Zest’s Training Log – 10.31.16

This past week I feel like I kind of hit rock bottom with my “casual” running. Despite not actively training for anything, and despite my big talk about running casually, I think I’ve still been unintentionally putting too much pressure on myself to get back at it. In fact, I’ve been dealing with the same cycle for the last several months: first I back off and focus on my recovery for a couple weeks; then I start feeling a little better; then, feeling emboldened, I ramp up the training or jump in a race; and then I start feeling exhausted again and have to start over from square one. Not only is this cycle no fun, but it also wreaks havoc on my emotions.

Anyhow, this is all to say that after what felt like a solid last week of thirty whole miles, this week I felt unmotivated and tired, and my hamstring/hip started acting up again. This sad state of affairs is definitely reflected in my training this week. I think I’m going to have to scale everything way back during the month of November because I really would like to be able to go into Boston training feeling recovered, strong mentally and physically, and uninjured. For now, here is what this week looked like.

Sunday, 10/23 – 4 miles @ 8:14 avg. pace

Monday, 10/24 – OFF. This was to be a normally scheduled rest day because I had run several days in a row.

Tuesday, 10/25 – OFF. Here is where things really took a turn. I felt so tired and so unmotivated that I just said screw it.

Wednesday, 10/26 – OFF. See previous day’s entry.

Thursday, 10/27 – 4 miles @ 8:07 avg. pace.

Friday, 10/28 – OFF. Wasn’t feeling it, plus my mom and sister were in town and I wanted to hang out with them. Went to the Marine Corps Marathon expo because my sister was running!

Saturday, 10/29 – 2.67 miles @ 9:18 avg. pace. This is normally my long run day, but again wasn’t feeling up to it, so I just joined Marine Corps Marathon runners in my running group for their shake out run.

Here I am with my sister after she crushed the Marine Corps Marathon!
Here I am with my sister after she crushed the Marine Corps Marathon!

Sunday, 10/30 – 5ish miles while spectating the Marine Corps Marathon! My younger sister, who encouraged me to get into marathon running in the first place, was running, so I went out to cheer for her and some other friends. She did great, especially considering it was such a hot day (it got up to 80 degrees!). I can tell that I’m still feeling burned out, because not once while spectating did I wish I were running the race, which is unusual for me.

A former field hockey goalkeeper, I discovered a love for marathons in 2014. I'm a three-time Boston qualifier with a 3:18 marathon PR and a 1:30 PR in the half. When I'm not dodging tourists while running on the National Mall, I work as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. I write about training, competition, and everything in between.

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  1. I think you’re right โ€” lay low of all November. Run when it sounds fun, run with friends, run in new places. Don’t have a schedule โ€” no scheduled run days, no scheduled off days. Get a massage (my answer to everything). Do other exercise that sounds fun, or challenge yourself to try something new each week. Or, don’t exercise at all, but I bet you’ll just be wallowing in your own misery in about two days. Run a turkey trot with your awesome sister. Maybe read some books about running (Once A Runner and the other two; Running with the Buffaloes; Run To Overcome; How Bad Do You Want It (save this one for a bit). Or maybe even snag one of those Believe/Compete journals to give yourself a boost. You can easily be ready for Boston if you start training in mid-January, so don’t psych yourself out about taking some easy time! Take the pressure off yourself.

    1. All great advice! I particularly second the ‘run with friends’. Run then brunch. Do all the gym classes. Do some non-exercise fun things – take an art or cooking class, an electronics or woodworking or pottery or jewelry-making class, read a book you’ve always wanted to read… and hang in there! This too shall pass.

  2. You have plenty pf time to rest up before Boston training begins! (Hard to do, I know) Take the rest of 2016 super-casually- then ramp up after January 1.

  3. I second the idea of doing a casual fun race in November or December. If you work around the mall, I recommend the Tidal Basin Runs — super casual (free) 5ks one Wed. a month. http://www.racepacket.com/tidalbasin/ The Jingle Bell 5k/15k on Dec. 4 should also be a good one.

    Finally, shameless plug – Once you’re ready to ramp up training again and start getting ready for Boston, I’d love to meet up for a run! I’m running Boston for the first time this year and am planning on some hill-specific training.