Monday, August 13, 2007

Stick a Fork in Me

What happened to the lazy days of summer?

Since I last posted, 8 days ago, I've run 6 times for a total of 40 miles. 36 for last week (right on target) and 4 tonight. Remember my post of July 22? Well I'm still feeling that way; sluggish, always tired, etc. At the risk of getting whiny, my frustration level with my running is at an all time high. My paces are all around 9:00 or more, even on the best days. As my son would say in an instant message, meh or bleh.

Let's start with this weeks long run of 14 miles. Bryan wanted to go paintballing again so I took the day off on Friday to get the run in. This turned out to be a good idea that meshed well with the plans for the rest of the weekend. Normally I drop him off by 9:00 and then I'm at the Huntington Beach by 10:00 and on my way before things warm up too much.

After we got to the paintball fields, we found out his friends weren't going to be there until 11:00. He asked me to wait so that he could have a place to keep all his gear until they got there. Of course I did. That big S on my chest doesn't stand for Super Dad, it stands for Sucker.

By the time I got to HB and started running it was 12:40 p.m., not exactly the ideal time to be starting a 14 mile run. The temperature was in the low 80's and luckily I was blessed with a cooling breeze directly off the ocean so I was cooled in both directions of this run.

Since this was a long run I decided on an easy pace. The pace the first few miles ranged from 8:50 to 9:00. By mile 4 I was considering walk breaks but I managed to hold them off until I got out the the turn around at mile 7. At that point I took half a ClifShot and walked for a good 2 minutes before getting going again. I ended up taking a walk break every two miles on way back at 9 and 11 another short one at 13 before I talked myself into just getting this thing over with. The last 4 miles felt like mile 22 to 26.2 of a marathon. When I was done, I was D.O.N.E. DONE.

My final pace was 9:17, which is really where my long runs should be, but 14 is not really long and I felt like it was a huge effort to keep up that pace. I can point to a few things that may have attributed. The temps were warm. The run got started late. I hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast at 7:00. I don't know. If I feel like this now, what I am going to feel like when I hit the mid 40 weeks? I put my 13 mile time into the McMillan calculator and ended up with a 4:17 marathon, Yikes!

Some may say that I'm overtraining, but I have a hard time believing, or maybe just a hard time accepting, that line of reasoning. There are plenty of runners out there doing may more than 36 miles in a week, with some significant interval and speedwork added in. I'm just slogging along. I averaged 37 miles a week for over 20 weeks last year training for SEAFAIR, my sub 4:00 break through.

The mileage was all put in as planned the rest of the week. 4 on Tuesday and Thursday. 7 on Wednesday and Sunday. One bright spot in the week on Wednesday I headed over to the dam right after work for the 7 miles. I wanted to put in 3 x 1 mile repeats. I warmed up for about 2 miles and then took off. My goal pace was 8:00 miles. I got the first one in at 7:37. I ran an easy recovery half between the intervals. The second and third repeats came in at 7:45 and 7:41. So there is some speed in these poor tired legs after all.

On to this week. The schedule is pretty much identical to last week except that the long run bumps up to 15 miles. I have considered taking an extra day off, but I really don't like that idea much. It is late (AGAIN) and my to do list doesn't get any smaller sitting here. I'm off to bed.

Thanks for reading through my little rant.


Wes said...

I was never so worn out as when I did my 16 mile run... And I have to do 10 more after that? hee, hee... Sucker :-)

Joe said...

These things are perplexing, especially to analytical types like us.

I do think the heat and the lack of recent food is a factor on your long run. If you were out early in 55F temps, I'm guessing it would have flowed better.

Stay with the plan...your mile repeats tell you something significant. I'm guessing your big mileage weeks in September will look more optimistic.

Donald said...

Tip #1: STOP doing calculators! Those things are the devil.

#2: This sounds fairly normal for a guy who has been training for marathons all year long. You're going to have some days when you can barely get the engine started, and others when you're going full steam. I don't know the reason, but I know I've been there.

I agree with Joe - stick with the plan for now.

Anonymous said...

Put me in with the group that says stick with the plan, but with one caveat - slow down when you need to. Get the miles in and let your body rest if it doesn't want to go fast. I'm going through some of the same "issues" and for me it might have something to do with putting many miles on 40+ year old legs. Sometimes it just takes longer to recover and move forward.

Rest assured that if you stick with it, the strength is there and will show itself in time

Unknown said...

You could be coming into or out of a plateau area in your training, which maybe a reason why things don't seem quite as easy (or how you think they should feel).

I agree with everyone else: Stay with the plan.

Backofpack said...

One more suggestion: check what you are eating. Maybe you need a few more calories, a little more protein. Make sure you're not eating too much junk, and that you are hydrating. In my last training cycle, I was feeling pretty sore, then realized I wasn't getting much protein (of course, I have to work harder at it). Once I upped the intake the soreness eased off. Hope it helps!

Pat said...

Hi, I just found your blog. It's great. I read some of your earlier ones. Your trip to India, way to go. I plan on reading more as time allows. MCM is in DC and Virginia, do you count Virginia in your 50 states?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michelle. Check your eating/drinking. Are you getting enough calories? And are you eating a balanced diet? I know, it seems like a stupid question. But, I have to have that check in with myself periodically. If your energy stays low, go see a dr. Maybe your iron is low or something. Or perhaps you just need daily naps. :)

Scott McMurtrey said...

Sucker! lol

It doesn't seem like you're overtraining to me. It seems like you're putting up some good miles. Sure, your pace may have been meh or even bleh on that 14 miler, but don't we all get an automatic dozen (or more) meh runs during our marathon training period? Any more than that and we'll call the bleh police.

Unknown said...

Keep plugging away, Darrell! The legs will be back at some point. What matters is how you feel on race day.

Ryan said...

Way to stick it out and continue with the routine/schedule....a few good speed sessions always make long distances feel easier.

David said...

I vote you stick with the plan but also remind you to listen to your body. If you are truly tired, get some rest and heal. If it takes a day off to do it, you'll lose the miles but gain the stamina.

Sarah said...

I don't think you're overtraining. Sometimes it just takes awhile to feel like you're back in the groove.

I remember early this year I commented to Sharon that it felt like every week was hard. I was wondering when the improvement was going to happen. And then it seemed, all of a sudden, it was happening! You'll get there if you keep doing the right things.

I hope your week has gone well! : )

Bob - said...

I was complaining to my Coach that I was not getting my endurance up to were I felt I should be, ...I was like why am I dragging...

well it was calorie intake, the heat was zapping me good at the end of my longer runs and I needed to feed my body the entire run..

"early & often", that gave me a better boost at the end..oh and cutting the rope to my tire helped a lot also---LMAO

Stick to the plan & maybe you need to eat more!

Anne said...

Yes, it's already been said, but it sounds like a classic plateau you'll soon get over. In the meantime, remember too that this dang hot weather can be quite enervating.

Mike said...

ditto what everyone else already said. Keep your chin up and keep chopping. The legs will definitely come around.