INTO THE DEEP (week 4 into my 80 mile-a-week streak)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Guys! I'm the worst blogger ever. You know what isn't conducive to consistent blogging?? 80 mile weeks, one on top of another. So I'm doing a WAYBACK WEDNESDAY post (i.e.  I wrote this like March 17th and didn't publish). Enjoy this blast from the past....

The only streaking I do?! 80 mile-a-week streaksssss. So this lots of running thing- when you're in it, it can be a mind-f. Like in theory I get that running a lot of miles should make me stronger and faster. But in reality, instead of feeling like a racehorse, most days I feel like one of those burros that go up and down the Grand Canyon. In order to really set my mind at ease/trust the process, I've been doing reading on this high mileage phenom so that I can convince myself that I'm getting more benefits from running a million miles than just being able to eat everything in sight (which if that really was the ONLY benefit is not the worst thing in the world). 

Here are some great things I've read about running the HIGH MILES:

  • "Aerobic development is the most important training element for long-term success. High school coaches began instructing their runners to bump their weekly mileage and focus less on intense intervals. The result? A resurgence in American distance running, which started at the prep level, and has resulted in Americans making it back to the medal stand." Read more here.
  • "In the extreme example of Salazar and Rupp, who have been working together for nearly 12 years, taking a long-term approach to training has allowed Rupp to mature, adapt and improve incrementally year after year to the point where he’s now able to be competitive in nearly any race he enters and contend for medals on the world stage. Throughout this process, short-term successes were often sacrificed in favor of achieving long-term goals. From the time Salazar and Rupp started working together the main goal was to eventually end up on the medal stand. Rather than rush the process, however, trying to turn Rupp into a world-beater at 19 or 20 years old and risking injury or burnout, Salazar and Rupp exercised patience, sticking to their long-term plan and taking one small step at a time toward achieving big things.

How can you take a long-term approach to your own training and racing? The most important lesson is to be patient. Set long-term goals for 1 to 3 years down the road, such as moving up to tackle the marathon distance or taking a large chunk of time off your current personal best. Give yourself plenty of time to mature as an athlete, work on your aerobic development, and improve strength and speed over the course of a few years rather than try to cram it all into a 10- or 12-week period. Of course, it’s important to give yourself short-term benchmarks along the way as a means of checking your progress, but don’t be discouraged if you’re not running a personal best every time you take to the starting line. Always keep the bigger picture in mind."
Read more here. 

I think this ties into my whole high mileage thing because while I'm PRAYING and hoping for the absolute best at Boston, I also realize that building this aerobic base where my body is able to handle high miles, just means good things down the road. What I'm doing today, is setting myself up for a GREAT Berlin (Sept 27, 2015).  What I've realized in running is that a base matters, some of the best runners have been doing this for a HOT minute. It's hard to not want to be already to my goals, but there is something to be said for being patient and put in the work today so I get the results I want tomorrow (or like a hundred tomorrows later, whatever). 

So this is probably the question I'm constantly having regarding where I am now and what I expect to run at Boston in FOUR WEEKS:

That is my struggle. How do I know what my legs are truly capable of if it feels like I'm toting toddlers around on my calves? Is the best approach just to keep doing the work and have faith that at the end it will all come together?

post 20 miler. guys- all the black dots on my forehead and chest are bugs that met their end when they drowned in sweat on my body. not quite sure why I'm publishing this disturbing photo. but ya know- my blog, my world.

Well I guess that's the approach I should take. Not gonna lie. After Saturday's 20 miler I had a bit of an emo breakdown. (Probably not the fatigue and stress getting to me, at all.)  It's just increasingly hard to stay positive and focused on a time goal when I feel like my legs are dead so I can't hit paces I want at the end of a long run.  Luckily, I have wonderful people in my life to talk me off the ledge and reassure me that being in the THICK of marathon training is hard and fatiguing and exhausting- BUT THERE IS A POINT TO ALL OF IT. And taper happens and magic happens soon after at the race.

It reminds me of the California bar exam. It's this mentally brutal exercise (in futility?) where you are learning all of these subjects for a month and then having to study them and understand them- and then the last couple days are a scramble to memorize everything possible and then hopefully it all comes together for the bar exam and you can pull off a pass. We did a practice test a few weeks before the bar. I did HORRIBLE. Not bad, HORRIBLE. But you know what- passing a practice exam didn't matter- because that wasn't the actual exam. You know what I did pass- the California Bar. When it mattered and actually counted, things came together when they needed to- but not a minute before. Haha. Taking that analogy and applying that to my marathoning right now and trusting that it will all come together and that all my hard work is not for nothing.

where my legs basically live. my treadmill. i wish i got to be in this position all of the time tho. much more comfortable.

is 2 pounds of fried shrimp (gluten-free, of course) and grits enough for my 26 mile long run day?

Hoping that someone can relate to my struggle- and that you feel encouraged that things will come together when they need to. ;-) Have an amazing day- and get out there and run!

me n my crew. no dainty eaters here.