incredibly foggy. Or as I like to call it, IMG_3071_resized“Bacony” (see the icon at left that the Weather Channel app uses) It was kind of eerie, I was a little more mindful of my surroundings. I didn’t want to have another encounter with a skunk or a person that might be minding their own business-though I usually am leery of non runners out and about that early in the morning.

I wore my head lamp, and stayed close to the curb. Though despite my headlamp I still had to jump on the curb to avoid traffic that was not willing to give me space, despite no traffic coming the other direction. I wondered what in the world they thought the short, bobbing light was-an alien, a street lamp on Adderall, a bicycle on hydraulics. Whatever they thought it was, there were a few drivers that didn’t even make an effort to give me a little leeway. Not much but just enough that didn’t leave me running in the grass.

It wasn’t my fastest run, but I got something done. I plan on adding the extra miles on Thursday and Saturday. I’m not a fan of doing that, especially as I get to the half way point but I need to get the miles in.

I guess more than anything I need to not stretch while still comfortably placed in bed. Istravaimage need to work on perhaps considering splitting my mid-week long run into two runs, with my morning run being maybe the longer of the two sections. I need to perhaps not run when it’s Bacony out, especially first thing in the morning. I guess this is another lesson in flexibility.

Happy Running!

 

Drizzly morning and a new audio book

It was kind of drizzly this morning, it was that kind of rain that you wish would either start fully or stop. It was just enough to be annoying and to make it humid. I started out way too fast. I wanted to try and cut down my mile one time (typically my slowest) just a little bit. Now that I have negative splits, I would like to make the first half a little faster while still maintaining a negative split. In other words, I just generally want to go faster.

Unfortunately in this ill thought out “I want to go faster” goal, I ended up being gassed by the half way point. I did end up walking about three times, no more than 30 seconds each time but my streak of not walking has ended.

On the upside, I still managed to obtain negative splits. But even that has become redundant. I have the hang of it now, now I want to achieve the next goal of just being overall a little faster. I have a goal time that I would like to achieve, I need to chip away at it slowly but aggressively.

I did start a new audio book today, having finished the Ellen DeGeneres book over the weekend during my long run. I have started Yes Please by Amy Poehler I will admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Amy, I found her to be a bit crude. But after discovering that I can borrow audio books from the library via my phone I figured hey, if I don’t like it I can always delete it and get something different. Her cadence is similar to Lauren Grahams, it’s bright and cheerful and keeps me moving. Unlike Ellen’s book, which I often found myself thinking too hard to follow, Amy’s book is a great memoir with the right mix of humor and personal candor. It definitely helped move me along on my run this morning.

I am definitely grateful for audio books, I think they have played a large role in my more consistent pacing and focus.

Happy Running!

Made the best of it

My list of intentions for this week includes getting back to my nutrition and dialing back into my training. I also need to work on incorporating an upper body routine to ensure that I am in the best shape for John. 

While last week wasn’t what I had hoped, I am pleased that I made a concerted effort to get training in where I could. It is a small victory but I made the best of the week. Rather than throwing in the towel, I made the best of what I had and tried to focus on improving my skill set. 

Being flexibile is definitely a skill set that will prove useful on race day. Also, not beating myself up too much for not following my plan. I need to work on acknowledging the shortfall and then moving forward into the present. I think last week was a good lesson in both things. 

I made the best of what I had and I will continue to do so over the next few weeks. 

Happy Running! 

Travel day home

We made it home in record time-6 hours 45 minutes. Frankly we traveled 489 miles in about the same amount of time it took me to complete the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon. Sort of a sad and disheartening thought as I type.

Despite the quick travel time home, I realized as I sat in bed how tried I truly am. Usually when I get that tired I end up with some sort of verbal vomit ailment that results in my thoughts spiraling into some out of control rabbit hole.

As much as I tried to balance my training and family obligations, I feel that my training has a negative impact on Jesi. So much of our life revolves around when I need to train, when and what I can eat, what I can’t eat. While I try to better about things I know that it is usually my go to answer about things when making plans on the weekends. There are scads of humorous memes about the age old what are you doing this weekend question. But for the spouse of the person whose automatic response is “Running of course” it’s not quite as funny.

I so desperately want to improve my time so that my finish time and my driving for a state 5 states away isn’t the same. I want to improve my form and how I feel mentally after completing a race that 7 years ago took me a month to recover from. Sadly in that single mindedness I become selfish. It was inadvertent, I didn’t mean to put my needs/goals/desires above all else.

At the root of that desire is the fact that I have never had a goal that was mine-that I was permitted to see through without some dissuading or “You can’t do that” or some other statement. I can remember my lifetime of dreams about taking part in the Olympics-all kids have that dream I know-but I felt such a pull and a drive to excel in athletics. But I was never given the opportunity to follow out and try, even for a season many of the things I wanted to do.

That wasn’t meant to be a whining or poor me pity party paragraph, but instead an explanation of why I want so badly to do well. I want to achieve something I was told I could never do because I want to see this goal all the way through. I want to improve each year. I want to inspire others to try the sport.

I am not an Olympic athlete-and I feel strange acting as if I am training for the Olympics or somehow are of that caliber. But I will never achieve my goals if I don’t have some degree of confidence that I will make the Olympics-even if my Olympics is a qualifying time for Boston.

Training is selfish especially for a sport that consumes all aspects of life from sleep, nutrition and time management.

I am incredibly grateful that I have an amazing wife that accepts my selfish desire to achieve the seemingly unachieveable. I think that’s why I struggle with my balance because I want to give back to her all the love and support she has given me. I’m not entirely sure she realizes the gravity of the gift she has given me by supporting my wacky goals.

Are there days you feel selfish? How do you handle that?

Happy Running!

Rest day and a party

I had thought about making up the miles I missed. I thought of getting up moderately early and heading out to do some make up miles. I didn’t have too many to make up this week, just four, so I figured it would be an easy run around the neighborhood with minimal time spent. But it turned out that the party prep work started pretty early. As the sun came up we realized that there was more to be done than we realized. Thankfully the expected rain held off so it made set up a bit easier. Not only did the set up take precedence but added to that is the fact that we stayed at Megan and Chris’s apartment last night; so I would have had to discover yet another new route to train on.

It ended up being a fun, albeit chaotic day that ended in a fun party. There was laughter and food and balloons. Because we have to get up at 4 am on Sunday for our return trip, we didn’t stay incredibly late. Our departure occurred before the beer pong and flip cup tournaments.

I realized by mid-day that the stress of traveling nearly a thousand miles in a short span of time combined with running in an unfamiliar training locale made for a stressful weekend. If I have learned anything through the  years its that my training is less successful when I am stressed. I had to realize that I did the best I could with what I had, and not beat myself up for not doing more. The truth of the matter is, I would have been completely absent from the vast majority of the family events had I spent the weekend training.

While training is important, the time with Jesi and her family and taking part in this important event far outweighs the loss of a few miles training. I made sure that I kept my food intake inline with what I would normally eat, I abstained from alcohol consumption and I tried my best to take all the external steps necessary to keep my training up while still enjoying my downtime.

My take away for the weekend is that I can still be training focused but balanced. Something that I hope to hone and continue to grow as the training process moves forward.

Happy Running!