Shockingly, I had another week of travel. I know, it’s super surprising at this point, right? I’ve never felt more homeless in my entire life. Haha. Oh well, I think my schedule will be slowing down a bit in March, and I am definitely looking forward to that. This week wasn’t just tough from a work perspective; I also struggled a lot with my running workouts. I completed all of them, but in all honesty, I’m just getting sick of speedwork.
I’ll talk about it a bit more in just a moment, but mentally I’m so ready to enjoy more easy runs in the near future. I traveled up to Austin Monday afternoon, and spent most of the week working up there. Lots of meetings. Lots of people. Lots of fatigue. Fortunately, I managed to get in all of my workouts this week. If you’re interested in reading more about how I fit in training while traveling for work, take a look at last week’s recap, Working Out While Traveling for Work.
Tuesday was a rest day for me, and I took the opportunity to have dinner with a couple of work friends, and it was a really fun night. We had some wine and Lebanese food (so good), and a whole lot of candy. It was nice to have a night where I was unplugged and not working out. Since we’re all working ladies, we called it a night early, and I was back at my hotel and in bed by 10pm. I was still pooped the next day from all the laughing, but I really cherish girlfriends who respect an early bedtime.
Wednesday I dropped back into the RK512 box for quite the burner. 40 burpees in a row is just silly. After my tempo run on Thursday, I had a morning meeting and then came back home that evening. It was nice to see my boys, and just have a relaxing evening. I made it through Friday, had an amazing dinner, and got everything ready for my long run on Saturday.
This was the first of two weeks where I will be extending my long runs. This week’s prescribed long run is 16 miles, but I bumped it up to 17. In order to stay in line with Hanson’s recommendations on weekly mileage vs long runs, I added 4 total miles to my weekday runs. I did this by adding 2 miles to Wednesday’s run, and 2 miles to Friday’s. That certainly brought my mileage up a bit higher than previous weeks. I prepared by eating a lot of carbs and complaining about speedwork, haha.
In full transparency, I’m at the end of my training block and feeling pretty ready to be done. So here’s how I’m feeling about speedwork lately, and what I do when I start to feel sick of speedwork.
Sick of Speedwork
For a little context, this is my third round of marathon training with the Hansons Marathon Method in a fairly short period of time. I started training for the St. George Marathon in June, and then realized I wouldn’t be able to travel about 6 weeks before the race. Which meant I was a little over halfway through the training plan when I decided to restart and train for the Dallas Marathon in January. The Dallas Marathon went great, and I took about a week off running, and spent another week casually running before I started training for my next Marathon in March.
I knew there was a HUGE chance that my body would not be pleased with my decision. I usually give myself a good 1-3 months in between marathon training blocks to let my body come back to life and forgive me. But I wanted to get in one last shot at a BQ before the joys of Texas summer heat slowed me down. So, here we are. Things have been holding up pretty well, in all honesty. And this training block has been almost perfect in terms of executing workouts and following the plan.
But the Hansons plan incorporates two speedwork sessions per week (one tempo and one track/strength run). If you’re interested in reading more about the program, check out my full Hansons Marathon Method Review. What that means for me is that I’ve been completing two speed workouts a week for somewhere around 8 months. Which is dumb. Speedwork is by nature exhausting and hard, and getting in 8 workouts a month for 8 months takes it toll.
Especially when I consider that the goal I am working towards is absolutely a stretch goal for me. I am not a naturally fast runner. It takes a lot of training, discipline, and effort for me to run a reasonably fast pace that is probably pretty easy for a lot of runners. Because the plan bases your workout paces based on your marathon goal (3:25 for me), these workouts are REALLY freaking hard for me. Like stomach falling out of my body, making plea’s to God on the track, hard.
And it’s not just that it’s hard on my body, it’s also tough mentally. Getting up for a workout that you know is going to make you feel three steps away from death at 5am is a substantial mental battle. And thankfully, it’s been a battle that I’ve won. But battles are exhausting, so I hear on tv. And my mind and my body are just feeling worn out and tired. So, how do I keep lacing up my shoes and heading out the door, knowing that I am going to be HURTING for the next 90 minutes? I’ll tell you.
What I’m doing
I am really relying on my ability to utilize mindfulness techniques. Instead of hitting repeat number 3 of 5 and instantly panicking about how hard it was and how there’s no way sets 4 and 5 are going to be any easier, I bring myself back to the present. I remind myself that there’s no value in worrying about repeat number 4 until I am in repeat number 4, and focus on what I am doing right now instead. I get myself through every tough mile one step at a time, and negotiate with myself. I tell myself that will keep pushing for as long as I can, and if I NEED To stop in 2 minutes or 15 minutes, I’ll deal with it then, but I am too far in to play it safe and give up before I absolutely have to.
Taking recoveries a little slower
In my track and strength workouts, when I’m running repeats, I’ve found that I need to slow down even more than I have in the past in order to try to recover. It’s humbling running at a 10 min mile pace when you just ran 2-3 miles at a 6:40 pace, but if that’s what needs to happen so that I can get through the next repeat, well that’s what I’m going to do. I toss my ego off the road and run like grandma.
