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It has been a little quiet over here lately.  Busy.  But I have been quiet.  It seemed that February was a month for taking steps backwards when all I really wanted to do was move forward.  With renewed vigor, March blew in like a lion.  At the time, I had two months until the full marathon in Big Sur.  I ran 12 miles by my lonesome last Sunday going back and forth four times (four times!!!) on a small portion (the less hilly part) of Cushman Trail.

After that run, I felt like running Big Sur was totally doable.  After the half marathon this weekend, I feel less confident.  Let’s pretend, I was awesome running this last race & that I could sustain 13.1 more miles, I would finish a full marathon in about seven hours.  One hour shy of the time limit.  Being swept from the Big Sur course seems inevitable.

I want to be good running these races and it is just not happening.  I struggle from the very first step.  Okay, miles 2-7 are usually good but before & after that, I struggle – both mentally & physically.  My mom has threatened me with a session with my psychologist dad à la Tin Cup but I am not quite sure it will help (plus, I might cry).  Training runs seem mentally easy compared to race day.

Maybe the goal is too big.  Maybe there is too much pressure.  Maybe my expectations are too high.

I lunched with a couple of runner friends Sunday who completed two half marathons in two days.  They were so happy.  I have not walked away from a race feeling jubilant since last July.  I wonder if I should take a step back.  Focus on perfecting the shorter distances.  (The word “perfecting” has not been lost on me.)

Anywho… we’ll see what the next week brings as I get to run outside more (yay DST!).

Training for Big Sur during volleyball season has been difficult.  For several reasons: the biggest is time or lack thereof but I also think my commitment has waned a bit.  After practice, I’m so energized, I have a hard time falling asleep.  When my alarm goes off at 4:30a, the choice to fall back asleep usually wins out.  As I’m resetting the alarm for 6:30, there is an inner conversation about how I can best rearrange my schedule to get a run in after work.  Sometimes it means I have to double up on night activities (practice, or playing volleyball), which is hard on the body.  And also means I have little or no time to make a healthy dinner.

In addition, I thought signing up to run my long runs with a training group would eliminate my slacking.  Until, I realized between races & volleyball tournaments, I would mostly be running on my own.  Eight consecutive weeks of running without a training group.  The motivation comes easier when you are running with a group of people.

And this is where you queue the music – you know the one: from Rocky IV when Rocky is running in the Soviet Union in the snow.

The gauntlet has been thrown.  The challenge has been issued.  For the next eight weeks, my life is nothing but marathon training.  There are no more alarm resets.  There are no more schedule adjustments.  100% focus on running this race.  And running it well.

This morning when my alarm went off at 4:30a, after pushing snooze a few times (planned!), I headed to the gym.  Day one down.

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on the road