There comes a point in every marathon training cycle where everything falls apart for me and I start feeling mentally defeated. In the past, this has happened as early as like … the third week of training. I guess the glass-half-full point of view would be to look at this as a positive sign that it didn’t happen until the ninth week of training this time around.
Here’s how it went down:
Total of 35 miles on the week.
I have been really nervous about my hamstring. I’ve been compressing and icing, and it hadn’t been bothering me on slower runs – but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a speed workout. I decided to skip group on Tuesday and go out on my own to give it a little test run. I wanted to do a warm up mile, then do a mile or two at 7:15-7:30 pace – just to see how my hamstring held up at a quicker pace, but not a hard enough effort that it would trash my legs. My hamstring did not hold up. I held on to a 7:30ish pace for about a mile and a half, then hobbled home. I was so upset, and frustrated that I didn’t slow it down the second I felt a twinge of pain. I guess I thought maybe it would loosen up if I pressed on. I came home and immediately hopped into my compression shorts and iced my hamstring.
By Thursday, it was still kind of bothering me so I took an unplanned rest day. My mom and I were flying down to Oklahoma to visit family, so it was a convenient excuse to give myself some extra rest. On Friday morning, I was feeling a bit better so I just did a slow 5 around my cousin’s neighborhood.
I had planned this to be a cutback week, but I knew that my friends in my running group were going out for their first 3 hour run on Saturday. I was so mentally defeated from the hamstring crap that I decided I would also go for 3 hours, and that might help my confidence. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
This was the WORST long run I have had in quite a while. I was dehydrated, got a blister on my toe, chafed under my arm, had to use the outdoor restrooms twice (gross), my hip flexors and quads were inexplicably sore and cranky, and then I got caught in a thunderstorm. It was so miserable, I basically walked the last 5 miles home. Perfect.
So that’s that. A crappy training week. In the past, I’ve let them just absolutely destroy my confidence. I know that I need to just forget about last week and concentrate on the week ahead. And focus on getting my hamstring back to 100%. I am just so frustrated that this always seems to happen to me … I know that’s a bad attitude to have, but in the past, I’ve been able to point to inconsistent training as a reason for injury. This time around I can honestly say that I’ve felt I’ve been training well, had a good base, and have been doing things right for once. So to be suffering from the same injury as last summer … well, I’m just not in the best mental place right now.
So help me out. How do you mentally get over a bad training week?