So I know that I talked about my training a bit in some other blogs, but I thought I'd do an official "what is she doing to make this better?" post, and how I'm training for the remainder of the weeks leading into Chicago.
I am very very happy to say that with a pretty drastic increase in calories, yoga daily, and reduction of mileage by more than half, I have felt better every single day. I know that I just wasn't recovering properly enough and I have to admit that part of me (a big part) feels really stupid and should have known better. It was almost as if I just thought I'd be able to handle it, and I always just shake things off like "eh I'll be fine." My husband is constantly like "Did you hydrate? Did you take this vitamin? Did you do this and this and this?" and I'm like DUDEEEE LEAVE ME ALONE.
I'm careless to a fault, lazy in areas I shouldn't be, and for the first time in my years of training, it came back to bite me in the kisser so I guess he can give me the resounding I TOLD YA SO! ;) I mentioned anemia, but it wasn't the only thing that I was concerned about. It was my red blood cell and neutrophil count, my testosterone to cortisol levels and their ratio and then my creatinine kinase that just let me know that I truly had overdone it without proper fueling I suppose (and I say that because I've been at this level of training before plus more with the ironman but I was more meticulous about food at that time and getting it in).
When I realized that I wasn't just being a drama queen and that my mental state of being so out of it during training was warranted, I gave into that. I didn't force it. For the past two weeks, I have laced up my shoes daily and hit the road for what I could do. There were a few days that I've only made it two miles (one day I set out for 16 and made it 2-ha). I mean it when I say that I genuinely felt no guilt though. I'm the type that once it's done, it's done. I just accept and move on and know I'll always be back to try again the next day. As the days have gone on, I've felt myself coming more and more back to life. This week I've been able to do eight miles on Sunday, seven miles on Monday, eight on Wednesday with actually a 10 mile bike ride as well today and I'm hopeful that I'll get in a long run this weekend. I'm not going to force that however, and if it happens then that's great.
For food, I have went back to counting macros because I need to make sure that I'm getting enough calories. I'm eating high calorie foods to get myself there without feeling overstuffed which has been fun to be honest. I truly have enjoyed it so much. haha!!! I had lost weight, so I have weight to gain!
My plan moving forward for Chicago is to hopefully get in a long run (I might even try for a long run tomorrow-aka thursday) and then one more long run hopefully before tapering while doing mid distances during the week with alternating easy days with tempo runs and speed workouts. I was semi forced to taper anyway, which is no big deal, but I am still training as hard as I can. I don't have any expectations for the race, and just truly am there for a good time. I can't wait. I was dreaming about it today during my workout, and just was giddy at the opportunity to be able to do endurance and race.
Over the past week, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to me to be an athlete, and how thankful I am for the ability to be able to run marathons, and do all of these events. I plan to take a break after Chicago as much as I know that Chicago will revive me and make me want to do another race immediately. I know myself well enough at this point that the break will be good for me and will have me coming back on fire and full of life like never before. That's what the journey is all about. If you don't have the breaks, then you'll never make it in the long term. I'm excited to spend weekend mornings with my husband over coffee and not thinking about the long run.
We go to London in December, and I'm excited to just run in London just for fun without having to do any formal training. Starting in January, I'll probably do a quick 8 week training prep into Myrtle Beach Marathon. I'm already registered, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that marathon so that'll be what is next. I'm always thinking forward of course, but also completely reasonable on this next one. I've been at this HARDCORE for 3 years now, and so I just needed to take my foot off the gas for a bit. This week, I've felt myself coming back to life and also coming back to wanting to go all in. I want to sign up for so many races next year, and honestly at the end of this year, but I kind of promised myself that I wouldn't, so I'm going to firmly stand by that. I love racing, so it's tough for me to say no, but I know I'll be back so it's all good.
I did decide not to do Boston this upcoming year. This was a VERY VERY hard decision for me. I have the time to be allowed into the "red bib" area, which is a huge accomplishment, and something that I'm so proud of. I could have registered first day which has always been a dream, but I also have now done Boston two years in a row, spent thousands of dollars, and completely flopped both times, and with all that happened leading into Chicago, I just need some good and not stressful racing in my life. I know I will be back in Boston eventually, but this was just not my year for that. I have so many races I want to do across the US and so I didn't want to keep spending thousands on the same race. That's just me though and I understand many people that will do Boston every single year, and I completely get that perspective as well. It is Boston after all.
Life's such a fun journey. There's so many fun things to take advantage of, and right now I'm going to transition into normal life type exercising, lifting more again after Chicago, coaching all of my lovely clients and move back into long distance triathlon and marathoning in 2018! CAN Y'ALL BELIEVE IT'S THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER?! BRING OUT THE PUMPKINS!?
I'm thinking of putting together a spreadsheet of 2018 training plans because we all know I'm obsessed with spreadsheets!!!!! :) hehe!