Marathon Monday: Dealing With Running’s Inconsistencies

So my boot camp chicks know they don't ever suffer alone, I tackled our ball workout from last night after a half mile run and a half mile of side shuffles at a 6.5 % incline. Holy. Smokes. #chicagomarathon #chicago2015 #marathontraining #ballday #texasfitchicks #fitchickstraining #thiswillhurttomorrow #lovemychicks #fitfluential #sweatpink

So.  It’s Monday, and the weekend was busy and fun…..and HOT.  We had a great Saturday morning supporting Rob at a local sprint triathlon.

So much fun cheering on this guy today! Next up for him is Austin 70.3....and next summer it's my turn  #coopersprint #northtexasmultisport #triathlon #fitfam #sweatpink

He’s training for the Austin half iron man in November so doing a few shorter races along the way is a fun thing to add to training.  And we love the environment, the kids have a blast and it gives them a chance to think of someone other than themselves.  Win win.

We had a great date night Saturday night with dinner followed by a fun birthday celebration for my brother-in-law.  And we threw down some taco’s ya’ll.  Rob had raced, I had run 7 miles, 4 of which were in the torching heat at 4 in the afternoon.  Lord have mercy, I am so stupid.  But Torchy’s did not disappoint….

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So….onto running.  My schedule for the week was as follows…

Monday: easy 4
Tuesday: speed work 12×400 with 400 recovery
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5 tempo
Friday: easy 3
Saturday: easy 8
Sunday: easy 8

Here’s how it really went down…

Monday: easy 2 and bootcamp workout
Tuesday: 12×800 with 400 recovery(because I ran out of time..and did this workout at 3 in the afternoon outside)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 tempo
Friday: 1 mile at a hard effort and bootcamp workout
Saturday: 7…4 outside and 3 on the treadmill
Sunday: 6 easy paced but hard

6.5 miles this morning, 3 of them with friends. Patient friends. As I dealt with asthma, the tacos I ate for dinner last night, crazy high humidity, dehydration and a headache. Some days are just hard and make you feel like you took 5 steps back. But it's progress. Even if it's painful. This pic is from yesterday's toasty run because I was too busy sucking air today to take a pic. Am I alone in my suffering today? Happy running friends!!! #refusetogiveup #keeppushing #hansonsmethod #holyhumidity #chicagomarathon #chicago2015 #gopro #marathontraining #summermiles #sundayfunday #saucony #furtherfasterforever #runchat #runstrong

So, my strategy is this….

Go easy on myself when I don’t hit my exact mileage and slow down and or walk when it’s 103 degrees.  Hanson’s is intense.  I used it last winter for the Dallas marathon and followed it to a T. I hit all my paces and most of the time I was faster than I was supposed to be.  For those of you not familiar with this training method it’s very strategic.  You place easy efforts around harder ones while running 6 days a week.  It builds high weekly volume while keeping your long runs at 16 miles or less.  You’re training your body to run on tired legs, much like the final 10 miles of a marathon.

The only downside to this method is time.  It takes a ton of time.  I also ran off a lot of muscle because I was running so much I didn’t have time to strength train.  So, this time around I’m taking miles off my easy days to add strength training in.  We’ll see if it works.

What I’ve found this time around is a lot of inconsistency in my pace and how I feel.  I’ve never trained for a marathon during the summer.  Texas is hot, like a lot of places, and my body has never handled intense heat well.  I dehydrate quickly and have asthma and some upper respiratory issues that make the humidity my ultimate nemesis.  I’m a winter distance runner, not a summer one.  So, I’m having to adapt.  Tuesday I hit an 8 min pace for all my intervals and felt awesome.  Yesterday, I ran an easy 3 on my treadmill then met up with a couple of friends for another 3 and was sucking air and had to stop twice, then didn’t make it up the monster hill that I end a lot of my runs on and always run up to finish.  And I’m the one who is training for a marathon.  Lovely.

But here’s the thing.  Running can be inconsistent.  At some point you will have a run where your body just says no.  That was yesterday for me.  It didn’t matter how much I’ve been running or how acclimated to the heat and humidity I am(I’m never really acclimated, I always struggle in it), it was a hard run and every step took effort.  My body said no.

So, my advice to you is this.  When you have a hard run or you find yourself running 3 min slower per mile or you’re the one in the group that has to stop and walk, don’t go home and toss your water bottle on the counter in frustration(because I have no idea who would do that….wink wink).  Give yourself GRACE.

It’s hot.  Running in the heat is a totally different monster and not all bodies are built the same. My husband can go knock out a 7 min mile in the heat and humidity(then I lovingly want to punch him in the face), where I struggle to maintain my recovery pace some days.  Then, in the winter, I can knock off 2-3 minutes from my pace.  It’s ridiculous but at the same time it’s just the way I am.  I’ve always been this way, since  I was a kid.  I was the one passing out from dehydration in my driveway.  Fun times.

So, keep going.  Each run is not going to be the same.  If and when you have a run where your body says no, just finish, stop and heed your body’s advice to rest and try again tomorrow or after a day off.  It’s ok.  Every runner has bad days and no one is invincible.  Don’t let it hurt your pride and don’t be afraid to suck sometimes.  Remember your goal.  Each run, regardless of how terrible it might be, is one step closer to your goal.  It builds strength of character, perseverence, humility, endurance and the ability to press on when it gets hard, much like what happens in a race.  So keep going.  Don’t be afraid to post it on Instagram and don’t delete the run from your Garmin because you are so frustrated at how slow it was.  Because you have a goal, so go chase it….even if you’re walking.

Did you have any bad run’s this weekend?

Do you struggle with this dang heat and humidity?  What’s your bad run story?

5 comments on “Marathon Monday: Dealing With Running’s Inconsistencies

  1. I love this. The heat and humidity are killing me. My paces look DECENT (read: not where I really want them) when I’m done, but while I’m running, I feel like a sloth. Also, I ran with a group yesterday and I was the second to last person to finish. The girl behind me just started running after a few months off. So like you said, I had that thought…”and I’m the one training for a marathon”. Trying to give myself grace and understand that WALKING is okay sometimes!

  2. Sabrina,
    Isn’t it crazy how good you feel that you conquered any miles at all in this heat?! Good for you for pushing through!! Grace girl, grace.

  3. I’m so glad we’re in this together Heather!!! I’m having to be ok with not following my plan to the exact T. I just have to. If not I’ll drive myself crazy and be miserable. I want to enjoy the experience wether I’m well trained or not lol. So, doing what I can. Hang in there girl, based on what I’ve seen you are rocking this!!

  4. You are so right! It is so dang hot and sometimes the only time to run is in the 103 degree temps at 2:00 in the afternoon. Not that I would know or anything ;-). Last Thursday, I met a friend to run 3 miles and I swear it was so hot I thought I was going to just melt. I was begging for a breeze and all I wanted to do was walk. Thankfully, my friend pushed me to run another mile. I’m so glad she did and I felt accomplished after it was over, but Lord this heat is brutal! You are so right about the inconsistency though. Some days I feel like I can do it and others I’m gasping for air before the first mile. Grace is where it’s at. I’m going to remember that.

  5. I definitely needed to read this, this morning…my training has been somewhat inconsistent…and will continue to be for at least the next 2 weeks…and you know what…it’s okay! I’m doing what I can and trying to maintain my love of running and desire to run the Chicago Marathon. I’m sorry you are struggling with the heat as well…but I am happy to know I am not alone 🙂 Thanks for always being such a positive person and always inspiring me!

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