Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Mental Game
So I've been training for my first full marathon. And it hasn't been going well. I started with an intermediate plan (I used a similar one for my PR half last year and figured, mistakenly, that I was more experienced than those for whom the beginner plan seemed to be designed, HA!). I was loving it, until I blew out my knee. While walking between intervals. Seriously. So then the knee healed and I scaled down to a rookie plan. Oh, and saw a chiropractor. I had a few glorious weeks where I was loving my 14-16 mile runs and feeling only the kind of pain one would expect when running 14-16 miles at a time. And then. I ran 18 miles last weekend and, for the first 15, felt pretty fast and awesome. The last 3 miles were a bit of a struggle, but again, no more than one would expect. I sorta knew I probably wasn't ready to do the prescribed 5 two days later, but as Josee had a random fever, I couldn't take her to the Y to cross-train, so 'had' (gotta love my logic) to take out the ol' double stroller. Well, it became clear after 2.5 miles that something was wrong with my leg. Knee maybe, perhaps IT band, perhaps both. Since then nothing has gone well. Now, a month from the race, I'm planning to spend 90 percent of the remaining time 'aqua-jogging' (somebody please buy me a gun) and hope I can just get to the race and finish it. The frustrating part is that I know I have the cardiovascular and mental fitness to finish that bad boy in 4 hours, but at this point, I figure I'll be lucky to be under 5 hours considering if my IT band acts like it has been, I will have to walk a fair bit. I've been obsessively reading up on this subject and I read about a guy whose long run only got up to 8 miles, ran very little besides that 8 miles, and managed to finish the 26.2 in 5.5 hours, and only walked between 6-7 miles altogether. So. I figure I should be able to be AT LEAST as fast as him, right? I ran my first half marathon with an IT band injury that became excruciating after mile 2 and though I managed to finish in under 2 hours, it really was not an enjoyable experience so I was hoping to avoid that kind of misery for my first full. The thing is, when I ran a half UN-injured, it was actually FUN. Like, I was able to run it like a 10 mile warm-up to a 3 mile race. Somehow I seriously doubt that I will be racing those last 6.2 miles in a few short weeks. Anyway, wish me luck.