Week three of training was full of ups and downs. I tried to prepare myself (in advance) for the upcoming weeks where my emotional hatred for running would kick in, but I was not prepared for the physical hatred. After another failed attempt at completing my long run on my own, then trying to get the mileage in on my day off either before or after teaching at MYD, the end of week 2 had me in a bit of a downward spiral. And I did not like how this was feeling or where this was going.
I waited for Tuesday to kick start week 3 off on the right foot: a 6k tempo run was in order. One good thing about marathon training, 6k runs feel like nothing, and you can pretty much squeeze them in at anytime during your day! I was at the office this day, with a scheduled yoga date with Scott, therefore, I did not bring my runners. But when I arrived to an empty office due to Monday night’s storm activities, I was stood up. So I planned my run after work. When you plan on running at a certain time, just go for it. Don’t sit around and contemplate the run you have to do, or in my case do not sit around waiting and stuffing your face with fruit and almond butter. After I finally got my ass out the door I took off. I was shocked at how strong my legs and body felt. But then came this overpowering feeling of nauseousness and I needed to end early. My body wanted to keep going, but my stomach was telling me otherwise. Note to self: do not run after eating too much almond butter. I learned my lesson the hard way.
Wednesday was our Running Room 10k tempo day. Given the thunder shower warnings for the evening our coaches changed the planed Don Valley route to a route around town. It was hot and humid and I left heavy. I felt slow. This was not my best day performace wise, but I did meet a new friend, Julie Collavoli (hi, Julie!). Julie and I became fast running friends – she was feeling the exact same as me this day – it’s so nice to know you’re not alone in moments like this. Especially when the rest of the group feels a million miles away from you. I was ready to give up if I had not been for running with Julie. Sometimes you just need a friend.
Thursday was much more fun – the day that is, not the run. Dr. Kris Sheppard made an appearance at the clinic to give a talk on running biomechanics and gait. And to my surprise he remembered me from the Yoga & Biomechanics for Runners workshop. I was not allowed to answer his question “What is stride length?” but you can ask me now! After Kris’s talk we headed out for a 8k loop from the Downtown store to Cherry Beach and back. I was struggling once again, but Julie stuck by my side for most of the way. I met another running friend on the way back to the homestretch (hi, Flo!). Flo gave me excellent pointers about training, the clinic, and important things to stay focused on – like not getting injured during your first marathon. Sadly, this happened to Flo, but now she’s getting back to optimal heath and I can learn a lot from her.
I used Friday as my day for yoga. Being tired and exhausted, I didn’t even want to ride my bike this day, so I opted for a class called The Practice at Kula instead of going all the way to MYD (I live so close to Kula it’s silly I don’t practice there more). This class was gentle with the right amount of challenge. It was exactly what my tired running body needed.
Saturday morning I got up to get my 6k in before work. I only ran 4.5k, I think, but whatever. I’m over this week already. Then there was Sunday, the day I had to run not only 19k, but I had to go it alone. Oh god! But if anything was working for me during this week of struggle, grumpiness, and disappointment, it all came together for me on Sunday. I planned a route prior that would end at Steam Whistle – I had a friend in town for the weekend and left my bike there overnight – running to pick it up was perfect. In the hot sun, I ran the whole way at a nice and steady, slow pace. I felt good! But how? I couldn’t tell you. I’m not going to question it, I’ll just take it! The last leg of my route felt long, but whatever I finally ran a long run. Maybe that’s all I needed? To end off this great Sunday I made it to the studio for Julia’s yin class with live music. It was a piece of heaven.
Going into week 4 and I finally have good feelings about training. This is good!