Oh, hey! Remember two weeks ago when I wrote about how life kind of got in the way of marathon training? Well, guess what happened again this week? Yup. This was not a good week for training.
The week before last, one of my clients asked me if I was pregnant (Spoiler: I AM NOT!). Now, I didn’t take it the wrong way – I had just confused the order of one of our circuits for the third time, and kept forgetting if she had done one side, or two, for one of her unilateral exercises. I replied, “God, no! Why?” and she said, “Because when you were pregnant with Roman, you were occasionally scatterbrained, and you definitely seem that way today!” She was teasing, but I said to her half seriously, “Maybe training for a marathon is the concentration-sapping equivalent of pregnancy!” (Because she’s right, I was totally absentminded when I was preggo).
Cue Monday. We had just gotten back the night before from a long weekend with family upstate. My alarm was set, my clothes were laid out for my first client Monday morning. When the alarm went off, though, I had an inkling my client had cancelled and I’d forgotten. I scrolled through some emails from her, and found one where she’d cancelled Monday. But why wouldn’t I have cancelled it in my calendar? I decided to head out to the appointment and email her on the way – worst case scenario she had cancelled and I got a nice early morning walk in. Turned out she’d reconfirmed verbally, so I mentally patted myself on the back for (kind of) remembering. Then, after the session was finished, I checked my texts:
Fran: Roman’s sitter is on vacation this week!! You forgot about it – can you get home asap so I can get to work?
Roman’s sitter: I should have reminded you I was on vacation! I’m so sorry!
I can’t believe I did that. I did some last minute cancelling of clients (HATE doing that) and some scrambling to find a replacement for the week, and had to suck up the fact that running was going to be a backseat this week. (I KNOW that was the longest explanation ever for why training was not 100% this week).
So I only got in three days of training this week. One was a tempo run, which SUCKED. It was awful, it was meant to be an easy warmup, then 2.5 miles at marathon pace, half a mile of recovery, then another 2.5 miles at marathon or half-marathon pace, depending on how I felt, followed by a regular run warm-down. The first section I ran too fast, so the second section was slower than marathon pace. I knew it was not going to plan as soon as I started that second section. I made my way through it, then just ran home as the warm-down, cutting it about half a mile short altogether.
When you screw up a tempo run, it’s a huge blow to your running confidence. Here’s the thing – marathon pace means that’s the pace I want to maintain for 26.2 miles. Half marathon pace is based on my recent performances, and is definitely a pace I HAVE maintained for 13.1 miles. So when I can’t hit that for 2.5 miles? It makes me wonder how I am going to maintain any kind of decent pace on the day. It’s one of those oddities of marathon training – there’s so much trust involved. You never run more than 20 or 22 miles before the race – you just have to trust you can make it through those extra miles. You never run a long run at marathon pace the whole way – you just have to trust you can run the race at that pace. You don’t know exactly the science behind the tapering – you just have to trust that not really running much for two weeks before the race will help you run well. So it’s hard to deal with – you run into trust issues, which is exactly what I dealt with this week.
Oh, and did I mention the three days I ran were consecutive? Tempo Wednesday, 8 mile regular run Thursday (in the rain, OH JOY!!), 14 mile long run Friday. I probably could have snuck in a 6 or 7 mile maintenance run somewhere over the weekend, but honestly? I needed the break.
LONG RUN: Hard. I mentioned in one of my recent marathon updates that I wondered when I would need music to accompany my long run. This week answered that question. Parents of young kids might be familiar with a little show called “Yo Gabba Gabba”. Now, thankfully, the song stuck in my head for probably the last NINE MILES of my long run wasn’t anything truly horrendous, like “Don’t Bite Your Friends”, or “Skippy-Skip-Skip-SKIP! SKIP! SKIP!” (I don’t actually know the title of that last one, but those are the predominant lyrics). This is what was on replay in my brain:
So it’s time to get that iPod fired up.
I also tried out different fuel for the long run this week. For a half marathon, my go-to is gummy bears, but I wanted to experiment with some of the sports-specific fuel options. I already know from the last time I ran the marathon I just can’t do the gels, so I took the advice of one of the salespeople at Jack Rabbit Sports in Brooklyn, and tried GU Chomps this week. I’m not a fan, but I don’t know if that’s because of the chomps, or because I didn’t have a good long run. We’ll see – I’m going to try them again, then try the other suggested fuel after that.
This upcoming week is the highest mileage week of training. I have nothing going on that should mean I need to reschedule any training. So I have my fingers crossed and a great deal of trust that I will get through this week a lot smoother than Week 6. Here’s hoping! Stay tuned for the Week 7 update next Monday…
MILES FOR WEEK: 29
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to trust it was all going to turn out okay?
What’s your favorite song on your running playlist?
Long distance runners – what’s your fuel of choice during long runs?