Salty’s Training Log – 3.8.15

I am slowly coming around to accepting that I have been overtraining for years now and that my body and mind are not capable of charging hard. They both need a long recovery period … and that’s just to get to normal. I am beginning to fear that I might have completely screwed myself out of ever logging another PR again. This is a tough pill to swallow, but one I must if I want to keep running a part of my life.

One hurdle I am facing to accepting where I am is that I have a training plan in front of me. I am struggling to see this training plan and not do the maximum mileage and pace. Every time I choose the shortest or slowest (or both!) option, I feel like a wuss. I know that this is what I need to do. In fact, the shortest/slowest of this training plan is the maximum I should be doing, if not more than I should be doing to recover! I know this. I am telling you this too, so you can reassure me this is ok. I know it is. But I am struggling to feel it to be true,

And then I planned to race this weekend. What was I thinking?! How counterproductive to the recovery process to head to a race right now?! I am still struggling with all the ways of thinking that led me to overtrain in the first place – MUST. DO. MORE! MUST. BE. TOUGHER! NOT. FAST. MEANS. FAILURE!

I could not go to the race. I thought about it. Seriously thought about it. But I think I should go. Yes, it can be an opportunity to practice seeing running in a new way. Races are fun. I will have lots of friends there. I can run relatively fast and enjoy myself and not worry about my splits or finish time. I can start a little slower and work down rather than feeling like I need to squeeze every second from the gun. It will be a good workout and a chance to try something new. An opportunity,

I can do this. This is growing (up) pains.

Mon: 4 miles on the elliptical. Plan called for 30:00 run, but felt like doing the elliptical instead of jumping on the treadmill. The world did not end when I deviated from the plan. Astonishing!

Tue: The plan called for a 15-20 min warm-up and cool-down and 6-8 x 2:00 hills of 4-6% grade at half-marathon to 10k effort. I did this in my basement and did just 15 minutes up and down and then 6 x 2:00 at 4-5% grade starting at probably slower than half-marathon effort and worked down a little each one. Actually enjoyed it!

Wed: 3.5 miles on the treadmill after ART. 8:50 pace.

Thu: Plan called for 15-20 up and down and then 10 x 60s at slightly faster than 5k pace. I had to do this at the Y on the tm. Did the minimum wu and cd. Did the first 8 reps at 6:20 pace and even though that felt too easy after 2 or 3 I was afraid to dig myself into a hole, so I went with it. I upped the pace 1 mph for number 9 and one more for 10 and felt great! Definite progress for me!

Fri: Treadmill again after 45:00 hard Piyo class. Ran 5 miles in 44:00. My friend ran next to me for first 30 minutes and the time flew by.

Sat: Treadmill again during kids’ classes. 6 miles broken up between swimming and bball.

Sun: Met my local MRTT group for the first time. Ran really easy for first 7 with a new friend and then finished up 6 more solo around 8:15 pace.

Total: 40 miles, 4 mile elliptical, 45:00 Piyo class. A smattering of core.

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. I can’t tell you how close to home this hits. I am right there with you. I’ve been running (but struggling) and finally did a speed workout a week and a half ago. Boom – my piriformis blew up again. I have resigned myself to the fact that I need to take active steps to recover and take care of the things I have neglected over the years (particularly my increasingly tightening hamstrings). I used to be very flexible and strong. Over the years, I’ve turned into a strong, unflexible (violin string) person. Not conducive to strong training. So I am committed to setting aside my training as more secondary to getting my entire body back into a place of strength and flexibility. But yes, I have all of the same fears you do. Good luck sista, and don’t be too hard on yourself!

    1. I could have written that post! With much slower times. lol. I too have had to step back and face the fact that if I don’t increase my flexibility and core strength, my days as a runner-at all-are numbered. I have not run a race since November, and it’s been hard. Because I can’t yet be trusted to be a grown up at a race and not try to go as fast as I possibly can. ๐Ÿ™ So, I’m stepping back on my yoga mat for the first time in two years, and boy, that’s a challenge. I am running slower and shorter, and it’s frustrating, but my MRTT mamas help me along. The great thing about that group is that there are all levels, so it’s easy to find someone to run with!

