So in the spirit of "mo miles no problems"- I have been sticking with high mileage. It has been THREE weeks at 80 miles. Y'all. Do you know what type of commitment that is? How many hours that takes? The actual math skills it requires to add up all the runs correctly (and then re-add to make sure you ran 80 and not 38)??!!
Some thoughts on 80-80-80. HEY! HEY! HEY!
1. EAT!!!! I can eat any and everything. But really mostly EVERYTHING. Every minute not spent running is virtually spent eating. I've been trying to put a focus on nutrition these last few weeks though. Putting such a strain on my body I KNOW that I need to take my nutrition to the next level. There have been more nights of cooking and less nights of eating out in an effort to get more solid whole foods into my lil bod. I've been following insta's that have an emphasis on whole foods and raw foods (no worries. still 100% carnivore- but I know that getting some great ideas for incorporating more super foods/fruits/vegs into my life can only HELP my running/energy).
2. SCHEDULEEE!!! I am constantly having to plan ahead to make sure if I can't do a second workout one day- that SOMETIME that week those miles get done. That probably is one of the more stressful parts of it all. My life is a constant russian mile roulette where I am trying to figure out if I can squeeze in ONE LAST MILE before having to leave the house (i.e. how LATE will this last mile make me?!) I have mastered showering and leaving the house within 15 minutes of getting off the treadmill and cannot tell you the last time my hair has been blowdryed. Guys! This was the girl that in law school - EVEN on the days of finals or all nighters - I would show up dressed up and with my hair most likely curled or done up. Geez. What has happened to me?! (80 miles a week, that's what.)
3. FATIGUEEE!!! My legs are TIREDDDD. I think they were worse after the first week. I THINK that my legs may be getting used to it though- or I'm just used to being consistently tired. You can't expect repeatedly putting high mileage in that your legs feel light and springy and super amped to do a fast workout. HAHA. I wish. I'm really hoping to have a breakthrough this week and start feeling more like myself even while running 80 a week. Stay tuned.
4. SPEED!!! (WHAT'S THAT!) It's TOUGH mentally/physically/emotionally to make myself do track and tempos. Running "fast" when you are feeling constantly tired and slow can be demoralizing. I'm thankful to have a great support system that encourages me that this is NORMAL and to push through it. I would skip track & tempos every week if I wasn't being told that 1. I cannot taper all week for my long run, and 2. To just keep practicing running on tired legs. Accountability is good.
5. DO I HAVE A LIFE ANYMORE?! I thought 2 years ago that 70 was a lot of miles- and I think I maybe hit that once or twice in that training cycle. It's crazy how everything is mental and sustaining 80 miles for 3 weeks hasn't been as hard as I would have thought going into it. Honestly I would say the toughest thing has been coordinating fitting in the miles between work and personal life. I definitely have had to sacrifice things during this time because- let's be real, I can run 80 miles, but I cannot create more time in the day.
6. POSITIVE THINKING!!! When you're tired and exhausted and when fast workouts are not as plentiful- it is hard to sustain the right type of thinking to really motivate and propel you during marathon training. I'm constantly checking my attitude and making sure I'm keeping my head in the right space. High mileage is SUPPOSED to be hard and fatiguing. Duh. But when you're in it- and you're expecting to feel how you do when you're in the 40-60 mile range, it's hard to readjust your thinking and expectations. I have been looking for any positive affirmations during this high mileage season and celebrating them- a tempo run in the middle of the week where I did 4 miles on the dreadmill at race pace- yes; a track workout where I just ATTEND after having two consecutive 80 mile weeks on my legs plus had done 8 miles that morning- wonderful; a tempo run of 6 miles at race pace in the middle of a tiring week- fab. It's so important to keep your head in the game, if you're gonna force your body to do crazy things. I have been realizing the importance of not letting the captain jump ship while on the high (mileage) seas.
7. WEEKLY GOALS!!! I have been trying to have a focus during each week of things I wanted to work on to have some other tangible things to hopefully aid my body during this time. This last week it was 1. more sleep (somehow I had been giving myself 4-6 hours of sleep and expecting crazy things), 2. better nutrition (getting better at this), 3. more core work (eek- need to focus on this more).
8. GRACE!!! There is a tendency if you're somewhat like me to be tough on yourself and beat yourself up for not being as fast as your low mileage self. 1. That's not realistic. 2. That's not productive. I'm really trying to focus on not being so tough on myself and realizing that progress is still progress. I have a tendency to be greedy with success and want it to come all RIGHT NOW. I decided the other day that my big goals are worthy of my patience and perseverance, so even if it takes a few trys to make them happen- I'll hold out for them. And in the meantime, I'll give myself grace for the days when it doesn't feel like it's coming together. Because, it will.
I am feeling overwhelmed by gratitude (and a bit of fatigue, let's be real) that I GET to train for the Boston Marathon. As overwhelming and exhausting as training can get, I just feel so very blessed that I am in the position today that I am.... just a mere FIVE WEEKS from running the Boston Marathon. It really will be a dream come true. And I am doing everything in my power to not take this privilege for granted and work hard to give it my best effort when I'm running on running's most sacred grounds. Ok- I'm going to stop being sappy. THIS IS WHAT HIGH MILEAGE DOES TO YOU FOLKS.
Hope everyone stayed alive this weekend through our crazy heat wave. I about died of thirst a million times over during my twenty on Saturday.
Have an amazing day- and hoping that you get out there for a run (or two)!