Paying attention to fueling
I’m no dietician, and I certainly don’t have a perfect diet. But I do know that I feel a whole lot better when I fuel appropriately for the level of work I am doing. When I travel, it can be easy to overlook this, and get so caught up in work that I’m not focusing on making sure I am eating enough. But one or two bad workouts snaps my stubborn butt back into reality real quick. My deep love of carbs also helps here. The harder and longer the runs, the more fuel I need before and after, and I’ve been prioritizing this adjustment in my diet.
As a side note, I decided to create a PDF with my favorite pre-long run breakfasts, organized by long run distance. If you’ve ever felt stuck picking out a breakfast, head over to my Home page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get the free PDF.
Focusing on Strength Gains
When I am feeling like absolute trash and every part of my body except the tip of my nose is hurting, I try to remind myself that the struggle is where I am growing. The toughness of the workouts are what is making me stronger, and the only way I will reach my goals is to do the hard work. I also remind myself that I will not feel comfortable running an 8 minute mile for 26.2 miles. So I might as well get used to being uncomfortable, and allow myself to practice leaning into the discomfort. It’s not fun, but it’s not exactly supposed to be.
Related Post: How to Keep Running When You Want to Quit
It is exactly in these difficult moments where having a coach can be a huge benefit. A strong coach can help you find the mental tricks that will help you keep pushing when you’re feeling burnt out, or how to adjust your training plan if needed. If you’re interested in run coaching, please reach out through my Contact Me page.
This Weeks Workouts
Total Miles: 66.5
Hansons Marathon Method, Week 13
How the Runs Felt
I’ve already shared how I felt about the speed workouts this week. I hit all my paces for both workouts, but let me tell you, they were damn hard. At least that’s how they felt. Some weeks, it feels like everything just clicks. This week it felt a baseball bat clicked right into my legs. So that might be dramatic, but these speed workouts are really kicking my butt this week.
This week’s mileage was the highest mileage I have ever hit in one week, and let me tell you I felt every single mile. Wednesday I did my run out at Lady Bird Lake on the board walk and trail, and that was actually really nice. It took me a couple miles to feel like I was getting into my groove and easy paces actually felt easy. Friday’s run felt like it was taking forever.
With how I had been feeling for the last couple of weeks, I was pretty nervous about my long run on Saturday. I feel pretty confident in my decision to extend my last two long runs, but I also know this mileage is going to be tough on my body. Despite my nerves about Saturday, I prepped everything I needed Friday evening, had a few extra carbs, and got to bed early. I shared my night before a long-run routine on my IG Stories. If you’d like to check it out, take a peek at my IG account.
Saturday morning, I made the decision to just relax and enjoy my run. And I reminded myself that mindset is a hell of a thing. The sun was out, the sky was incredibly blue, the air was crisp, and the birds were singing. I ran without headphones for a couple of miles just to decompress a little. Saturday’s run was exactly what I was needing. Running just for the enjoyment of movement. My stomach had a hard time in the last mile or so, so I can see that I still need to do some trouble shooting before the race. WHICH IS ONE MONTH AWAY!
What I’ve Been Listening To
The NightOwl Podcast started its new season, and between that and This is Why We Drink, I am learning so much about the paranormal. I’m not hating it one bit. I also came across a show called The First Degree, which is a show hosted by three super interesting people. They research and explore a mixture of true crime, paranormal, and cults, and within the show they play interview clips with a person who was separated by one degree. The first episode I listened to was an interview with the cult leader, Jim Jones’s son. It was so damn good, 10/10 recommend.
How the WODs felt
I actually felt stronger this week, despite the fatigue. Monday I was able to workout as usual. The WOD was a long one, but the weight wasn’t frustratingly heavy, which was nice. Wednesday, I dropped into RK512 once again, and hot damn all those burpees felt like death. I hadn’t done a great job prioritizing my core workouts this week, so on Thursday I decided to do a weighted core workout. I like throwing these into the mix, especially when I’ve been slacking for a while. I’ve had a few questions on what my favorite core workouts are, so I decided to share below.
Friday’s workout was another workout that felt like it was never going to end. As sick as I am of speedwork, I am even more sick of burpees. They make me naseuous, and I’m pretty sure they are straight from the pit of hell. There was zero rest for this workout, and I felt like I was on the struggle bus the entire time. But I survived, mostly.
What Went Well
Nutrition and hydration have continued to be consistent for me. And while I didn’t do a great job fitting my core work and stretching in at the beginning of the week, I did get my act together eventually. I incorporated both into my days on Thursday, Friday, and even Saturday. So technically I got in my three days. Maybe next week I won’t wait until the last three damn days.
I also spent some time not working and not working out, which I’m not always good at. My husband had a little more time off this weekend, so we met up with him and a friend at Torchy’s Tacos on Saturday. We went out for dinner in the hill country later that evening. Three social activities in one week is pretty amazing for me, and I’m glad that I prioritized some fun time.
What Went Shitty
My stomach has not been loving my hard workouts and long runs. It hasn’t caused much of an issue during the runs themselves, but it hasn’t been fun times afterwards. I don’t think dehydration is the issue, since I have been doing pretty well with drinking a lot of water throughout the week. I need to do some research and see if there’s anything I can do other than taking pepto tabs before my workouts. I read a recommendation to stop drinking coffee before runs, and let me just say that recommendation is terrifying.
Plans to Improve Next Week
Next week I am looking forward to a lower mileage week, and trying not to stress about the speedwork.