They Can’t All Be Good Runs

I’ve usually been able to talk pretty positively about my marathon training.

Even when I had some runner’s knee issues last year, I was able to stay positive. I knew that physical therapy would help and that I was nailing my training.

This year, I wouldn’t quite say I’m nailing my training. I’m doing the best I can with the time I have, and that’s all I can do.

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Yesterday, the plan called for 10 miles with 8 at marathon pace, and today it called for four.

I was beyond exhausted when I woke up yesterday and made the executive decision to trash the four “junk” miles and just go for the 10 today.

I am physically exhausted from 11 weeks and hundreds of miles of marathon training.

I’m mentally exhausted from long hours at work and dealing with anxiety.

So today’s run sucked. I just couldn’t get into it, no matter sort of mantras I tried to remind myself or how much I slowed down. My legs were absolute lead. I stopped looking at my watch a few minutes into the run, since I was running the best I can, but it was still nowhere near marathon pace. Three miles in, I couldn’t imagine running one more foot, and I stopped and just sat in the grass for a few minutes, refusing to go on. Once I finally got up, I started negotiating with myself.

“Okay, if you do one more mile and turn around, you will get in 8. You can do that.”

I ran that one more mile and the idea of doubling back on the same route for another 4 miles sounded like hell, so I just kept running south to the tip. I took a margarita shot blok and turned on Call Me Maybe when I started up again, and that pushed me through for awhile, but once I hit Battery Park, I was just done mentally and physically. I had nothing left.

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“Okay, just run to the World Financial Center. It’s your favorite part of the path.” (This photo obviously not from today.) I stopped there and cut my run short at 6. I have 20 to run tomorrow.

A friend reminded me earlier in the week: “You want this goal, and you knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

It is not easy.

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Right now, I don’t know about great…but worth it. I’m trying not to wish this part of training away, because I know taper is right around the corner, but I wouldn’t mind if training became a bit more enjoyable again.

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I just finished housing some Trader Joe’s gnocchi and meatballs, and I’m about to go to sleep so I can rest up for my 20. I’m doing the Newport Liberty Half for the second time tomorrow–but with 4 before and 3 after–so I need my rest.

Edited to add! I can’t believe I forgot this the first time around–my good friend Julie is also running the race tomorrow, and it’s her first half! I’m so excited of her and proud of her.

How do you push on through the tough parts of training? What part of training is the toughest for you?

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7 comments on “They Can’t All Be Good Runs

  1. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    I swear sometimes the hardest part of a run (or any workout) is the mental challenge. I was dealing with that today when I was on the stationary bike, which just seemed so silly. Eventually I had to just completely ignore what was going on in my brain and pay attention to 1 – my workout 2 – how I’d feel AFTER my workout (if I finished it vs if I stopped) and 3 – my reading because I was STUDYING while biking today. ;)
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Fall 2012 Bucket List

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  2. Michelle@Peachy Palate

    I’m not a long distance runner by any stretch of the imagination, I do between 10 -12 km three times a week and that’s me done. Maybe you should look for a training buddy? Even if it’s for only some or part of your runs it could make it more fun? You probably do any way! I felt your pain reading this post, stay strong missus!!!
    Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..Cornmeal in my pancakes

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  3. Maribeth

    Hey! I saw you running today at the Newport Half and yelled a mish mash or yays and hi for you as you flew past me. You looked great out there! Tapering is just around the corner :)

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  4. Melissa

    I’ve was having some rough runs a few weeks ago. Actually, it started back in the spring before our wedding. I was mentally and physically exhausted from a rough school year (I teach in a challenging school/city) and wedding planning was getting really old. The tiredness lasted through the summer. I think at some point you mentally are able to push past it and move on. Everyone plateaus at some point, whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, or all of the above. I’m in awe of you training for a marathon with all the other things you have going on. I’m still debating if I want to do the LA Marathon in March – I’m scared I won’t be able to. But you inspire me!
    Melissa recently posted..Bachelorette Day 2

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  5. Beth @ 990 Square

    Hey, just be happy you’re still training and you’re going to rock the marathon! I was crushing my training for MCM which was going to be my first marathon, and I PRed at the disneyland half at the beginning of September. Now I have IT band syndrom, and I’ve barely run in 2 weeks. I keep trying to remind myself that one day I’ll be running again, but the prospect of a DNS is crushing.
    Beth @ 990 Square recently posted..Returned!

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  6. Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets

    I find training to be such a chore! I love racing; I love the energy and excitement on race day; I love running with a huge group. I absolutely hate training, though. I’m doing my first half marathon and I’ve found the training okay up until the 15k distance or so. My knees start to really hurt, I get blister and I get kind of bored! I just can’t wait to push through and have it be race day!
    Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets recently posted..top ten health lessons learned

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