I’m at that point in long distance training where desire to run and keep running is there, but motivation and nutrition aren’t. I dropped the ball on nutrition, and three weeks to race day, I am paying the price. Hard training and eating right are a long game, and done wrong, it can end your race aspirations before the gun goes off.
I call that head game of not really wanting to go and do what needs to be done, combined with “sluggish” feeling overall, the “don’t wannas”. As in, “I don’t wanna do this”. This whole week has been a struggle with the “don’t wannas”.
I would be lying if I said the DNF at last week’s marathon isn’t still on my mind.
I am worried. I’m worried that since I didn’t meet the long distance set by the training plan (26 miles) that I’m going to be incapable of doing 31 miles in three weeks. I look back on the day and really, I made a good call. I know with all the logic I’m capable of that I made a good call dropping out at 13 miles….I know it. Between illness, effort, stress, bad nutrition, and lack of race aid – I would’ve been in serious health trouble if I had continued.
But the plan said I needed 26.
But I didn’t do 26…
But… the plan….
My body said I needed sleep and water and more sleep.
After that day, I took three days off running. Sure, I went out on the third day, intending to do about 45 minutes of “easy” running, but I got about a half mile out and said, “fuck it”. I felt sluggish and uninterested…and weak. But, largely, just not interested. So I bailed, went back home, and did more core work. I can’t seem to get myself really going this week. But three days all-stop on running was a terrible idea for me mentally.
All my work stress, plus the all-over grief I’ve been slowly (but healthily) getting through over the loss of my Mom, and the feeling that all my career goals are shattered and dead (hence the stress) just blew me up. I knew I needed to suck it up and run when I blew up at the dog for being in my space, and then followed that up with a bruising and fantastically violent session on the heavy bag in my workout space. And then the three minutes of just screaming. Because. … Just because.
I changed into my running gear, blew my nose a billion times so I could pretend to breathe while running, and went out for an hour of running. 7.5 miles later, and I was back to “normal” mentally. The spiral into self-loathing and failure-ship was a deep one, and it only took being out on a run to fix it. I stopped a bunch. Physically, it wasn’t hard to run, but mentally it was like I was running through a thick gu and it wore on me. But an hour of it fixed everything else.
I may need the time off running, but I think just backing down and slowing my pace is going to be all I can really do. For my well-being. For my dog’s as well.
A quick chat with a friend about how I’m feeling running this week has me thinking hard about my nutrition. I skipped meals for a few weeks…not out of any belief that I was going to loose weight doing so, but more a matter of time constraints and a lack of hunger. Hell. I ran 10 miles today and almost skipped food because I wasn’t hungry after again. Don’t worry folks. I grabbed a high-protein snack and forced it down. I’m just not sure what’s happening with all that. Shouldn’t I be hungrier? After all? Going from marathon distance training to ultra training? Bumping from 30 mile weeks up to 40-50 miles weeks?
I’m hoping I can recover and have this, all of this: the nutrition, the motivation, the sluggishness, fixed so i can do well at my second 50k.
Thoughts? Suggestions more than welcome. How did you break out of your slump? What’s your nutrition fix?
Oh. And don’t worry about the pup. He forgave me by the end of the day and got plenty of love and treats.