Blech, Blerg, Blarg…

16 miles (Monday-Friday)
Slacking Strides

It’s taper time.  And I’m burned out.  I could write about how I feel, but it was done so eloquently here on Kate’s blog.

And yes, I realize this is going to come across as whiny and probably ungrateful.  And I’m sorry.  I know I’m complaining about some things that most people would be glad to just do. Things at Casa de Striding Mom have been really tough for the last month in the personal arena leaving me spent, burnt out (beyond running) and probably excessively whiny.  Maybe I’m a brat, but mostly, I’m just really raw.  

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Boston is in 10 days and I should be all, “Yay I’m running Boston!” but honestly I’m mostly conflicted.

I had a goal - a super goal.  I wanted to get my tiny hiney to scoot 26.2 miles in 3:2x (fill in the x with any number of your choosing).

You pick yourself up off the floor yet?

Insert your best laughing face….You pick yourself up off the floor yet?

After the impromptu marathon training cycle that was hit by all sorts of craptastic weather, viruses, bacteria and a crap-ton of antibiotics and an adaptive schedule that required more flexibility than a Cirque de Soleil contortionist, I’m resigned to go from big goal to just finish.

Eh.

And then there’s the whole matter of “Yay! I get to go to Boston [I’ve never been, totally un-American, right? I haven’t spent much time on the right coast] and explore a new city!“.

Instead I’m mostly in tears every time I think about leaving these buttheads behind.

2013-01-301Not to mention the plague of inadequacy that has taken over.  I have run one marathon before this.  ONE.  Ask me to run a half and I’ll do it on the drop of a hat pretty much any day, anywhere, but I have about ZERO comfort in my ability to run another full marathon.  Does that make me an un-super runner?  Maybe, but mostly I think I’m just one who really likes running 13.1 miles because she has 2 jobs and 3 kids and zero free time to train to run 26.2 without sucking the life out of me.

Am I coming across as whiny and ungrateful?  Probably.

I know, #firstworldproblems…blah, blah, blah…I’m being annoying.

Am I sorry?  Mostly.

If you want to give me a kick in the pants reality check in the comments, go for it.  I could probably use it.  And if you have any advice on how to sneak 3 kids in a suitcase, feel free to let me know.

The Taper Game

On Saturday the crew and I worked our way up the coast a bit to visit some family and attended “opening day” for a local yacht club – no not our typical Saturday of basketball, soccer, and sweat.  After a loooooong (especially if you’re 6 & 8) ceremony, they handed out sparkling cider & champagne for a toast.

For 10 minutes, the boys remained tortured holding their glasses of sparkling cider, but unable to drink the liquid goodness.  I turned around and saw this:

IMG_3115Watching every bubble float, smelling the sweet nectar…but ah ah ah – no taste.

Getting to taper for a marathon is kind of like that.  Months of feeling the sweat, tasting the electrolytes, feeling the pound of the pavement over and over and over…and well, you get it…but no real sense of what the 26.2 is going to look like.

You finish your training on tired legs and just wait for your body to get rest, restore and prepare for the 26.2 miles that lies ahead.

The close of my training wasn’t pretty.  

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Why yes, my son did take a nice crotch shot of my icing my groin.  I may have forgotten the ice was there and was doing my “best dramatic post-long run pose”.

Actually none of this training cycle was pretty.  At best, it was improvisational marathon training – at worst, it was a bunch of haphazard long-runs tossed in with a slightly more than average mileage sandwiched between a ridiculously busy winter schedule.  Work,  doctor’s appointments, school events, practices for this, that and the other, orthodontist appointments, soccer games, family priorities and sickness of every sort imaginable kind of dominated the training and I just did what I could, when I could do it.

And it ended with a 20-miler that went down in a ball of fury leaving a trail of self-doubt, regret and frustration about what’s going to happen in 3 weeks.  Grrrr.

Of course, I started out my final (and sadly first) 20-miler all ready to kill it.  I was mentally set to run 4 perfectly timed 5 mile blocks and while I got through 15 of them in spectacular fashion – the fatigue of not enough cutback weeks and sleep deprivation set in and miles 15-20 were about as spectacular as a bad Lifetime movie, which is to say, it was so bad that you could hardly look away.

Taste, but no real picture of what it’s going to look like.  I sure just hope it’s better than the final chapter of the training.

