Hey all! Gotta make this a quick semi-quick one as I’m between appointments and later tonight I’m seeing Alice in Wonderland in 3D with mi hermana 🙂
To start: Boston numbers came out earlier this week!! Because I prefer to remain (slightly) anonymous I’m not going to announce my number. But I will say that I’m in the second wave. I was secretly hoping to get into the first one buttttt there are some fast people out there! The cut off for the waves was 14,000. That is so crazy that there are so many people running Boston. I’m excited but not as excited as I thought I was going to be. Weird although I know that it’ll change once the race gets closer.
But I gotta take everything day by day. Did I actually say last week that spring break was going to be relaxing? Someone should have slapped me or something because, have I had time to relax yet?! Nope. I’ve been going from one thing to the next. I was able to get in some good work today though. I hit the gym for some lifting. Due to Monday’s craziness I skipped (for the first time all session) a strength workout so I really wanted to get one in today. And I did. It was pretty good too but, and it’s probably mental, my arms lost fitness in those days?! Hahaha. My arms were dying by the end. It felt good but man, I felt the burn.
I chose to lift first (rather than second like I’ve been doing for the rest of the training cycle) because I wanted to take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL weather. Sunshine, 50* (with a high of damn near 60), no wind. The only bummer is that the floods have yet to recede and the large majority of my routes (include my hometown favorites) are still underwater. The roads are so bad that that there are huge ass detours and back ups. The trip home from the gym (a regular < 10 minutes) took 40. Blahhhhh.
But despite the rivers in the streets I got a great recovery run in. It definitely didn’t feel that way at the time. I went into the run with the attitude that it was 1100 so my body was awake and the sun was shining with warmth so it should feel great. Too bad my body wasn’t on the same page. My legs felt so heavy and slow. My mind was getting doubtful as to whether or not I even wanted to be out there. Luckily I was able to re-frame my thoughts and tell myself to shut the eff up. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that my pace would be slow. And like I said, this was the first time in 3 days that I was outside and that the time before that (Saturday’s long run) was in brutal conditions. TM miles =/= road miles.
I think that having these low expectations did something because my recovery run was at a “blistering” 9:16 pace. For those of you who are new to reading (and thanks for reading! To new and old readers 🙂 ) My typical recovery pace is around 9:30-9:45. So it was a pleasant surprise to see something faster. Especially since it felt so much slower. There’s definitely something to be said about running in nice weather and not first thing. Yes I think I’ll always be a morning runner but my body will go faster later in the day. Fact.
But enough about today’s recovery run.
I just wanted to talk a little bit more about my conversation with the high school track & field coach (yes I know this post is long already but oops. My blog. Too bad haha). He definitely wasn’t saying that I had to take a week off. It was more like if I had to then I wouldn’t lose much, if any, fitness. He did say that it would help to take this week as a major cutback but it wasn’t imperative that I stop running or anything. He suggested that max time off this week would be good and then go hard for two weeks rather than just go semi-hard for three.
But the comment that most people “questioned” or rather commented on was the wait-a-few-years-to-marathon statement.
I’m not quite sure exactly his reasons for saying that and I didn’t really press him because let’s be honest here: I’m going to do what I’m going to do. BUT I can’t deny that I’ve been thinking along the same lines. Not that I shouldn’t be doing this but that maybe I should pull back after Boston and focus on shorter stuff.
Firstly: The stress on my body. I’ve been thinking about the wear and tear I’m putting my body through. Yes, I’m still young (23) so the wear and tear isn’t huge. And yes I love it but it’s very grueling. Sure I could train on less buttttttttt. Yeah. I could but it wouldn’t fulfill me in the same way. To me marathons = mega-miles.
So my thinking is mostly just about wear and tear. Which I think is where the T&F coach’s thinking is too. As a early (well maybe mid) 20-something my body is still maturing. Sure I’m not going through puberty or anything but my bones and their density are still developing. I know that running is good for bone health but 112 mile weeks is not the same thing as what the typical 20-something is recommended to do. I know that the typical 20-something isn’t running marathons either (I think that as bloggers, specifically running bloggers, sometimes we don’t see that as we represent a small number of people out there in the world).
So my bones is a concern. Another one is my hormone level. While I’m still getting regular(ish) periods (mine have never been 100% regular, hence the ish) I’m still concerned that: running high miles = lower than usual body fat = less circulating estrogen (if one of the knowledgeable medical peeps begs to differ let me know! I am by no means an expert!). And I’m really slim already. Not that I’m losing / have lost tons of weight or anything over the past 3ish months.
I know that running 100 mile weeks isn’t a year round thing butttttt….16 weeks of intense training has got to take some sort of toll. And with less estrogen concern for my bones becomes great (part of the reason I was intensely worried about my ankle/shin being a stress fracture) as well as my reproductive health. I’m too young to be thinking about kids (like right now NO WAY IN HELL haha) but I’ve always reserved the right down the road to change my mind.
I guess the concern boils down to the whole mega-miles thing. Like I just said, 100 mile weeks are tough and grueling. I think the “concern” from the coach (or rather where he was coming from) was to take a few years to build up to that level, which is why I think traditionally most people say women “peak” at the marathon later in life: because it takes some time to build up I suppose. Although he did say with a slight shrug “Well if you’re already there”.
Also the thinking tends to be younger = fast short races. I really want to take advantage of the fact that I can recover quick and go out hard and fast. I know there are fast “older” runners but I’ve read lots of articles stating that a 20 year old (or at least that decade) is the best time to develop the power and speed necessary of a 10k. And while I love long stuff I’d be lying if I said that it isn’t fun to go all out for a 10k and run really fast. And I’d hate to think that I’m “wasting” that super speed young ones are known for 😉
So there you have it. Nothing concrete or anything like that. And again, I’m not (yet) a medical person myself so my knowledge is limited to textbooks and what others (doctors, fellow runners etc.) tell me.
And (before I wrap this up because I know it’s lengthy again!) I don’t want anyone to think that I’m nixing marathons forever. Part of my thoughts may just be that I’m in Week 12 of an intense training and my brain is thinking that there’s no way in hell that I want to go through this again. I’m sure that more marathons are in my future even if I can’t see beyond Boston at the moment. I’m sure ultras are in my future. But I just can’t see it yet. The same thing happened after my last marathon: even though I knew I would run Boston, at the time I just couldn’t fathom training for it. So life happens and things change. But you got to get a look into my brain. How fun (hopefully haha!!)
So thanks for reading this novel (maybe physics wasn’t my calling. Maybe writing should have been haha) and check out these giveaways from Tricia and Marcia. LOVE it.