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MCM14 Training, Week 4: Excuses, Excuses

Date
Workout
Miles
Avg Pace
Monday, 8/4Regular Run59:18
Tuesday, 8/5Rest0--
Wednesday, 8/6Regular Run99:50
Thursday, 8/7Regular Run69:35
Friday, 8/8Rest0--
Saturday, 8/9Long Run159:56
Sunday, 8/10Yoga in the Park0--

Total Weekly Mileage: 35

This past week of training was a tough one to get through--and it only marks a quarter of the way through my training plan. I had to spend a lot of time talking myself into running.

I don't know where Monday's speedier time came from; this is typically a "recovery"run from Saturday's long run, so I expect it to be a little sluggish. But that's what I was feeling that night, so I went with it. Perhaps it had something to do with running in the evening that day as opposed to the morning, which I've almost primarily been doing lately. And since I haven't made any real  efforts to do speed work, this can be my speed work for the week--especially because my faster pace didn't last.

I had planned to wake up early Tuesday to drive out to Bayshore for my nine-miler. I laid out my outfit the night before placed my water bottle by the sink to fill in the morning. I went to bed early. When my first two alarms went off, I disregarded them completely. The third one I gave some consideration to, and eventually I made it out of bed and into the bathroom to, er, empty my bladder. But while sitting on the toilet I felt an overwhelming need to close my eyes, so I rested my elbows on my legs, my head in my hands, and shut my eyes. Tim walked in and asked if I was going to be ready to go soon. I mumbled something about not being sure I wanted to go, hoping he'd talk me out of my toilet slumber, but then he didn't try any further. So neither did I. I went right back into bed while he left to run. (I later learned this wasn't his only effort; he had been up for a while and tried to get me up earlier, but I didn't remember it.)

My morning failure set in motion more excuses later that day. I thought I'd just make up the run that evening, but when I got home from work, I was too discouraged to go out and run. I just sat around, perpetuating a cycle of self-pity. Because I missed a day, I decided that perhaps I didn't need five days of running anyway. I usually only train four days per week, and there was no real need to increase my mileage, especially given my proneness to injury. So I took Tuesday's mishap as a sign to cut back, and I instead did the early morning nine-mile run Wednesday. It was not pretty. I had (very) positive splits, which is actually a bad thing. Most runners want to achieve negative splits, meaning the second half of the run is faster than the half. Mine just kept getting slower. But I did it. I still think anything more than six miles on a workday morning is a big success in my book.

Thursday morning's six-miler was pretty uneventful, and Friday was a welcome rest day. What remained was the hefty weight of Saturday's long run. I knew I'd be running alone, which is always fine with me, but the motivation to get up and run is harder to find when I'm deep in the most peaceful sleep I've had all week and my alarms go off at four something in the morning. And nobody is expecting me. At long last, though, I did drag myself out of bed and managed to get my pre-selected outfit on, my water bottle filled, and my watch around my wrist before heading out the door into darkness.

Because I needed 15 miles, my plan was to run three before joining the Blue Sharks group training run, which is a 9.5-mile loop, and then finish out the mileage afterward. But I dilly-dallied in bed a little too long, so I only had time for one mile. This meant I'd have to do 4.5 after finishing the main loop. In that one-mile warmup, I felt some pain in my left foot, which had been slowly creeping back in after some relatively pain-free months of running. At that point I was still so sleepy that I thought, maybe I should just stop now. Go back to bed. Save my foot. But I knew that was the defeatist voice talking, and I had to decide not to listen to it. And that's pretty much how my whole run went. The voice popped in and told me it was OK to quit. I argued with it. Sometimes I only got through the miles because I was arguing with myself for so long (not out loud--that would be weird). And when I finally got close to 10 miles, I knew there was no point in entertaining the idea of quitting; I'd come that far and may as well finish. And, eventually, I did.

There it is, slow pace and all.

The rest of the day, I took care to ice my foot and rest it (i.e., I hardly got up to do anything). I'm still experiencing pain throughout this week, and tomorrow I have 16 miles to log. I know that the problem is bursitis, and I knew when I received the diagnosis that it was likely to come back to haunt me. But, knowing what it is, I sort of know what I can get away with. I can run on it (for now), and I can do my best to treat it. And I can hope that it doesn't get any worse throughout training. If it does, I know I'll need to take a break. We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday I returned to the Yoga in the Park class that I've neglected for far too long. I love the class, and I love being outside for it, downtown, among a great variety of other yoga enthusiasts or even newbies. It was good for my soul, so I hope to continue adding it in to my life, not just as "training" but as soul nurturing, which I could use a lot of these days.

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