Marathon Musings

Head games are strong with this one.

I think I finally figured out why I was so panicky the week before SLO.   Other then the leg issue, that was real.  I know my last few years races have been rough but it seemed like I was stressing more than I should for a race that I wasn’t planning to try for a PR at.  A course I had run twice before so I knew what I was in for.   I don’t think my panic had anything to do with SLO, it was about this week.    This is the week where marathon training got serious.  #shitgotreal

What I haven’t mentioned is that I chucked my training plan out the window.   I spent weeks mashing my McMillan plan with a Higdon Novice 2 plan.  I gave myself an Excel headache over it.  😝   The more I looked at it, the more I didn’t think it was enough.  I also realized how poorly I had followed McMillan last year.  The only thing I remember really doing was hill repeats, all of the speed work outs looked completely foreign to me.   Apparently, denial also runs strong in this one.  Oops.

So I started over.  I did the research, a lot, and I found an 18 week plan that I liked.  It seemed intense for a Slacker like me but it also seemed doable.   Doable if I put in the work that is.  That is always the question.   In fact I don’t even want to say how I’m training as I know it’s the crazy train for a Slacker.  Even after a modification, it’s a little scary on paper.   Let’s see if I can get through the next month without flaming out.

The first 5 weeks were easy- as I was already running more than the mileage scheduled, I was supposed to wait until the plan caught up to me.  It caught up.    Ahhh, crap.     Thursday’s run in particular was freaking me out.  A 5 mile tempo not counting warm up or cool down?  After work?!  Tempo’s scare the hell out of me.    Which is why I wanted them in my training plan.

SLO kicked my ass and I couldn’t even really explain why.   What was I thinking signing up for a marathon?  My confidence took a beating and my past history with tempos wasn’t helping.  I can’t remember the last time I ran without taking a walk break.  I was thinking of numerous ways to rationalize bailing on the whole thing or cutting it short.   But I’d already made one adjustment this week since SLO hurt a little more than I had planned so I told myself to get over it and just run.

Spoiler:  I kicked that tempo’s ass.  Probably a little too much as it was 30 seconds fast; I was aiming for 10:18.   Considering I didn’t even think I could maintain a 10:30 pace for 5 miles, I’ll take it!  Plus, for me, that is remarkably consistent pace.

I needed that, I really did.   Even if the rest of the month knocks me down- and I know it will- this one run will keep going through the misery.  😝

Now, hopefully my legs will like me in the morning.

What run scares you? 

What do you hate running?  Love running?




16 thoughts on “Marathon Musings

  1. Good job kicking that tempo run’s ass!

    Although I will say, for a first timer whose only goal is to complete the distance, it’s really not necessary to do speed work, especially not every week. The most important thing for the marathon is doing your long runs and getting those miles in. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t feel bad about cutting some of the workouts and taking it easy. You can always add some strides or fartlek to an easy run if your legs are itching.


    1. Thanks!

      I am going to try to listen to my body as best as I can. I just didn’t feel like my original plan was going to prepare me enough. I could see where my tendency to be lazy could be abused leading to a horrible race. What helped me with this plan is that the speed work and tempo paces are all doable. So while I do have a tempo every week, a 10:18 pace seems manageable. It used to be my comfortable pace. I figured I would give myself a few weeks and see how I feel, I do have a step back plan if needs be.


  2. YES! Way to go on that tempo run. You said it yourself: doing the things that scare you will make you better and faster. You can do eet!


  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! Tempo runs will help you feel stronger both mentally and physically. It’s a great way to push yourself to do something and eventually to be comfortable with it. Don’t give up! You are off to an amazing start and I am so incredibly proud of you. Way to go!


    1. Seriously, that was a pretty awesome feeling when I hit mile 5. 🙂 I don’t know if I will ever be comfortable with them but I am hopeful! I just need to keep thinking- “I think I can, I think I can”.


  4. So, my goal was to run (2) 5k before June, and I got in one IRL one and I have a virtual in a couple weekends (couldn’t find a live one that fit my sched)… but that goal was set so that I would have the confidence to start training for a 10k.
    Now that the deadline is here – my head is full of freakouts!! So, I love that you found a way to push yourself, love that you are not letting fear rule you and you rocked those numbers!!!! 🙂


    1. I would say don’t freak out but I think that’s just a part of racing. I am not good at the mental games and I need to work on that, I think I will schedule some races during training just so I don’t have a panic attack on race morning! You can and will totally rock a 10k!!!


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