[warning: long post]
The past couple of weeks have been difficult for me in regards to training. I have been feeling rather down and out... I've been angry with myself for not following through with my training plan. Yet, at the same time, I have been so distracted by life that I want to allow myself the freedom to go with the flow. As I reflect back on my previous 2 marathons, I have always gone through a slump in the middle weeks. However, this one seems more intense.
Easter Weekend (week 10 of 16 in my plan) was supposed to be a 'Recovery Week' - I took that quite literally and my weekly mileage dropped to 13 (from 41 the week prior). This really bothered me and I started to doubt myself.... to question why I was pushing so hard to try to qualify.
The following week, DH and I were in Vegas and despite my desire to resume training, I ended up with an injury that set me back again. I took a couple days off but awoke Sunday morning (the day of my long run) to find snow on the ground and I thereby purposely waited for it to melt off before I headed out. I thereby started a book that I couldn't put down. I'm not sure if it is just me or if it is common for everyone, but when I get started on a project that I enjoy or am excited about, it so consumes me that I tend to overlook others things (dishes, laundry, etc.). I just wanted to keep reading. I kept procrastinating in regards to my run.
Then, just as I had laced up my running shoes, my dad called to inform me that my grandmother was in the hospital again and that I might consider driving over the pass to say our good-byes. For a couple of hours that afternoon, I grappled with the decision... do we go? do we stay home? It was snowing on the pass and DH wasn't able to go with me as an emergency situation developed at the hospital (he ended up working four 16+ hour days this last week). That meant I would have to go with the kiddos alone - only an issue when it is icy & snowing - which it was!
DH and I talked it over. I also called my grandmother and talked with her for awhile on the phone. She said she was very tired and wouldn't be able to visit anyway. I thereby decided not to go... I had stopped by to see her just two weeks before and had enjoyed a nice visit with her and my dad over lunch. She was a little weak, having just been released from the hospital then too, but she was her normal self, eager to provide a meal for company in the traditional manner. This is really the way I would want to remember her anyway as opposed to seeing her in a hospital bed. To top it off, the kids had had a runny nose all weekend (by Monday night, it had developed into vomiting), so I didn't want to risk her getting whatever it was they had either.
By the time I made the decision to stay, I didn't have the time to complete the 16 miles on my plan. I ended up doing only 8 and struggled to do even that much as I was on the treadmill. I love the treadmill and the freedom it provides ... but it is so hard to get runs longer than 6 miles done ... I feel so much more fatigued on the treadmill. I think it is because I sweat so much more without the wind to wisk it away. I should have made a stronger effort to assure that I at least got my long run in, as that is probably the most important one.
So, I vowed to do better this week. The weather is getting better... I should have more opportunity to get outside... even if I have to push the jogger. Which reminds me... I used to have a swap partner... I watched her kiddos on Tues and she watched mine on Thr... she lived right next door so it was VERY convenient. Well, she moved last week and now resides about 30 minutes north. I no longer have a 'child-free' run. Treadmill runs are constantly interrupted with requests for this or that... or my little guy's inquisitive nature... he dumps coffee creamer on the carpet... spreads coffee grounds all over the kitchen counter... tears up Sweetie's school work to get a rise out of her... for one reason or another, it is difficult.
I headed out this week with the kids in the jogger. I haven't actually done that in 5 months or more. I had forgotten just how difficult that is... particularly uphill.
Training to qualify takes its toll. Long runs are just that... LONG... close to 3 hours now! I love running though - it is a passion that helps me stay grounded. Helps me to alleviate stress and stomp out my frustrations. I NEED TO RUN. But do I really need to run marathons? Perhaps I should just train for halves?? Perhaps run marathons and ultras (which have recently begun to draw my interest) when the kids are older and can be left home alone for short periods of time (i.e. 12 years old)?
I am certainly rambling. I just need to vent, I suppose. Write what has been going through my mind lately.