I’ve been having a pretty great few running weeks, and it’s hard not to brace myself for the inevitable “oooof” that is bound to happen. The peaks and valleys are a natural progression in training, and I know from experience that I tend to go to extremes on either end. I’ve been working on tempering both emotions so that I’m a little more even keel (getting SO excited and then getting SO crushed is just more energy that I’m willing to expend these days), but it’s hard!
I had a mopey weekend, and literally had to drag myself out the door on Sunday after sitting out Saturday’s beautiful weather due to an angry uterus. (On that note, can we PLEASE agree to stop perpetuating the myth that exercise reduces cramps, magazine experts? It’s bullshit and you know it.) While the run itself felt pretty great, I was still hardcore mope-monster, and I had to work really hard to shake myself out of it. I had some evil snuggling time with kitty. That helped.
I felt 100% better for Monday’s speed work, and it was really a dream. I was relaxed, strong, and confident… but more importantly, I felt like I could run for days. I love a good track workout (even when it’s on a treadmill), but it’s no secret that I struggled in the first few weeks of this cycle. Coach told me to expect this, but it was frustrating nonetheless.
I noticed that in the first few weeks of speed work on the treadmill, my body would tighten up at the thought of 8.3mph. The fear of going “too fast,” of feeling “out of control,” created a block that I wasn’t always able to overcome, and it really had a significant impact on the success of my runs. The little voice that started out hesitant (“Oh, man. This is really fast…) became a booming voice that screamed “STOP! OMG TOOOO FAST!!!!” Well, I finally decided to let the self-sabotage go.
It’s not too fast. I don’t need to stop. I need to calm the f*** down.
Now, every time I hop on the treadmill and press my finger down on the FULL POWERRRRR button, I take a deep breath and try to “melt into” the pace. I relax my legs, and let them reach a comfortable and easy stride. I consciously focus on allowing my legs to naturally adjust to the pace. No more clenching. No more fear.
Also of note:
- I still haven’t hit the “rungry” part of my training, and I’m nervous that it’s going to give me the full court press in about 3….2…..1….
- It’s about time to replace my ruby slippers (Adios 2s), and it seems like they’re YELLOW now! Maybe I’ll still call them my ruby slippers, or maybe I’ll just start calling them my magic toe shoes (anyone else remember that book?).
- PENGUIN GETS BACK TODAY FROM TWO MONTHS IN ANTARCTICA. He’s my very special international delivery on Valentine’s Day.
How do you deal with the ups and downs? Is there a particular workout that leaves you in doubt? Is there such a thing as bipolar running disorder? (There totally is and I 100% have it.)