Seems all this ruminating about the process-versus-the-product of marathon training is really coming to a head right now for me, for at least two reasons:
- I closed out last week with 59 total miles, according to Dailymile (though truth be told, their calculations are always rounded up, so it’s probably closer to 58 and change), and
- I completed the longest training run OF MY LIFE on Saturday, with my galpal Amy, from Fleet Feet Boston Bound ’10, on Barrington’s awesome hills. The distance? 21.5 miles. …and by the end of it, after a decent negative split, I was ready to keep going. Fo realz.
I’m stressing the process here and less of the product because both occasions this past week marked a big deal for me—my heaviest training volume, in one week, OF MY LIFE, followed by a super long training run… again, the longest of my life.
I’m totally floored.
Health and well-being wise, I’m super stoked to report that I’m no worse for the wear. As I recently wrote, physiologically speaking, 35-40 miles/week is feeling the same to my body as 45+, which, again, makes me shake my head in disbelief because for the longest time, 50 mpw was my sweet spot and, essentially, the place of no return. My ITBs are feeling pretty happy these days, and really, though I might be slightly superstitious with going beyond 50mpw, my body is feeling pretty solid about it so far.
It’s also intriguing to consider a few other things that have happened recently. Excuse the lists, but in theory, they’ll force brevity:
- I’ve stopped weighing myself daily because it makes me neurotic, but I had to weigh myself Sunday (forthcoming post), and would you know… I dropped 5 pounds in about a month. After not weighing myself. Giddyup.
- I’ve been pretty diligent about doing the RYBQ SC and 10×10 routines each a couple times/week, and dare I say that I actually kinda enjoy both of them now.
- My appetite is pretty suppressed these days. I’m very conscious of it, since I know that can be a big red flag for overtraining, and naturally, there are a zillion reasons why marathoners need to be mindful of what they consume, but I’m just not “rungry”–or hell, even that hungry—like I usually am. In fact, most of the time, I find myself making the veritable shitton amount of food that I usually would… all for myself, I don’t share 🙂 … only to dump part of it or save it for later. That RARELY happened before. If anything, I’d want to go back for seconds… or thirds… I know I’m eating enough because I’m eating super nutrient-dense food to satiety, but the volume is almost on par with what a normal, non-runner would eat (blasphemous to say, I know). I don’t know what to make of this, but I think at least some of it is due to a funky stomach thing the familia and I had a week and a half ago.
I’m not really a numbers type of gal at all, but I think it’s intriguing to look at all these events in conjunction with each other as I’m chuggin’ along on my road to Eugene. I’ve had a good 5 or so weeks now of endurance training, and the new mesocycle I entered is focusing specifically on endurance+speed, so I’ve got some great ass-kickin’ workouts calling my name (hellllloo, long-ass tempo and V02 max! I’ve my first date with the track on Tuesday. It has been awhile! We have some serious catching up to do. Digression…).
5 weeks of strong (45+ mpw) base mileage
renewed commitment to strength and core exercises (minimally, 2/week for each)
weighing myself every day
longest training run of my life
biggest training volume of my life in a single week
And Erin -5 pounds.
At the risk of sounding like I’m self-aggrandizing, which isn’t how I roll here or in RT, I’ve just gotta say that I wonder what all this means. Technically, I jumped the ship a little early by doing this 21 miler this weekend, as opposed to two weekends from now, when it’s actually scheduled, but it just kinda happened with the route that we were doing… and really, I’d venture to say that the differential between running a 20 or a 21, or running 2 20s, or 2 21s, is negligible over the process of marathon training. Correct me if I’m wrong, experts.
Despite this assumed negligibility, though, I’m really considering now if I should adjust what would have been my legit “peak week,” that was scheduled for two weeks from now, or if I should just stick to the original Pfitzinger plan I’m following and not drown myself in the minutiae of it all.
After all, training plans are written in pencil, not stone.
It’s nearly an afterthought to mention it here, but suffice it to say that this new process of marathon training is definitely helping me rectify—nay, ameliorate—some of the nagging mental acuity and mental toughness issues I’ve been experiencing.
At the risk of sounding all Age of Aquarius, things seem to be coming together.
Though the work is a good challenge, it’s not impossible, and it’s making me concentrate and remain focused—probably one (if not two) of my biggest obstacles.
This process has been eye-opening, to be sure. No matter what happens in Eugene—though, clearly, I want things to go my way there—this round’s process is leaving an assuredly indelible impression on me, and it’s continuing to give me several glimpses into what I’m capable of… which, no surprise, has far surpassed my expectations.
Everything’s a process, people: including teaching your body to trust your mind and heart.
It’s a trifecta-style tango.