The Invevitable Burnout

10 Sep
One week from now I’ll be (hopefully) done running Marathon #2. I’m currently experiencing a wide range of emotions and I’m not really sure what to do about it.
I’m nervous. I was nervous about Marathon #1, but I knew I’d have a partner for the whole race.  A great friend who I love running with. Someone with experience, someone that would know how to get me through the low points. And while Coachy is running Marathon #2, he’s racing with the intention of a PR.  And a PR for him is a time I can only dream about. I plan on joining the 4:30 pace group.  But the questions that run through my mind are things like “What if these people are all serious runner?”, “Will I have anyone to talk to?”, “Will there be anyone with the ability to help me out of my own brain if it gets in my way?”.  I know I’m spoiled – I’ve run two of my four halfs with wicked awesome paysahs (that’s Rhode Island for “pacer”) and another half with a new blog friend.  One of my very good friends ran two 5ks with me, including the one that I ran to reach my current PR.  And of course, Coachy ran Marathon #1 with me, and pushed my ass when it needed it to cross that finish line strong. I need to figure out how to be my own biggest fan when I’m racing, and I need to figure out how to stay positive in the mental game.  And I need to figure it out fast.
I’m missing things. How I feel after a hard but relaxing yoga session.  That burning in the pit of your stomach from a hard core ab workout. Feeling strong – not endurance strong, but muscle strong.  Training for a marathon takes all of your time.  What little time you have left (aside from work) you’re eating or sleeping, because you’re hungry or worn out. There’s no time for me to fit in my other workouts in a 130 mile month.  And I miss them, a lot.

I don’t feel like running. This one, quite frankly, scares the shit out of me. I’ve run 6 miles this week, with a final “long” run (10 miles) on tap for tomorrow, and a couple shorties this week before the big day.  I truly hope this is just the taper messing with my mind.  I don’t like the feeling of having no desire to run. Another thought I have on this is that perhaps I need a change of scenery.  I’ve run 95% of my training runs through the same streets, by the same houses, crossing the same intersections, and I’m bored. I’m taking myself to the ocean tomorrow for my run, otherwise I’ll probably just skip it, not good when you have a big race in a few short days. 
I’m scared. I have high hopes of running ultras and participating in triathlons.  How do I wrap my head around that when training for a marathon has me feeling like this? I want to run ultras – it’s a dream.  Even it’s just a 50k (just a 50k? LOL). I want to do it.  I also want to try tri’s (corny, I know). Even a sprint tri, just to see if I like it, and would want to go further with it. But I’m scared of trying these things, because I don’t want to feel like I do now. 
I’m going to take the post-marathon week off, of course, and work in some of my other workouts along with some leg freshening walks.  After that I’m going to try to get back into slowly.  There are two 5k’s that I want to run – one on Thanksgiving and one in December. I’d like to PR at least one of them. After December’s 5k, I will most likely be training for the ING Miami Marathon.  I’m hoping that 2 1/2 months worth of shorter runs and speedwork will freshen my outlook for another marathon, because right now I’m just not feeling it. 
If it turns out that marathon distance really isn’t for me, well that’s okay too.  I did it once, I’ll do it twice.  I love 5ks, and half marathons.  I’ve never run a 10k – I’m sure I’d love that too.  Where my running future takes me, I won’t know until it happens.  Until then, I just need to figure out how to keep going and keep it fresh, to avoid the inevitable burnout. 

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