MarathonMaiden's Blog

October 24, 2009

Today is a thinking day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:18

Since when did just running to run not be good enough?

Wow tough question to ponder on this Saturday morning but that’s what I found myself asking myself on my long run today.  I’ve just been pushing myself so hard and feel pressure (totally from me) to run a lot more miles than I need to.  Mostly for bragging points.  I mean, sure, the extra miles usually do feel good but during my run my thought process is this: Push 1 more mile so that you can say that you ran x miles when someone asks.  Ummmm hello missy but most people are impressed that I get up early to run AT ALL much less that I ran 8 vs 7 miles or what have you.

This was the case today with my long run.  For the past 3 or 4 weeks I’ve been running around 14 miles I think for the lr.  Time for some cutback so I planned out an 11 miler which I thought I was going to be okay with.  Especially when my legs felt soooo slow during the first few miles. But, even with dead legs, my mind kept working out ways that I could turn the 11 into longer.  Crazy right?

In the end I only added 1 extra mile to get 12 but I felt BAD.  And bad in two sense: 1) 12 miles =/= 14+ miles so I felt guilty (don’t know if that’s the right word) that I wasn’t doing as much as last week and 2) 12 miles =/=11 miles so I felt guilty (again not sure if that’s the right word) that I couldn’t stick to my plan. Crazy right? (Uh-oh I can feel crazy being “the word” for this post).

After eating and showering I’m accepting the 12 for what it was: a decent 12 miles.  My legs felt AWFUL during the first couple of miles (I actually debated cutting the run shorter) but they felt better as time went on and my last few miles were slightly below target pace, leading the overall pace to be slightly slower than target but I’m okay with it. My stomach was also bothering me. I know that during hard exercise blood get diverted away from the GI tract so it can do to the muscles but there really wasn’t anything in my actual stomach to feel all funny.  I honestly thought that I wasn’t going to be able to hold anything down when I finished! Even now, 2+ hours later my stomach is still feeling queasy.

I feel like I’m heading into a funk.  And I don’t like it.  I know that funks are cyclical so it will end.  I also know that the more I try to fight the funk the worse it’ll get.  So I need to buckle down and let it wash over me.  Part of the funk is due to me pushing so hard with the running so I’m going to attempt to cut down my running this week; hopefully I can get over my mentality that I MUST run a certain amount.  Because no one else cares about the exact mileage.  So why should I?

The other half of the funk in the uncertainty of next year.  For the first time in a while I don’t know what the next year or two is going to bring me. And that is slightly scary! But again, I know that it will pass eventually.  Just need to accept it for what it is.

Now, re-reading what I just typed the words feel really really heavy.  Especially for a weekend haha! Don’t worry as I’m not sitting around brooding over this.  Just some slight musing as I had ample time over the course of my run. I go from yesterday’s bubbly non-running (at all) post to a serious post 🙂

But here’s something that I’ve been listening on repeat for the past hour or so. C-mon now, you can’t NOT smile when listening to it!


  1. I can definitely relate. There are times when I plan 10 miles and want to stop after 7 and think “why would you do that? it’s only 7” Then I realize how ridiculous it is to wake up at 7am and run 7 miles let alone 10. It’s an addiction. A fun one to have, but an addiction

    Comment by Evan Thomas — October 24, 2009 @ 15:50

  2. Yes, you should step back a bit in your running. You’ve been running LRs for so long that it’s affecting your mindset a little negatively. We all need a little break once in a while. You’ll get the joy and the pazazz of running really soon after a little break. Have a fun one!

    Comment by The Laminator — October 24, 2009 @ 16:12

  3. I can totally relate, although my mileage is obviously quite a bit less than yours is but the idea is the same. Maybe you need to start focusing on your body a little more than your mind. Yes, your brain may want you to run an extra 3 miles today, but is that really what your legs and the rest of your body NEEDS? Probably not. You’re right, you will break out of the funk eventually, but you don’t want to end up with an injury because you’re constantly pushing yourself harder than you need to be. Maybe try mixing up your routes and focus less on the mileage and more on what’s going on around you while you’re running. You’re a strong girl, you’ll be back on track soon enough! 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Comment by Michelle — October 24, 2009 @ 16:23

  4. Great post. I’m right their with you. Want big miles to keep building the base, feel good that you are accomplishing something. But without a near term milestone like a race, there is nothing to “target” so they feel like aimless miles. I had a post brewing in my head about the exact same point you are making. At some point you need to say, “It’s off season and I am running no more than xx miles each week to maintain fitness and be happy with it.” Harder said than done, huh.