    2. Those injury ghosts that seem to surface every time you feel you’re ready to progress completely stink. Best of luck to you too, Mint, with your comeback – I’m rooting for you!

    3. Thanks, Minti! I hope you get yourself all sorted out soon! We still have all this masters racing to do! Let’s get ourselves healthy and get after it!

      1. Definitely working on it! And I appreciate all of your support (Garlic and GroovyMom). GM – hang in there too – it helps to know we are all on the same path. Thinking of you and sending strength in the core/flex arena!

  2. That is a solid week of training for a person that is not pushing! well done. All I can say is I can completely identify with you in almost every way. And I will draw inspiration from you!
    As regards to the race… I did a 5km Parkrun on Saturday. It is not a race but it might as well be. I purposely left my Garmin at home and I had absolutely no way of knowing anything about my pace, my splits or my overall time and I really enjoyed it. I did not even ask anyone afterwards… I just enjoyed the run for what it was, which was a lungbusting effort. Imagine my surprise when I got an email later on in the day to say that I had run the course 5 seconds faster than ever before!! I had started way back, dodged many children and walking aunties and picked up the pace slowly… I was not expecting a course PR!
    Anyway, even if you don’t PR, it will be fun to see your friends… I plan on doing many short races without a watch or a clue as to what I am doing.
    I can almost guarantee you will be back and strong before you know it… you have to be… because then I will know that I will be too!

    1. Thanks, Peppa! I intend to start slowish and see how it goes. If nothing else that will be way better than starting too fast and dying! Haha.

  3. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like a wuss if you pick the slower or shorter end of a range suggested by your training plan – I have felt this way many times. We’re so conditioned to feel like more is more, and that’s a hard mentality to relinquish, but you’ll get there. I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with running a race this weekend, especially if you take Peppadew’s approach, leave your watch at home, and just aim for a fun but strong effort. It might be very liberating.

    1. Thanks, Garlic! I had a 45-60 minute run on the schedule today and did 51:00 and felt pretty pleased with myself ๐Ÿ™‚ Just like any change I’ll have good days and bad days, but I’ll get there. I’ll let you know how project relax-at-a-race-and-have-fun goes!

  4. I don’t run anywhere near your pace but I do know that feeling of being burnt out. One change I made over the past 8 months was to enjoy other activities that still involve running but that I do purely for fun. I took part in snowshoe races with my only goal being to finish the race without having a heart attack. I took up orienteering with the goal of making sure a search party didn’t have to come look for me at the end of the event. In both activities I get to experience running in a whole new way and I particularly loved getting off the pavement and into the woods. The competitions were purely for fun, I let go of any expectations or feelings of competition. Maybe you could find something that keeps you running but in a much less competitive way.

  5. You’ve hit every thought I’ve had this winter. Not being fast isn’t the end of running. Ive actually decided to go to a few races to watch and enjoy the sport from a spectator perspective.

  6. Even on your “wussy” days, you’re one of the strongest, toughest, kickass women that I’ve ever known! Good for you for taking steps to adjust your attitudes and approach toward running so that your favorite sport serves and feeds you instead of you feeding and serving it to the point of burnout. And for what it’s worth, the season of life you’ve been in for the past 5 years hasn’t exactly been a physical picnic. You have plenty of time to recover from over training and reclaim your love for the sport, and (in due time) your speed. But for now, the challenge is to ENJOY the time it takes to get to that place. And to quote a phrase you taught me to say during the tough stretches of a race, “YOU’VE GOT THIS!!”

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words! i will picture you screaming “YOU GOT THIS!!!!” every time I get down on myself ๐Ÿ™‚