Running can be a fickle friend. A week ago Saturday, I had a terrible 22-miler. My legs felt bad from the start and then when I attempted a few miles at marathon pace? It was a complete struggle. I finished off the final miles shuffling like I was at the end of a marathon. Ugh.
A run like that can be so discouraging, leaving you lacking confidence, questioning your race prep, and even questioning whether or not you should toe the line at your upcoming race. That’s what it did for me, I can tell you.
Then last week happened. We started out with Hurricane Sandy, and it was starting to look like I might not be able to get out for my Tuesday speedwork, much less with friends. But Tuesday morning dawned wet and chilly, with just a bit of wind left over–quite doable for running. I met up with two friends who are also doing CIM and we got in about 10 miles total, four of which were speedwork. And I felt great. Confidence restored.
The rest of the week followed suit–great runs, all the way through my long one on Saturday (18.5), finishing up with an easy seven on Sunday. I feel much more confident than I did a week ago and feel like my training is back on track where I want it. This wasn’t without a little self-talk going into the track workout back last Tuesday, I’ll admit. But once I made that mental changeover to get on top of the workout, everything else fell into place. Now I have one week left of marathon training and I feel ready to finish it off strong.
I know I’m not the only one out there who has had these night and day running experiences. My friend Lisa over at RunWiki just went through something similar, also a few weeks before her marathon. For her it was a good trail run that turned things around. Whatever it takes to do it, it’s important to figure out how to turn a bad or two (or three) back in the right direction. I’m so glad I I pulled my training back to where it needed to be.
What works for you when you hit a rough spot in your training?