Monday, July 20, 2009

gone mental

there are days when i allow myself to get too worked up about a run. i worry too much about where i will run (traffic, distance, bathrooms), can i hit my goal paces, should i bring gu/water, etc. the stress occurs mostly on workout days, but sometimes on just plain regular (easy) days too.

i managed to psych myself out over the quality workout i had on tap for thursday. i had to snap myself out of it - i can't keep making excuses for myself, i need to just do it. yes, pushing the pace will probably be uncomfortable, but i'll get used to it. how can i expect to improve if i am constantly allowing myself to cut the workout short or altering the goal paces? it will hurt, but it will also make me stronger. i don't want to open my mollusk shell on november 1st and have a deformed pearl sitting there.

planned workout: 10 miles threshold pace (7:02-7:17); for 15 miles total
actual workout: 9 miles almost threshold pace (avg 7:22); for 14 miles total

i thought about tricking my brain and legs into the 10th threshold mile, but they were pretty dead oh at about mile 4-ish of the threshold miles. it took a lot to get to (and through) threshold mile #9, and i could barely get my legs to cooperate for a couple of cooldown/easy shuffle miles. i'm kind of hoping the meds (for my mouth) could have an effect, but then again i need to quit with the excuses so i'm running through it anyway.

sunday's quality run was just plain un-quality. i woke up late and didn't have time to eat breakfast or prepare myself mentally for the run. i was supposed to churn out 20 miles but only squeezed in 14.5 before having to hurry into the shower and off to lunch. i kind of attempted the workout for ~4 miles but then my stomach let me know it did not have any fuel and would not be agreeable to a long and hard run. i pulled back and made it as long of a run as i could in my little time frame, and pushed myself to work the uphills since i wasn't quite doing the workout.

while i'm struggling to combat my mental pace demons, i'm doing an excellent job of running easy. i can ace the other 4-5 days of the week, how can you possibly fail at running easy?

week in review (7/13 - 7/19):
total miles: 63.05
time spent running: ~9 hours 2 minutes
avg hr: 156.14
avg pace: 8:47/mile (avg temp: 75.67*; somehow july is cooler than june)
off days: 0

thanks for keeping the wisdom stories horror-less. however, my sister did tell me about a girl who discovered the hard way she was allergic to the meds in the anesthetic and didn't quite make it home. yikes.


  1. Let's see, since you had zero days off in the week, and you say your legs were not ready to let you do 20. I wonder why?! You're amazing Lindsay. I can't do one mile at your threshold pace (maybe if I was doing a time trial, but that'd be it for afterward) and you do 9 of them!!

    Cut yourself some slack. The tooth issues are affecting you, allow yourself that.

  2. Ack, sorry to hear about the tooth ache! I'm sure that would have bothered me on a run, esp. a threshold run that requires total focus.

    But I know you've been running long enough to know that one bad week is not going to ruin everything. Everyone has bad weeks. You still have plenty of time to resume your training and hit your goals at NYCM.

    Good luck with the wisdom teeth extraction!

  3. I'm catching up after being gone on vacay...I see you are getting your wisdom teeth pulled soon?? If you are - no worries! It's really NOT that bad, as long as you have a patient, loving person to take care of you post-op (to change your gauze and serve you soup). And as long as you stay far, far away from straws or sucking popsicles (sucking is like, the worst thing to do when you have stitches in your mouth...I know from experience...), you are GOLDEN. Really, I didn't feel any pain afterwards due to the surgery.

    I tell you what, though, I was not able to run several days after the surgery because I could feel it in my mouth. So, just to give you a head's up. My friend ran the next day....another girl I coach had to sit out for a week before it was comfortable to run again.

  4. When is the extraction scheduled for again? Thursday?

    Hope things feel better for you soon. I'm not too up on marathon training or anything, what kind of pace are you trying to stay at?

    It sounds like you're doing your best.

  5. That is alot of miles at LT!! And a total of 14 miles? No wonder you dread it! You are so kick ass!

  6. You are an incredible runner, your train strong and you put in the work... try not to worry too much about an odd rough week. once you get the tooth thing over with, you'll start kickin' a$$ again. hang in there, and good luck thursday if I don't chat with you before then.

  7. "i was supposed to churn out 20 miles, but only did 14.5"

    Slacker!!!! There's no excuse for this action-next time get your ass in gear!!!

    OK, you know I'm kidding because I am just so damn impressed with all the miles you put on!

  8. that's a whole lot of miles at a GREAT pace -so cut yourself some slack.

  9. You've done really well. You did your runs and you kept going even when after mile 4 your legs weren't being your buddies. Cut yourself some slack, buddy, you're a legend :)

  10. Oh my. You are going to be fine - both with post dental work and with your marathon training. Your quality runs are super hard. It's still early on and you are going to get them done fully, give yourself more time. You ARE doing awesome! Ana-Maria

  11. I think you are doing a great job with the running. Mentally we all have days when we are out of it. But, like you said you just have to get out the door. Let you mind go free and think positive.

  12. It's so easy to let ourselves get all worked up. I think what's frustrating is that a tough workout can go pretty well on a good day but be total hell and darn near impossible on a bad day. Sometimes you just don't know what's going to happen once you get out there.

    Anyway, you had a strong week!

  13. Hang in there. You had a great week!

    Quality workouts are never easy, but they are essential. They make you fitter, faster, and stronger. No improvement comes without work.

  14. I'm sure the meds were taking effect during your run. Either way, that is still a run to be proud of. I have yet to post as many miles that you bust out on a day to day basis. Keep up the good work!

  15. WOW 10 miles at threshold - ouch... you did amazing on the 9 miles!!! you were right there on your pace and in the middle of a 14 miler! seriously dont discount how well you are doing and the serious mileage you are putting up!

  16. Wow, that workout sounds really hard. Kudos for getting in 9 threshold miles.

  17. great job on keeping up your mileage. Threshold runs can eat you up sometimes. Sounds like you still got in a pretty solid workout

  18. Run according to how you feel. Leave the rigidity behind and just keep a framework up. Divergence from the plan is standard and is useful information - don't sweat it. Same with paces.... look at the split for the info but without judgment (disappointment or vindication). It is what it is.

    Control the things you can (like an alarm clock) but take the weeks of slow slogs or multiple recoveries when they happen. The good stuff comes.

    Improvement happens while recovering from a stimulus. 9 at threshold is a stimulus. Now recover. 20 miles is a stimulus... then recover.

    The fitter you get, the more often you can do the stimulus workouts. But not until then.

    All that to repeat what everyone is saying: you're doing great, relax, take the good with the bad. It's the only option.

  19. I wish I could give you some good advice on the mental aspect, but I'm still struggling with it myself. I've noticed since I've been running with Richie, that he will crank the pace up on me without telling me sometimes and I maintain some pretty fast paces without really knowing it. Sometimes I don't start feel the pace until I glance at my Garmin.

    So, I'm going to try to run a little more by feel on my tempo run tomorrow.

  20. i know what you mean about psyching yourself out before hard workouts. i do the same thing and i wish i knew how to stop! but you had an excellent week. that threshold workout sounds very tough and you did well to finish 9 of the 10 miles.

  21. That sounds like such a hard workout! 9 or 10 threshold miles is way more than I ever attempt. Nice job and great pace.