Cinnamon’s BQ Nomore Training Log 9.11.13

white flag bandiera bianca
I surrender. (img via portobeseno on flickr)

This is it.  It’s over.

Well…wait, no. Okay. It’s not over.  I’m still four weeks out from the marathon (Wineglass, in Corning, NY).  But what I mean is that I’ve made a decision to re-adjust my goal.

It all started in late July. I was doing so great with my track work every week, then all of a sudden it was time to take my union qualification exam. And I studied like a maniac before, during and after work, and speedwork fell by the wayside.  Then the next week it was something else, and speedwork fell by the wayside. And then the next week, and the next, and now all of a sudden here I am having not done any speedwork for a month.  And not only that, but my ancillary training has fallen off; I haven’t been stretching or doing yoga regularly, and I feel it in my piriformis and my quads.

The mileage has been there, but my heart just hasn’t been in it, and my pace hasn’t been intense, and I’m worried that if I push too fast I’ll wind up hurting myself.  So that’s it, no BQ.  Not this time, anyway.

It’s a tough decision to give up on a goal that means very much to me.  But honestly, I know the difference between giving up on something because you’re scared and giving up because you just aren’t ready, and I, friends, am just not ready.Consider the facts: A BQ would set a marathon PR for me 35 minutes.  A BQ would mean running this marathon in exactly double the time of my last half-marathon plus five minutes.  My speedwork, at its best, was producing consistent 800’s at 3:40-3:45.  A BQ would mean pushing my body to the brink of its capability and potentially injuring myself.  A BQ is not a smart goal right now.

This, of course, begs the question: what is a smart goal?  3:45-3:50.  That is a very respectable PR by 20-25 minutes, a pace that will push me, but a pace I have a chance in hell of sustaining.  That’s the “A” goal. The “B” goal is just to finish, run my best race, and come out smiling.

That’s the most important part, the smiling.

Since I dropped off in my logs, here’s the last three weeks in review, plus the current week’s plan:

3 weeks ago (7 weeks out): This week was possibly my worst, and suffered the most fallout.  I got into a mode of running at night, which really put me in a bad position when I can’t really use the track at night (for safety reasons). Then all of a sudden it was the end of the week, and I didn’t want to put a hard track workout right before a 20 miler!

Sun – 18 miles slooowwww

M – 5 miles in the evening

T – 9 miles late night

W – 6 miles, evening

Th – 8 miles, late

F – off, worked

S – off

Total: 46 miles

2 weeks ago (6 weeks out): This week I recovered mileage and managed to get back to daytime running, but the intensity still wasn’t there. This week (and the two prior as well) was really emotionally draining, and I know that took a big toll on how fast I was able to push myself.

Sun – 20 miles slooowwww

M – off

T – 4 – slowww

W – 5

Th – 8

F – off

S – 14

Total: 51 miles

Last week (5 weeks out):  Finally! This week I definitely started feeling better.  A new therapist? Maybe. Opening up to my sister about what was going on? Probably. It’s true what Clove said, there are some things running cannot heal.  But when you start to heal, your running really starts to get better.

Sun – off

M – 22 miles sloooowww

T – 12 miles of hiking (including about 5 miles of running)

W – 6 mile fartlek

Th – 10 miles

F – Off (worked an overnight)

S – 6 miles

Total: 49 miles

Current week (four weeks out): I feel it coming back. Thank goodness! And–insanity–whereas the last few weeks recovery time from my long runs has run into the 48 hour mark, this time I felt absolutely fantastic and unexpectedly ran at the hash (my sort-of-but-not-really-a-running-club) and kept up a pretty good clip, just 24 hours after finishing.

Sun – TWENTY-FOUR MILES, baby!  I wailed on all 24 of ’em too, keeping an easy run pace (with the exception of a little slump between 14-16, and even picked it up to 8:50’s around mile 21, when I saw my friends E and R in the park and picked up my feet to stick with them for a little bit!

M – 5.5 miles, relatively fast!

T – off…I noticed a wonky feeling in my left knee (my problem knee), so I decided today is good for a day off

W – planning 7-8 miles before work


F – off

Sat – 7-8 easy

And then it’s taper time!

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. She has 8 more minutes to knock off her marathon for a 3:40 BQ, and will get there or die trying. Her writing is an eclectic mix of finding wholeness as an average runner, news reporting, curious reactions, satirical humor and more.

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  1. Oh man, I also went through the tough “giving up on a goal” decision about a month ago… in my case the goal was to run my second 50K and beat my time from last year. But it was a busy, HOT summer (actually a relatively cool summer for OK, but I am not adapted!) and the mileage just wasn’t there. I wasn’t having fun and was getting really stressed out and feeling bad about myself… and for me, the point of running is to NOT feel all those feelings! So it was really counterproductive :) I hope you feel the same awesome sense of relief and “I made the right decision” that I did… good luck with both your new “A” goal and the always-important goal of having a fun race!!

    1. Also I’m with Meaghan on the whole inspiration thing… made me realize that I’m not that far behind you pace-wise either, and it is exciting to think that we can all get there someday!! Even if it’s not this particular race :)

  2. I admit that I’ve been following your training since you began going in full force towards this goal. I am a little slower than you (5 minutes behind your HM PR) and it has been inspiring to watch you go after something I thought was totally out of reach for me. It is brave of you to admit you’re not there right now, and I think you’re setting yourself up for a much better marathon than if you kept to an unrealistic goal like so many do. There will be another chance to go for a BQ, and hopefully things will line up more in your favor. I agree that 3:50 is a great goal. Go get it!

  3. Good for you to put your ego aside and make a good decision! It can be so hard to do. Sub 3:50 is a great goal – dude, that would be a > 20 minute PR!!!!