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.