Rest up!

My legs didn't exactly come around during last week's down week.  Bummer, I was really hoping they would.

All I can do now is make changes to the next week and a half to try to get them feeling snappy and fresh again.  Jerry is so key to this... I, being "type A, love to run a zillion miles, take satisfaction in beating myself into a pulp" still strongly dislike reigning things in.  I've gotten better about accepting the changes and knowing I need them... but I still hate them, nonetheless.  I know I will take more satisfaction by cruising to new PRs at TC 10 and NYC than the extra mileage we're taking out - so therefore, I won't put up too much of a fight.

I also never know the best way to rest up fatigued legs - day off?  Two?  Lay off speed work?  Just run easy?  Luckily I have Jerry and he always has a plan.  I trust in him and trust in my training. 

What brought about the plan changes?  I had another workout Tuesday that wasn't as fast as it should have been.  In fact, it was pretty slow.  Granted, it was THE hardest workout of the entire cycle (21 miles total: 3 WU, 4.25 miles T, 5 min rest, 3.25 T, 4 min rest, 2.5 T, 3 min rest, 1.6 T, 2 min rest, .85 T, CD to round out the 21) - but that's no excuse.  It would have been one thing if I came unraveled at the end because it was so long/fast.  But, on the contrary, I could hardly move during the first segment.  It's that slow motion feeling where you know you're reaching to go faster but you literally can NOT.  Some of the last minutes of the segments were really ugly, like someone was pushing the slow motion button on me.  I know I shouldn't have let the thought come in my head, but after one of the segments I saw a movie of someone that had suddenly been put into slow motion.  They're talking normally -- and then they're talking reeeaaallllyyy slowly.  The last few minutes of the long segments were exactly this - I'd turn a corner or transition myself to running downhill or uphill and my legs would come off.  Like 6:40-pace come off.

Later that evening my calves, ankles and feet felt swollen.  Weird, never had that?  I woke up with a calf cramp as well.  Super.  Sooo..... I obviously am beyond that "good point" line.  I'm a little disappointed in allowing myself to get here (I try to monitor this very closely - but guess I've been telling myself to hang on until the "down week" - which was probably a week to 1.5 weeks too late in the cycle.  Note to self for next cycle).  I'm also wondering why I'm here?  Good to reflect so you can make adjustments & get better.
-I think the biggest reason is work related stress, since I've entered the period of time where I'm literally on my computer all day, every day - and still find myself with a to-do list filling up an entire dry erase board.  *Sigh*  I would love nothing more than to feel caught up.  I'm trying not to stress about it, since I only have two hands and one brain... and they can only work so quickly, but the late nights and constant "not done" feeling wear on you, definitely.

-I haven't been as good about strength since work got a lot busier.  No excuse for that! This week I've felt the difference - just not as strong in my arms and core.  I HATE that feeling.  I'm considering getting in a strength workout before work in the mornings.  When I leave it for the evening I always find myself scrambling to finish work until late and then thinking that bed sounds like a better idea than a strength routine.  Maybe I should bring my free weights to work and do them out by the river over lunch?  See what the construction workers have to say about that?  Hahaha :)
-Water.  Dehydration is probably a part of the equation as well.  Darn the sneaky dry fall.  I finally washed my water bottle at work & am committed to drinking 3 of them before I head home for the day.  If only you could drink a lot and not have to go to the bathroom so often...

I say this not in a "hard on myself" way, more with a chuckle and a "okay, hmm, what now?" attitude.  Like I said, I trust in the fitness and mileage I have in me, I just need to find a way to bring it out again.  It'll come.  5.5 weeks to NYC, 1.5 to the 10 mile.  In the mean time, I'm enjoying a little bit of down time, promising Jerry that I'll spend the minutes I would be running either drinking water or sleeping.  Wish me luck! 

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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