I was so motivated to crush last week with some fine-tuning to my training schedule. Motivated, but my immune system gave me a big nope and forced rest. I came down with a sore throat and drowsiness Tuesday through Thursday. I’m fortunate it wasn’t anything more than that, but it was still two more precious days of the short training cycle I had/have for the April marathon in my high-hope quest to Boston qualify. With each week and day inching closer to race day and a couple minor setbacks I have become a very anxious, hard-on-myself runner. That’s not good.
While I keep stumbling, I’ve been taking a lot of notes on what’s working and what’s not. Every “oops that didn’t work” has been a learning opportunity. When I get all the right pieces of the puzzle in the right direction it’s going to be awesome.
During a rare good run on Thursday I was pushing the pace, below 8:00 minute miles. I was able to push the pace because I had two days of rest due to my sore throat. After a 7:37 minute mile I pulled back looking for a more comfortable push, and landed on a 7:55 split. Perfect. That’s the pace I want to feel sustainable. I’ll keep working on this.
Earlier that day, when I was still feeling sick and anxious about the lost time in this training I panicked and hit the Register Now button for Grandma’s Marathon. This is a marathon that’s been on my list for years, but always talk myself out of it because of the lodging logistics and the fact that it creeps into triathlon season. Triathlon season is short in Wisconsin, I prefer to do marathons before or after the season. But when I hit the Register Now button and forked over the fee, I felt a sense of relief.
Realistically the April marathon isn’t going to go the way I want it to, no matter how hard I fight. And that’s the thing, I like an empowering fight but the last few weeks have kicked my ass leaving me feeling defeated after most of my runs. There’s got to be some joy in it. There also has to be confidence at the starting line.
I did get a chance to practice some confidence at the startling line at the Subzero Race Series final race, a one-miler! I started in the 6:00-7:00 minute mile wave, stuck with the pack for all of ten seconds before they vanished into the distance. I also pee’ed myself the entire mile. This is a new thing, it just happens. I’ve been told I need to do pelvic floor exercises. Triathlon season can’t get here quick enough so I can mask it in tri shorts. I finished the one-mile race with my fastest one-mile time yet, 6:50, though chip time on their results page shows 6:48.
On Sunday morning I woke up with returned sinus pressure/congestion and hacking up phlegm. I get sick for two days, feel okay for two days and repeat. I went out for my long run, giving myself the grace of knowing that I am still sick and need to take it easy. When I got to 12 miles I felt like garbage but didn’t want to stop at ~1:40. Two more miles would get me a ~2 hour run, prompting a cool realization that 12 miles used to be my go-to long run distance because it was an easy two hours. Now it’s 14. I’ll acknowledge progress where I see it!
February is quickly wrapping up. It’s been a long, frustrating but somewhat productive month! Here’s to March, coming in hot.