Thursday, March 13, 2014

Running Funk

I feel like I am in a running funk. I'm hitting that part of my training cycle where I've done a 20-miler without imploding and just want to get the show on the road. I'm fairly confident I could roll out of bed and run a marathon tomorrow, though it would probably turn into a death march. I'm trying to remind myself another month and a half of work will make the whole experience more pleasant. Plus I know have four marathons scheduled in 49 days, so my time to race extensively is coming.

Funny Sports Ecard: If you want to go running with me, you'd better be prepared to walk a lot. 

I was thrown for an extra large loop of funk last week when I came down with a cold. I don't own a thermometer, but I'm relatively certain I had a low-grade fever on two or three days. Luckily my work is really flexible, so I was able to work from home quite a bit, but it was my busiest week of the month, so I still had to be in the office quite a bit. 

I had very little appetite the whole week (ie eating two or three pretzels for dinner was a major success), so I took the whole week off running, even when I felt better. I had a 20-miler scheduled and felt weird for skipping it, but I would've hit the wall at about mile two. My system just wasn't fueled properl. I have 16 miles this Saturday and 20 the next, so I feel like my preparation is still going to be adequate. 

Which comes to the next part of my funk - my training plan. I chose to use Runners World's SmartCoach for this training cycle. I liked the fact that I could somewhat customize the plan, and it incorporated what I thought of as "real" speedwork. While the plan is perfectly sound, I think some of my current lethargy is coming from the fact no one sat down and made this specific plan. Obviously someone had to right the program to spit out the workouts, but I'm starting to feel a mental difference. I'm not sure why this is bothering me so much; I like to think I'm smart enough to put together my own training plan if my only goal is to finish, but there's something about doing a run because a computer told you to, not a person.

In that vein, I looked at my race schedule and found I have 15 weeks between Hatfield-McCoy and Monument. I had been waffling about what to do - it wasn't long enough to take a break and build up again, but I didn't just want to sit in a holding pattern for months either. I did a little research and bought myself the Hanson's Marathon Method book.

It would supposed to arrive today, but it got stuck because of the snowstorm. I'm excited to dive into it tomorrow. I'm familiar with some of the plan's key tenets, but I'm eager to learn all the specifics. The plan is supposed to be 18 weeks long, but I read that the first few weeks have much lower mileage and encourage you to mesh your current running with the plan rather than the other way around. I'm incredibly anal retentive and wish I would be able to follow it 100% exactly, so I'll have to let that go.

I'm really hopeful that giving every run a purpose and a specific pace will reignite my passion for training. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to spend my unplanned rest day watching Big Ten basketball.

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