Workout – I actually kind of have a legit workout for today. today was really hard not to throw on the sneakers and run out the door for a nice 10 miler. I feel better than I have felt in 6 weeks and that is exactly why I should ignore what I have set out to do which is rest for 2 weeks. not. I resisted. my three little kids made it easier to keep the sneakers away. something about it’s not ok to leave a 2, 4 and 5 year old alone while I go find some endorphins. I think they are being a little uptight, but whatever. Instead I did 30 minutes of P90Yoga and 15 minutes of Jillian. nice combo. sweat. stretch. kind of happy about it but not really. counting down the days until next weekend when I can run free as a bird. feeling good that I’m sticking to my guns. especially when there is a beautiful little stairmaster and treadmill down in my basement taunting me. stay away you evil cardio machines. pat on my back.
So here’s my thoughts about these races that have happened into my life. let’s number this one out. these are not excuses. these are mitigating factors that I may have some control over in the future. or that will at least lead me to create better fitting expectations of myself that are challenging but not unattainable. I still see 2:59:59. or better 😉
1. Too much. Just too many marathons. for this lady. backing off for now. and preparing to be more than ready for NYCM.
2. Lack of training. I have the speed. I have endurance. I can run fast. and I have faster in me. but the training wasn’t where it needed to be. The last and only 20 mile run I did was in the very beginning of March. that’s not going to cut it for me in a marathon. My highest mileage week was 58 miles. That was the first week of March. I had a great, hilly half marathon in February. Then the running miles came to a massive hault to nurse shin splints/pain that started mid march after this race. It was all downhill from there. I probably ran 26 miles total from mid March through these past two marathons. that’s not going to cut it for me in a marathon. I worked hard in the time that I worked. and I worked hard in cross training in the time that I had. but it wasn’t running. it wasn’t consistent. my legs didn’t always feel good. that hurt me mentally and physically.
3. I did not adjust my goals. I should have changed things around. I should have been more fluid with my expectations and not held so tight to something when everything leading up to it wasn’t going as planned. I probably wouldn’t have bombed so badly if my expectations were changed. It’s just running. there is always another race. I don’t need to make each and every one like it’s the last one I will ever run. learning that. patience.
4. My health. here’s the thing with the blog. I share what I want to share. and I obviously leave a lot of stuff out. believe it or not. I know I’m such a chatter box on here, but it’s only a little part of my life. if you saw it all, you might be very frightened. these thoughts may be neither here nor there, but in my mind, it makes a difference in my day to day life because I know how I ‘feel’ on a day to day basis. I know how I feel when I am healthy and I know how I feel when things are a tad bit off. I’ve mentioned before that I have hashimoto’s thyroid – which is fancy for autoimmune, hypothyroid disease. my thyroid is essentially being destroyed by my own body and it is underactive, but managed by synthroid – a pharmaceutical drug. long story short, this is something that I’ve been dealing with since my early 20’s. a major inconvenience, really. I have learned that this tiny gland controls A LOT of bodily functions and hormones (metabolism being a big one, but also lots of other hormones). when it is not functioning properly, a lot of other things don’t function properly. the one indicator my dr. uses to determine if it is functioning properly is called TSH. if this is not in range, it tells them things aren’t right. sometimes for me, I know that if the # comes back in range but is too far to one extreme, I start feeling symptoms of hypo or hyperthyroid. another long story short is that I got really tired of my dr. telling me I am fine and my levels are fine when in fact they were moving to the high end of the spectrum, underactive symptoms. I had increasingly been feeling not like myself through the winter, and my TSH levels kept moving in the wrong direction, but my doctor said it was fine. I got tired of it. I got tired of taking this one drug and wanted to know my other options of more natural ways to aid my thyroid function. enter Naturopath. I wanted more tests done. The thyroid is part of the adrenal system and I wanted everything tested – hormones, more inclusive thyroid tests, yadda yadda – he got it done and he listened to me.
come to find out a few weeks ago – just about everything he tested was off the charts abnormal. all of my thryoid levels were off, indicating major hypothyroid, leading to an abundance of other things down the line to be ‘off’ – seratonin was low, progesterone was really low, another female hormone was low, vitamin D was really low (a common one, especially for us new englanders who live like hermits and don’t get to see the sun year round), cortisol was high (the stress hormone – I can’t imagine why this would be through the roof, stay at home mom with laundry falling from the sky, trying to cook, clean and take care of the house and family, 3 crazy little kids (one of which is up at 5:30 everyday and screams at me from sun up till sundown, just love this terrible 2 year old stage) that need to go here there and everywhere and that want to play in dirt all day every day and I let them because it keeps them happy and busy….
