So I jinxed myself after my last post. Training had been going great; I had done all of my runs as scheduled and had been checking off the mileage. Then, it happened. My last tempo run on Thursday was supposed to be 8 miles. A little after 5 miles I was done. The run had started off just fine. I had a good clip going, the music was blaring and I was comfortable. But at mile 2 I felt tired, and at mile 4 I had enough. I just wasn’t feeling it. I so wanted to push through it, but my mind wasn’t in it. The thought of spending another 35 minutes or so running wasn’t attractive at all to me. I flat out quit. I was deflated. The feeling was terrible. I was in a funk for the whole day, just miserable to be around. I had been warned by my friends who had trained for marathons in the past that this would happen; I kept telling myself I was too strong willed to let it happen to me. But it did.
The next day was a CrossFit day for me. It also just so happened to be one of the benchmark workouts for CrossFit that everyone does at some point; the workout is called “Fran”. I went into this workout with a certain determination that I haven’t carried into CrossFit for a while. I knew what my old time was, 4:10, and I had set a goal of sub 4:00. Well, as the workout started I felt great after the first round (the workout consists of three rounds) and realized, I could just keep moving. The second round was a bit slowed, but I plowed onto the third round and finished. When I looked at the time, 3:01 I was thrilled. I immediately realized that the aerobic conditioning of marathon training has been paying off. Even though I was in a funk from bailing on my last run, seeing that I am still making gains buoyed me to feeling excited for training again.
Back on the treadmill the next day for another long run. This time 17 miles. After my latest CrossFit accomplishment, I was ready for the challenge. As the miles passed, I felt pretty darn good. Renewed and refreshed I was excited for the challenge. My pace kept my stride feeling smooth and for the last few miles I even pushed it a little faster. I felt blisters forming on my toes. The blister on my left heal that started a few weeks ago was getting irritated again as well. My legs started to feel tight, but I kept the pace and kept focused. I know on race day, I won’t feel great for the entire 26.2 miles, so I’ve been trying to get myself trained with getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. When race day comes, annoyances such as blisters, tight hamstrings or the dreaded chaffing won’t be an issue. I finished the 17 miles with a time I could be proud of, at a pace faster than my prior distance runs.
Getting back to my workouts the days after failing a run has been cathartic in a way for me. I feel like I dealt with one of the first big challenges I have faced in training and have a refreshed sense of drive towards reaching my goals. I am seeing positive changes, splits are improving, distances are growing and recovery times are shrinking. I know there are going to be more days of failed distances, it’s inevitable and that’s okay, what’s more important is how I bounce back.