What’s your best taper story?

How do you stay mentally tough after a really bad final workout?

Can and Can’t

After plenty of derailing, I’m working on getting Boston training back on track.
In 8 days I got 49 miles in, which is right where I need to be.  In addition I learned a lot about what I can and can’t do.

I CAN do this brutal workout.

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Well, I’ll certainly feel THAT tomorrow…

Somehow in the middle of my run, I decided it would be a genius idea to run to the top of a really hilly trailhead so I could get a glimpse of the ocean.  Brilliant.

I CAN’T make this noise

My kids have been trying to teach me this sound forever.  All this mama wants is to be able to sound like a machine gun like all of the other moms do.  But apparently I’m deficient, defunct, devoid of any and all skill making me able to do this…well until my coach gets to me at the end.

I CAN mentally psych myself out
During my long run I spent miles 1-5 berating myself and thinking I’ll never be marathon ready.  It was exhausting.  Miles 5-12 were fabulous and I was all “I can do this!”.  Then miles 12-17.5 (which were straight into a 30ish mph headwind) I cursed the day I started running and my head was filled with fears of walking 13 of the 26.2 in April.

I CAN’T mentally psych myself out
Game on.  If I’m going to do an unideal 26.2 training I need to remember that I’m my own worst enemy.  Must. not. let. brain. win.

I CAN prop up my legs post run.
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For what it’s worth I didn’t get much time right after my run due to soccer games.  Instead, I made my way through the Oscars legs up, kids wanting to see who won our selection contest.

I CAN’T expect my children to be normal while I rest.
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Any time I sit down for a few minutes my kids utilize this chance to grab my full attention and have some fun with it.  For the record, my son had said something that I misunderstood for “sexy shoes” which was very confusing for me.  He decided to show me what it meant to wear sexy shoes.  Apparently if you’re wearing heels, you should really pair them with shinguards and knee high socks.

What CAN you do?

What CAN’T you do?

I’m Ba-a-a-ack

10 miles
Yep, weekly total…Sad, Sad Strides

Wonder where I’ve been the last week?  Let me share a little remake of a song to explain:

It’s been one week since you sneezed on me,
Gave me strep throat and sip on my green tea.
Five days since I got the flu,
Fever after fever and chronic fatigue too.
Three days since I got to run,
Watching Boston training go, and realize there’s been none.
Yesterday the fever’s gone,
But it will be two weeks before I finally get a good run.

Yep, the hazmat suit didn’t work and my week looked a lot like this:

IMG_2958Back in December, when I got the famed, 100 days until Boston email I was all gung ho, printed out my training plan (who am I?), stocked up on Nuun and energy gels and was ready to rock it from here to April.

I had my hopes pinned on this….

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Instead, it’s been set back after set back after setback.  Hurt feet, onslaught of flu viruses, sick kids, sick me, etc.  Instead of sipping electrolytes to hydrate before, during or after long runs – I’m pounding it to stay hydrated from relentless fevers. My long run weekends have capped out at 14.  And I have 7 weeks until the race.

I think it’s time for me to officially say goodbye to my 3:20-something goal to ring in my 32nd birthday.

So I need your advice.

How do I get back on track?  

How do I adjust marathon training when I know my body’s nowhere near 100%?  

Can I get from a 14 mile base to marathon ready in 7 weeks?

The Big Guns

12.5 Miles
Scrupulous Strides

With the Boston warning in my head, I set out to do my first longer-ish type run on Saturday morning.  With the goal of 15, I set out on for a cool, crisp jaunt in Camarillo.

The theme of the run was suck, suck more, a little better, then back to sucking again and I squelched the whole deal 12.5 miles in and called it a morning.  Around mile 8 my knee was a bit tweaky.

My head:  Knee, shmee- push through it
My heart:  99 days until Boston, 99 Days until Boston, take one down, pass it around…1 Boston ending injury on your leg.

So I cut it short.  

While I was incapable of pulling out the big guns for my run, I made up for it by busting out the big guns later on at a party and busting some heads…or socking some stomachs.

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Seriously, you should all invite me to your parties because I’m such a good guest.  I mean, you’ll save on the food bill by giving your guests a knuckle sandwich.

When do you call it quits and when do you push through?

Where do you draw the line between aggressive and conservative in your training?