30 weeks of Marathon training.

just a spot to write about the next 30 weeks….of running.

Bayshore Marathon Race Report.

So last week at this time, I think I was really enjoying some Moomer’s Ice Cream, or some Cold Stone Ice Cream…well…there was loads of Ice Cream.

It’s been hard for me to process through this entire race.  I suspect too many things went into it.

In the end, I do not actually feel that great about it, but there is not real reason for me to be so disappointed.

So, lets start from the VERY beginning.

Ages ago, a friend who I really didn’t know at all suggested Bayshore as a “good race”.  It met all my criteria for a good race:

1. no Corral at the start (thus a small crowd.)

2. flattish- but not too flat.

3. Not hot.

And … It seemed like a great idea at the time.

Soooo, on December 1, as I was running the OUC, a friend of mine registered me.  And thus the journey began.

Almost every day up to the end is chronicled here.  So here is…the rest of the story.

I flew up there and met my friend – who I knew slightly better by now.  And we drove on up to Traverse City.  I then met my friends sister who is a lovely fun person, and about 150 of my friend’s closest friends.  I felt like I was under a microscope.

Somehow, because work had been really busy, I had managed to really not have too much deep thought about the distance or anything the week before.  So much so that when I arrived, I unpacked and noted that I had forgotten the shirt I wanted to wear.  Instead of a shirt and a spare, I had one long sleeved one and a few dresses and jeans.  Hmmm.  No problem.  It was slated to be 36 so I figured Long sleeved would work.  But it does kind of show the frame of mind I was in.  Focused, dialed in, ready for 26.2?  NAH.

I had a pretty bad feeling about this race, and I was just not sure about anything.  I got some solid advice from my coach and my friend, which I actually being a bit pig headed, ended up not following.

The day was a PERFECT racing day.  I do not know if I have EVER had a more perfect day for a race, EVER.  Crisp. COLD, sunny.  Not a chance of rain in sight.  Humidity about 50%- which to a Floridian is actually kind of dry.

I started out the first mile…and found that I could run.  So I ran the heck out of about 13 miles.  Then at the turn around, I started a run walk…and then at Mile 17…the wheels on the bus came off.  I started to really have problems moving forward…I had to stop and go to the bathroom- which cost me a few minutes…and allowed me to get a little stiff actually.  The course was full of FUN rollers.  I loved the hills on the way out.  On the way back it was more downhill, but I still struggled more.

My friend met me at mile 19.5-20 and ran walked me in.  mostly walked.  I knew this was not going to be a record setting race, but…I just couldn’t get moving again.  And this my time became quite a frustrating affair to me.  After I was very stressed out, and upset.  I processed and processed and tried to figure it out. I had the full gamut of emotions, stages of grief, etc  going on.

My main frustration is that I put in A TON of training.  and my results were not even close to what I had hoped for.  I don’t mind training but why train so much if one is going to end up slower…in the end than they started.

My coach…being a little more dialed in to people in general, and me specifically, was able to help me through this.  He had seen that I was overtrained, but apparently didn’t want to say anything of the sort to me as it would have been discouraging. He did change up the workouts and it’s to his credit that I do not have any major injury. When we first started working with each other, one of my main goals was to be able to go running with my friends and keep up.  After a few months I surpassed that and was running a bit faster than some of my friends, not all of them.  My goals then shifted to gaining strength and speed, but he had kept in mind the goal of running with friends, and had kind of assumed that as long as I had a fun race to do and could keep up reasonably with my friends I’d be happy.   Yeah.   Right.

We had a ton of email exchange on Monday night as I sat on multiple planes feeling kind of cruddy.   Tuesday I saw him where he works.   He reminded me that 3 weeks before this race my training had been in a nose dive tail spin.  He had noted that when I ran the race in Toledo, as my time was SO off what it should have been.  He had apparently been trying to fix it since that time without making me worry.  Then he looked at the Garmin and found some positive stuff to say about the running and then moved on to how I was feeling about meeting tons and tons of people over the weekend.  I tried to brush it off, as he’s my running coach…He reminded me that how I was feeling was really going to affect my training in the next few weeks, so he wanted to hash through my entire crazy weekend.  Luckily that didn’t take as long as I expected, and I appreciated him being an awesome cheerleader for me through my processing of that.  We DO have an unusual relationship but I think all of us involved understand it and are ok with it.  I think the best way to think of it was that the entire weekend I felt that every thing I said was being judged, or that I was on an audition.  Once I got back to my little town, I said to the coach, “I’m just glad that I’m back here.”  and he said, “Yes, I’m glad you are here with the people who love you.”  I’ve felt that since coming back to work, and the gym and almost every where I’ve been.  It’s like wearing  comfortable pain of jeans…all the pieces fit.

Then on Thursday we had a weights workout.  HA!   I showed up, all ready to work out.  We sat by the pool and talked some more.  Mrs. Coach came by and actually did work out in the gym inside.  I kept waiting to struggle through some arm work…but nope we just continued sitting.  Mr. Coach pulled out tons of papers and drew lots of fancy graphs.  He asked me what I really wanted…and then we fooled around with races and future stuff.   He reminded me about my past PR’s and my injury.  He reminded me that it was a major game changer…as it caused my body to undergo surgery, recovery and loss of fitness level.  I usually shrug it off, but it really did change the game for me.

Together we chose a race fairly close to home during my vacation week for the holidays from work.  We talked about a few other races, and he cautioned me on the too much fooling around stuff.  We put down an actual time goal.  THen I was told to go and fool around for the week.  My non-operative hip has some residual strangeness to it, as well as my left achilles.  Both have gotten better, but when I announced “I want to go to the clay on Sunday”  He flat out said, do not do that.  As he put it, “You can make your wonky hip last ALL SUMMER if you want!”  point taken.  We had a few more discussion points which must have made us sound like squabbling siblings, because Mrs. Coach looked at us and said, “Do I need to separate you two?”  Several people have criticized some of his methods and it’s true I got severely overtrained under him.  What they forget is that I chose that race, and the ramp up to it was too too severe for my fitness level.  He really thought just getting me through it uninjured would make me happy.  Well, I’m delighted I’m not injured.  He knows my injury and me knows a great deal of the things I struggle with.  He is willing to encompass them all.  Not all coaches are willing to do that.  So…this time around I let him choose and look at the time frame ahead of time, and we started to talk about building real miles in there, not any 30 mile weeks, but 50-60 mile weeks.  Should be an interesting year.

SO.  Looks Like the Jacksonville Bank Marathon.

I wish I had the energy to post pictures and all that as it would make this post more interesting, but I’m still feeling a little beat up.

This whole week I’ve been focusing on adequate nutrition…and trying to have fun.  I’ve had moderate success with both.

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