Monday, February 7, 2011

Has anyone seen my Groove? I left it around here somewhere....

I have still been struggling to find my groove since resuming training for the up coming marathon.  I usually do great on my speed and tempo runs but can't seem to get everything together for the long runs on Saturday. 

January 15th it was foggy and icy so I had to go slower.  Michelle took a spill on her bike while following me which was scary.  January 22nd there was more fog and ice which got me out of my mental 'place'.  January 30th was the day following a trail run with Michelle and friends in the Owyhee mountains.  It was gorgeous and I had a blast but it wasn't the best 'rest day' prior to a long run! 

This past Saturday was my closest to a good one yet.  I was having a problem with my left calf muscle since Thursday and on Saturday morning it hurt so bad I decided to just go for my run on Sunday.  Michelle and I normally run together on Sunday so she wasn't terribly excited about me pushing it back.  My daughter was having her 8th birthday party from 12-3pm and afterwards I felt 100% better than when I woke up.  The temperature had warmed up to 50 degrees too which helped my mood.  So, I went down to the greenbelt along the river to run 10 miles upriver and 10 miles back.

My goal was to do the 20 miles at a 7:26 per mile pace.  I was ahead of my pace at the halfway point and I had been running slightly uphill.  I figured I would get a little lift once I turned around.  Unfortunately, when I turned around I had a stiff breeze in my face that slowed me slightly and gave me the chills.  Since it was so nice, I only had shorts and a long sleeve shirt which didn't help in the wind and late afternoon temperatures. 

I continued on at my pace until mile 14.5 and then stopped. I had a 7:27 per mile pace at that point.  I felt like I was developing a blister on my right foot and didn't want to risk it.  It was also about dark and the last five miles are along a sketchy part of the river that isn't lit up very well.  So, I called Michelle's mom and she picked me up and took me to my truck.

I realized two things on this run.  First, it was a smart move to stop early, rather than risk developing a blister. Second, I missed Michelle at my side.  She has been my marathon training partner since we started all this and she hasn't been able to join me since slipping on the ice.  For me, running is as much of a mental game as it is a physical test of endurance.  When my mind isn't where it is supposed to be, my performance always suffers.  She knows exactly what I need when I need it so I don't have to worry about it.  She is also getting to be quite a talented one-sided conversationalist while I am huffing and puffing!

Before we went to St. George last year we even joked about my ability (or inability) to cope during the race without her there by my side!  I owe a great deal of my success to her.

Everyone has someone who motivates and inspires them.  Take a minute and make sure they know it!


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