I am torn... Should I put on my running clothes, lace up my shoes and head out into the pouring rain to try to catch up on my missed mileage? Should I pour myself a stiff Gin & Tonic, whine, complain, make excuses, beg for a massage and attempt to make an appointment with my overbooked chiropractor? I'm opting for stepping into my blogging confessional to share my sad tale of my embarrassingly dismal 8 mile week.
There is no hiding from the blank pages of my running log. 8 MILES?! During spring break?! I'm training for a fucking marathon here! C'mon! I can't even begin to remember when the last time I logged so few miles. My training has been uber-consistent. I have been following my carefully crafted training plan for months now. Until this week, not only had I not missed a single run or mile but have also managed to include speed work, long run, easy and recovery runs into my routine. I am wavering between self loathing and disbelief as I sit here trying to figure out what went wrong. Where has my mojo done?
I had 38 miles slated for the week. Seriously, that shouldn't have been any problem whatsoever. I was off for the week with my family for spring break. We were in beautiful Bend at a rustic 1,000 acre ranch with miles and miles of trails. I was surrounded by lots of family who would've gladly cared for my children while I ran. So what happened? I've had a rough joyless last two weeks of running. This is very rare for me. I LOVE to run! I usually look forward running and dread my rest days. As if that wasn't bad enough, my old injuries are resurfacing. Medial tibial stress syndrome, achilles tendonitis, along with some general knots in my glutes and hamstrings have made running less than fluid and sometimes downright painful. Would someone please remind me why I'm doing this to myself?
As if that weren't enough to keep a girl down, Bend has an elevation of 3,600-4,000 feet whereas Eugene has the elevation of 500 feet. Do you have any idea how that disparity might feel? Well, it feels like crap! I felt like a beginning runner again. My legs felt like lead. I couldn't get my breathing under control. I felt nauseous. I wanted to stop. My first run was a whopping 3 miler done at around 10:30 pace. My second run was a 5 miler done at a little over 10 min/mi. Scenary was gorgeous, weather was perfect but no matter how hard I tried to adjust my thinking, I just couldn't get into either run and was relieved when they were over. I had no desire to get out to torture myself at altitude. Not only had a freaked myself out the previous week of marathon training but this week freaked me out about my plans to run my first ultra, the Siskiyou Outback at an even greater elevation than Bend! Again, why I am I doing this to myself?
So there's no way around it. No way to make up for 30 miles of running that didn't happen. I'm going to put my faith in the what experts and fellow runners say about when they're feeling low, unmotivated or otherwise slacking in their training. What I am hoping that I just took my friends, is well-needed rest-week. I'm getting up early tomorrow morning, sporting my orange reflective vest and a miner headlamp and pulling myself up by my Asic's straps and getting back out there to run joyfully. In the meantime, I think I'll pour myself a GNT and think about all the fun things I did with my family that *gasp* didn't revolve around running during a fabulous spring break away together. Five more weeks of marathon training to go...