I actually felt a little validated after all this that I was not going crazy and that there was a reason I hadn’t been feeling my normal self these past few months. What this means in terms of running, I’m not exactly sure. all I know is that to have optimum performance in anything, ideally your body as to be at optimum health, inside and out. you are not going to run a marathon with a broken foot. and maybe it makes it tough to run one with a broken thyroid too. don’t know. just a theory. mine is broken. it’s annoying. and I knew it was effecting other things. despite eating healthy and exercising, stuff wasn’t right. now I am trying to fix it.
Dr. Naturopath (who is also an MD, I wanted an actual medical Dr., who was also a naturopath, not just someone who went to naturopath school) prescribed some natural hormones and things to support my thyroid and help get things going on the right track. mine is an autoimmune issue, meaning it’s just not going to get back to normal, but environmental crap doesn’t help it, and I have to keep the toxins out. Sugar is one big toxin. So he gave me some important “rules” – the top one on his list was diet. Absolutely no sugar or processed white foods. no biggie. I can handle that. then he says absolutely no chocolate. blasphemy. he must have seen the look on my face like I was going to jump across the table and break his neck because before I could actually say anything he said, and I can see you have a problem with that. just a little one mr. doctor. you are going to have to rephrase that last statement in a way that sounds like you may eat chocolate. and he did. I just can’t eat a lot of it, it must be dark and it must not be after dinner. chocolate for breakfast it is.
(sidenote – go with your gut about your health. you know yourself better than anyone else. seek more attention if you don’t feel like you are getting what you need. I got major attitude from my Dr.’s office when I requested blood tests and actually wanted to talk about them and have them explained. that’s when I got another opinion. happy I did)
What is going to Change
This is the best part of epic failures and bad things that happen. learning, growth and change. with each little mistep and thing that doesn’t go the way I planned, I learn a little bit. I change things around a little bit. I move in a positive direction a little bit until the next mistep and learning experience. I’ve learned a lot about how I train and how I need to train.
1. I need to listen to my body a little bit more. I need to have a plan that works for me, but not live and die by a plan found on the internet. as great as I think they are, I need to modify it. I need to work really hard on the ‘work’ days and take it really easy on the rest days. I wasted a lot of time during this last phase of training because I just worked every day. And that doesn’t give progress. I need to work really hard on the work days, and then really rest on the easy runs. and those really hard days will lead to really good improvement. as will the really easy days. I need to incorporate more long runs and more tempo work into the long runs. I love speed work and tempo work. I’m excited to work it and make it count. and recover on the off days. and enjoy the recovery.
2. Strength work. I know I need it. it makes me a better runner. that’s all there is to it. more core work. more leg work. more everything. it’s got to fit in the schedule.
3. Stretching. yoga. rolling. icing. super important. My hamstrings are so tight, and I could really feel it restricting my movement in this last marathon. what a difference it would make if everything could move freely in the full range of motion.
4. Reading. thanks to many suggestions, I have Advanced Marathoning on it’s way to me. thank you super speedy Amazon.com. read and learn. so much info out there. get into my brain. 🙂
5. Pressure. I fall towards the high pressure, high stress, high anxiety end of things. knowing that about myself, I will always bring pressure to a race. but I will eventually get it to a place where it is good pressure and not pressure that will crush me and lead me to give up if things don’t go right. mental practice. mental strength. this is a hobby. this is a hobby. and I want to be good at it. balance.
5. Coach. I’m not actually hiring a coach. I’m recruiting a good friend and neighbor who is an amazing runner and has willingly agreed to ‘coach’ me. running is in his blood. He ran for Yale. He is a 2:40 marathoner. His father is a 2:20’s marathoner. he grew up around some of the best runners. he’s conservative and smart. He’s going to coach me. give me guidance and knowledge. this is good. already I feel the need to ‘ask permission’ to do certain things, what races I should or should not run. I have also been instructed by him to take these two weeks post marathon off and then just have 2 weeks of fun running. Come June, I’ll start getting back into it. which leads me to my next decision….
To run my June 3rd half marathon or not run it? This was the half I was going to shoot for a new PR. Will I be ready to run it physically? absolutely. Can I get a PR? not sure. My half time in nashville was 1:35. that tells me I could do ok in a few weeks. but how much fitness will be lost between now and then? will I be ready for it mentally? not sure. I can’t really handle another bad race. but, it could also be a fun 13.1 miles. but, do I ever go into a run with a ‘this could just be a fun run’ mentality? not really. these are the wild and crazy things I think. whoa. I could downgrade to the 10K. I’ve never done a 10K. I’m not making a decision on it yet. I am going to take these 2 rest weeks and see how I feel getting back into running in the second half of may. and take it from there.
There’s my thoughts. that wraps up the Nashville saga. thank God. you poor people have suffered through enough of this. lets all get on with our lives, shall we?!?! 🙂
I don’t really have any questions for you, but I always want to hear about fun and exciting things going on out there and how running and training and any other hobbies are going! Fill me in my friends!
Oh, here’s a question – who has read Advanced Marathoning? Any other great running books to recommend?