Nearly a month since I've blogged. This is definitely not the way to get my blog noticed so I can become a sponsored athlete and get to test cool gear and participate in all the fun races for free! LOL
Actually, the worst part about not blogging is that there have been so many emotions running through me and so many really deep and meaningful thoughts - but then I don't write them down so I forget them. And truly that's the purpose for this blog. As much as becoming a sponsored athlete would be fantastic, and as much as I would love to be the source of inspiration for other adult-onset athletes, the main reason that I blog is so that I don't forget any of this journey. So when I don't have the time to write it down, then it's gone forever. And that is a shame.
So, let's see where I left off in my training logs - Week #13? That's a shame. I just finished up Week #18!
In the last month I have done 18 mile and 20 mile training runs. I had a lot of aches and pains after both of them. In fact, during last Saturday's 20 mile training run, I felt my IT Band flare up again in the last two miles. It's been very discouraging. Last year when I was training for the Half Ironman, I felt fantastic! No aches. No pains. Rarely even a twinge. Even with several 16 mile runs! But this year, I cut down my cycling and swimming to 30-60 minutes each twice a week and have been feeling random aches and pains since August. I really don't understand it and, personally, I do not think it's fair.
What's that saying about life not being fair? Yeah, great.
I started thinking to myself, "This is just like last time." It's hard not to feel that way. I'm not sure why I get surprised when things don't go the way I want them to or expect them to. Surely I have lived long enough to realize that it's just the way it works. Perhaps I should have been more grateful last year when nothing went wrong during 70.3 training, instead of just assuming it was because I was doing "all the right things"?
In other words, why do I continually think that I can control the outcomes in my life by following what I perceive to be the 'right plan' or taking the 'right steps'?
So, since that obviously doesn't work, what can I do? Is there anything to be learned from the last 5 weeks of marathon training? Or is this "Just Like Last Time"?
I can choose how to respond. I typed "react" at first and then came back and changed it to "respond" because that word better represents what I want to do. React seems more immediate and spur of the moment. Respond implies deliberate and thoughtful execution. Here is I how I responded:
1. Focus more on rolling and stretching.
2. Drop down the pace and increase the run/walk intervals.
3. Epsom salts baths twice per week instead of only after the long run.
4. Make hydration a priority.
5. When the twinges went from random spots after the 18 miler to the IT Band during the 20 miler, I resumed the IT Band Rehab routine from StrengthRunning.com. I also focused on my form and activating my glutes. I know where my own IT Band issues come from so I spent my time on those areas.
6. Dropped cycling since I was feeling the twinges more during and after rides on the trainer.
7. I was also able to find a massage therapist who works in a local PT office so I went to see her and had her work on my hamstrings and hips - the tight spots that cause my IT Band problems.
It sounds like a lot of change but it really wasn't that dramatic. It was just a way of adjusting what I was already doing to accommodate the changes in my training. Training isn't a static process. I can't focus on the training I WISH I had, but only on the training as it really happened. I wish I wasn't feeling aches and pains and IT Band problems. But I did, so I have to take action.
So even though the IT Band flare-up is Just Like Last Time, my reaction to it is not. I learned so much from that time in my life and I was able to apply it! And this week, UNLIKE last time, I was able to complete both a 40 minute training run and a 10 mile training run (and a few gentle swims, and 8 hours on my feet at a rock concert LOL).
I'm 15 days away from race day now, and feeling positive! I skipped my run today, not because I was feeling badly but because it was thunderstorming and I do not want to get struck by lightning! I did my 20 miler last week in the pouring rain and most of my runs in the last few months have been in the rain. I decided yesterday that if it were raining today, I'd be skipping the run! I am OVER running in the rain. But if it's raining on race day, I shall be well prepared! :D
So I guess I'm pretty much caught up on my thoughts to this point. I am having a hard time getting focused on the excitement of the race but only because there is so much else that has to happen first. Nutcracker rehearsals for one girl. Solo audition results for the other girl. Last driver's ed class. Drama and dance performance. Meeting with the dance company director to discuss career options. PSAT. And THAT is just between now and Wednesday! Is it any wonder I'm having trouble focusing on something that's 15 days away?
Thanks for continuing to follow along on this journey, even when I am not doing a very good job with posting! I hope your training is going well this fall!