Well, it’s been a while. I would say that I haven’t had the time to write, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I haven’t had the will, or the want. While that is mildly sad to me, it kind of is what it is. Losing my motivation to write on a daily basis is understandable under the circumstances; I’m working around 45-55 hours a week and running about the same total in miles, all in the hot ass sun. Some days I don’t even want to run, and that’s understandable as well. It’s not always easy and fun.
Mostly, training has been decent. At the time of my last post, I was just beginning the schedule. Since then, there have been some ups and downs but for the most part it has been smooth sailing. Two weeks ago, however, I took a week off. I was experiencing so much fatigue at work and during runs that it started to affect my mental well-being. I wasn’t able to communicate effectively with co-workers and customers. My relationships felt burdensome. I probably should have taken the break earlier, but it took me some time to accurately locate the problem. I kept telling myself, “You’re training, of course you’re tired,” but at a certain point I knew something was wrong. I was feeling anxious at work and even around people whose company I enjoy. So that’s when I decided. I’m so glad that I made that decision. My energy levels went back to somewhat-normal and my head cleared, kind of putting me back where I needed to be. It might be that I lost a little fitness, but that’s far less important than maintaining my mental stability.
All that is not to say that training has become easier since the break. Just when I thought the heat had reached its peak, the humidity cranked up as it always does in August. I had to rethink my routes for long runs. On the first 24-miler, I tried breaking up the miles into two 12-mile loops with a break halfway at my apartment to refuel. That worked pretty well, but the last 3-4 miles turned into a death march. So the next 24-miler, I broke it up into four 6-mile loops. This strategy was much more effective. With the additional stops, the average pace of the two runs was similar, but I was able to finish the run… running, not walking. Also, the rest of the day I felt okay, not like a zombie. This Sunday is the 30-miler, so I’ll do five 6 mile loops. Luckily, the next day is Labor Day, so I don’t have to work. The training schedule calls for active recovery but no run. My goal is to complete the 30 miles on Sunday and still do 5 miles on Monday, but if I feel terrible then I’ll take the rest day as scheduled.
I am going to try to post again before the race, at least once. I mean, come on, I can do that. And then I’ll post again after the race to review and summarize.
Hopefully, New Orleans and all the affected areas bounce back quickly from this hurricane. From what I’ve read, it seems like getting electricity back up and running will be the biggest challenge. I really want to be able to run the race, but at this point it’s not very important in the scheme of things.