Salty’s Training Log – 9.7.14

6 weeks of liquid iron supplements and 3 weeks of vitamin D and no breakthrough. Well, not a running breakthrough, but perhaps an attitude breakthrough.

I don’t wear a watch on easy days, so I can really only tell how I’m feeling based on the track. This Tuesday I left in tears, feeling frustrated and defeated and concerned after another week of running abysmally slow despite pushing myself. Maybe it isn’t the iron and vitamin D? Than what the hell is it?!?!?! I fretted for a day. I texted my poor friend Katie who is probably sick to death of hearing me whine and wonder. I googled some more. I emailed Dr. Garlic for her take and we scheduled a phone chat.

We talked and she seems to think I am overtraining. She doesn’t think there’s necessarily a medical reason behind how I’m feeling and running beyond that. I still find it hard to believe I’m overtrained when I haven’t been trained in 3 years, but perhaps she’s right. But it kind of doesn’t matter why I am experiencing this.

Over the weekend I thought about it a lot. I took Friday off to rest myself mentally and physically. I ran a little mini tempo workout by feel on the fly on Saturday and felt good and did a solo afternoon long run, taking to my favorite trails without worrying about pace or much of anything.

What I came to realize is that this is me. I can’t control my body beyond what I’m doing. I can train it. I can work better on recovering. I can eat health. Work on improving my sleep. Keep taking my supplements. Have my levels checked in a month or so. I can try to listen to my body better. Those things I can do, but I cannot make my body respond to training. I can’t make it run faster than it’s capable of. I can’t make it recover faster than it’s capable of either.

I can run. I can run without pain. I can train. I can push myself still. I can hope it will turn around for me. But if it doesn’t, I am ok. Would I be disappointed? Sure. Will I do everything I can to improve the situation? You betcha!

Mon: 9 easy early trails with Marisa.

Tue: 11 with track. The workout was 3200 with 100 hard (~21 seconds), 100 easy; 2:00 rest; 3 x 1600 with 3:00 rest. I did all the 100s in 19-21. The first 1600 I went through 800 in 3:05 and was toast. I skipped a lap and then did 400 in 90. For the second 1600 I was on pace for 6:20 through 1200 and rallied the last lap to run 6:15. The last mile was an excruciating 6:24. My legs were tree trunks and would not go. That was the best I could do. The good news is I did almost the entire 5 mile workout, only missing 400 meters. The bad news is that the 100’s zapped me and I wasn’t recovered after 2 minutes from them and then struggled on the miles. I pushed myself through the workout despite feeling mortified by how slow I was.

Wed: 7 on the elliptical

Thu: Was planning to double up with 6 in the morning and 4 in the later morning, but my son had a nightmare and was up as I was about to walk out the door. Ended up just doing 6 with the double stroller on a flat trail loop with James. My oldest daughter (4) whined the whole time, but got it done.

Fri: The idea of running stressed me out. I felt tired mentally and physically. I slept in and let my older daughter pick our activity. She chose the farm park and we had a great time grooming a horse, petting a calf and dominating the corn maze.

Sat: 9 with 3 x 1 mile on/ 1 mi off. Tempo pace without a watch is exhilarating! Since I didn’t care about pace, I did the hard miles on the hilliest stretches. The first one was all uphill! It felt good to work hard all the way up. I enjoyed this. Not a monster epic impress-your-friends workout, but for now it got the job done.

Sun: 14ish about 7:51ish. I ran for time. I wanted to run between 1:45 and 1:55 and then I’d take a stab at the distance based on my effort and what felt about right. I ran from home on the roads to the trails all around the park and back. I roughly did the 9 I did on Monday with a few slight variations and ran about 2.5 to and from the park. I timed the last mile and ran 6:55. It’s down a big hill, but I’m still pleased.

Total: 49 running and 7 elliptical.

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. Thanks, lady! I had a relatively good workout last night. I think relaxing about everything helped. I wouldn’t be approaching zen (still a way to go!) without you ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. I know we are on very different levels of running – I am certainly not aiming for the times that you achieve. But I can tell you that after a miserable second attempt at a marathon last spring I chose to use the summer to simply have fun while running. I traveled to Vancouver for a half and to Philly for a Midnight Madness race. I taught a Learn to Run 5k clinic at a local running store. I ran whatever distance I felt like each day, rarely having a set distance or speed goal. My monthly mileage was cut almost in half.
    Somehow during all of this I became a faster runner. I took off almost 6 minutes from my half marathon time and 3 minutes came off my 10k time. I did this with no speed work whatsoever and only a little hill training. Two runs a week were done very, very slowly with the people in my clinic. I can’t explain it, but during all of my “fun” running, my body decided it was ready to go faster. And best of all, I thoroughly enjoyed my runs!

    1. Sometimes when we stop trying too hard is when we start performing our best. I am guilty of overthinking and obsessing a bit about my running. I am working so hard to let go and enjoy the process and while my performance isn’t where I’d like it to be, I’m enjoying training now more than ever (on the days I’m not feeling sorry for myself!) thanks so much for the advice and for sharing your experience. Every but helps!

  2. I meant to text you, but check what our splits were the last time we did a mile workout (maybe a month ago??) I’m pretty sure they were a lot slower and felt a million times worse and weren’t even with doing a whole workout. So you are making progress, it’s just hard to see past the frustration!

    1. Thanks, Marisa! That’s definitely true for you – you had a great workout last week (and last night!) if I can keep doing workouts with you I’ll be happy!

  3. I admire the way you’re working through this–striving hard to find the right attitude in between the whining and wondering. I feel frustrated just reading about what you’re going through….and I can just imagine the intensity of frustration that you’re battling. But keep battling. Keep fighting for that positive perspective, keep talking yourself into optimism. This is a chance to demonstrate resilience not just as a runner but as a person, physically AND emotionally. You’re getting stronger from this (if not with faster race results than with deeper character). Trust that. Also–try not to think of time as scarce. Tell yourself you have all the time in the world to get faster and to train hard (and you do!!!). Take that ticking clock pressure off yourself and know that your time will come. And when your time comes, there will be NO STOPPING YOU!

    1. I’m getting there! I’m slowly getting to a place where I’m not comparing myself to my superhuman teammates and even my old faster self. I’m keeping the bigger picture in focus and not sweating the ticking clock. It helps to have Barb Broad as a good friend for that! And through all of this I know, while I might fear otherwise, that I do have prs in me. I just need to hang in there and be patient. The best thing is that through all of this I have come to realize what a huge support network I have. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so loved! It’s awesome!!!