    Comment by a marathoner — October 24, 2009 @ 16:36

  5. I have been struggling with the same thing. I am not training right now, so there is no reason for me to be running big miles. It is weird for me to be running single digits everyday and I actually feel kind if guilty, but I will get over it. Taking it easy now will keep me ready to run big miles when it is time to train. Give yourself some rest and enjoy the easy miles.

    Comment by Matt — October 24, 2009 @ 17:38

  6. I am the same way and it bothers me so much. I have to hit a high weekly mileage or I feel bad.

    Comment by runjess — October 24, 2009 @ 17:44

  7. i used to feel that way (and regularly pulled off weeks close to yours — i think i ran something like 2500 miles in 2005!) until i got injured — multiple times — and ended up with a job that made that sort of running impossible (as you can see 🙂 ). now i am happy just to be able to train at all! and — the funny thing is — now that i see that i can still run at close to the same level with less risk of injury and more time for other things, i’m really glad it all worked out like that.

    not that i want you to get injured or have a crazy job, but you can see that it is possible to break the cycle. i think a period of REALLY light running – like a week running ‘detox’ — would be good for you. i bet your legs would be incredibly happy . . .

    Comment by sarah (ghost world) — October 24, 2009 @ 18:37

  8. This is a pretty heavy post. 🙂 It seems like your thoughts are on the right track about your running. I think the most important thing I learned about running and exercise is not to get caught up too much with the numbers. I was all about, how many calories, how much time, how many miles and got way bummed if I didn’t hit my splits on workouts. All the obsession led to injury. I ran my body and mind into the ground. I don’t know your exact situation, but as a friend (as I do consider you my bloggie friend) I just gotta say, try not to worry about it too much and try not to feel guilty, because you are a running beast!!

    Comment by Liz — October 24, 2009 @ 18:39

  9. I am not sure what the best advice to give you here is, it sounds like you know what you need. It is just mind over matter? Take the time to step back. Maybe while you are doing that come up with a goal of some kind? Even if it isn’t a race or a public goal sometimes just working towards something makes a big difference.

    Comment by Katerina — October 25, 2009 @ 02:33

  10. Well…you know what I’m going to say haha!! I can’t believe all the crazy high mileage you do every day anyways girl 🙂 No, seriously though, even though I’ve just gotten back into running – I used to compete a few years ago and was very driven and hard on myself. But even then, we cycled our training and had single-digit runs at least a couple times a week – and I was able to run a sub-20 5K and a 1::33 half – so not toooo bad I guess at the time. (Now I suck but you know about that from my blog right :)…anyways, the point is you get better from the rest and recovery – it’s just as important as the runs and work you do. And running 12 miles is NOT something to be dissapointed in – yikes!! be proud of yourself and hold your head high – your a running God(dess) to me, so chin up 🙂

    Comment by eatmovelove — October 25, 2009 @ 07:22

  11. I think realizing that recovery is part of the process is something very important to learn. At some in training, your body HAS to recover in order to get faster. I know, pot calling kettle black, but it is a lesson I’ve come to terms with when I run fewer miles. Know that the shorter mileage runs are actually PART OF YOUR TRAINING, and they do have a big purpose. Also, I’m concorned that you might be doing your LRs too fast. Maybe you could double check your paces on those b/c they should really be 40 to 90 seconds slower than GMP.

    Also, sorry about scary crossroads. You are such a smart gal; there’s not doubt in my mind that you will end up in a fantastic place. (wherever that may be)

    Comment by LARunner — October 25, 2009 @ 07:23

  12. You are having exactly what I call a “my life is a series of tragedies” day. You’re right- it is cyclical, and hopefully you’ll find something fun to help you snap out of it. I’m not trying to downplay how stressful your life is- because I know you truly are facing a lot of pressure and uncertainty- but you are going to rise to the occasion :).

    Comment by Chelsea — October 25, 2009 @ 08:20

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