Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Changes and Challenges with Increased Training

I love noticing changes when I up my training.  I feel like I'm actually doing something and feel more confident.  Moving into my 3rd week of mileage in the low 40's I'm noticing that my quads feel and look more tone and my stomach feels flatter in the morning. My weight is staying the same so it means that I'm more tone.  I would like to lose 3 pounds (supposedly a pound equates to a minute in a marathon and I need to drop 3 minutes) but I'm not actively trying to lose weight or limit my intake.  This is a new level of fitness and I'm really enjoying it.   With this level of increased fitness also comes a tiredness.  I know 40 miles isn't a lot of miles compared to some people but it is for me.   Many runs I start and wonder how the heck will I make it through because my legs are so darn tired. The leg tiredness also joins me while I sleep.  After my 16 miler last weekend each time I turned over (and I'm like a rolling log in bed) I could feel the ache in my legs.  I have considered wearing my new SKINS to bed but that may be a little too geeky and non-sexy (like wearing a long T-Shirt with little cats on it is sexy).

I've realized the my memory is so very different from reality and when I compare reality to expectations, I come up short and get critical.  For example, the 16 miler was really uncomfortable the beginning miles because my legs were so tired.  Self doubt crept in, actually it didn't creep in...it did a triple jump into my thoughts, and I didn't know how I could complete the run feeling that way.  I'd forgotten from my last training that it is tiring to train, it challenging trying to fit in 40 miles a week into a schedule and it isn't easy.  Heck, if I wanted easy I would never be a runner in the first place.    I think every run should be like the feeling you get in a great race, where you're flying along, passing people, feeling great.  But the reality is, sometimes running is just getting the miles or finishing a run.

So here are things for me to remind myself.  Self (must be said in a different voice), every run won't be fantastic.  But you can ALWAYS do your best.  Your best will change from day to day.  If you're sick, your best will be different than when you feel good, are well rested and fueled. Second, you have to remember it takes at least 2 miles to warm up and work out the kinks. Finally, the aches during a run are usually fleeting and I shouldn't give them any attention.  (As I'm typing all this I know I still have to go for a run tonight and this may be advice I'll have to remind myself of).

Increasing my mileage has also left me hungrier.  Even when my mileage isn't in the 40's I'm hungry and can eat. I'm not one of those people that claim "I just forgot to eat".  How can someone forget to eat?  Besides the fact I feel shaky if I don't eat, I continually think about food and what I'm eating and when I get to eat next.  Vacations are great because activities are planned around when to eat next and when you're on vacation you can eat anything.

Overall, I'm really happy with how things are going right now and am thankful for the tiredness and the increased fitness.  Off I go for a 6'ish miler and then I get to eat!

Happy Running!


Teamarcia said...

Congrats on your progress so far. You're doing great!

Jenn said...

Congrats on the increased mileage! I would love to see that sexy tshirt with cats! I have a few similar!! Tired legs suck but there is something so rewarding about still completing your planned run when your legs feel like crap! I was starving all the time in my marathon training schedule. I was definitely in great shape but I somehow gained 6 pounds. I'm trying to be careful not to do that this time around! Good luck with the training! I love following you!

MelissaNibbles said...

Great progress!

Thanks for checking out my blog. To answer your question, the podcast I listen to is called "Moodstreams Guided Meditations." Have a great day!

RunKathyRun said...

I think we all have times when self doubt and "negative Nancy" rear their ugly heads. They can both turn a run into a battle and it can be a challenge to push these thoughts back & focus on the positive. I love the items you will use to remind yourself; your positive self talk.

You're going to rock your race and get that BQ!

April said...

I love reading your posts. I say if you sleep better wearing your SKINS, do it! At least until the soreness eases.
I am so with you on eating too, especially vacation eating!

Jamie said...

I felt the same way when I kicked it up to 40 and 50 mile weeks during my last marathon training. My hubby was in disbelief in how much I could sleep and eat! Keep up the great work!

Carol said...

40 mile weeks are nothing to sneeze at . . . that's a lot of miles. I think sometimes we forget that we're running a lot of miles and "lose respect for the mileage". (I can never seem to get over 30 but since I'm only doing 1/2's I guess that's OK.)

When my mind is trying its best to shut down my run, I try to sort out a complex issue or problem. It ties up the brain to the extent that it can't multitask well enough to keep sending me the "take the lazy way out" messages.

Sounds like your training is going really well so just put it on auto pilot and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

runningBarefoot said...

Great job on your progress! Change is good :)

kilax said...

That tired feeling means you sleep so well at night... I love it. The hunger thing gets me too. Last time I overate and gained. Ugh. You have to be so careful!

You're right - each run is different and deserves its own evaluation based on the circumstances. In the end though, you got out and did it so it's always a positive!

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