Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Do you ever feel like you are drinkin’ the CRAZY juice? This has been one of those weeks. As much as I love running, I promise you it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I was pretty sore from Sunday’s half-marathon and the thought of running on Monday night was not appealing at all. So, I treated myself to a massage and froyo. I expected to feel better on Tuesday, but alas – it was like pulling teeth to get me out the door. Wednesday’s morning 9.5 miler was a little better (due mostly to the company!), but all week I have just felt tired. slow. achy. cranky. We’re at that point in the marathon training schedule where the race is close (41 days!), but still so far away (3 heavy mileage weeks before tapering….). There have been times this week when I asked myself, why am I doing this again?

I was feeling a little under the weather on Thursday (major pms, is that TMI? I don’t really care), but decided to attempt the team workout anyway. I told myself that if I felt crappy during the first few miles, I could go home. Surprisingly I felt decent for my warm-up and decided to continue on with the workout.

What was on tap for Thursday? HILLS. I ran cross-country in high school and college and one of the reasons why I now gravitate towards longer, (flat!) road distances is because I HATE hills. You have no idea. Alas, I know it’s important to work on what you’re bad at, so I sucked it up and got ready to run vertical. I didn’t time the hill repeats, but the effort was tough (maybe 5k pace?). It’s 3 days later and my legs are still feelin’ it.

Thursday’s workout:

  • ~3.65 mile warm-up
  • 2k pick-up @10k pace (~6:38 pace)
  • 3 x ~550m hill repeats (jog down hill to recover)
  • 3 x ~350m hill repeats (jog down hill to recover)
  • ~3.35 mile cool-down
  • 12 miles total

Oh, Harlem Hills….

I am by no means a hill running expert, but I do know that they’re good for me. The muscles you use to run hills are similar to those you use for sprinting (fast twitch), so hill work can make you faster and stronger.  Hill workouts can make you faster by increasing your turnover and stride length. These types of workouts also strengthen the muscles around your knees, preventing injuries like patellar tendinitis and ITBS. The important thing is not to hunch over when you run up the incline (it puts too much stress on your back). Instead you should have a slight lean forward and focus on lifting your knees.

I’m not going to lie friends – I’ve really been putting my body through the ringer lately. After Thursday’s hill workout, I ran 8 miles Friday morning. I was out pretty late at a concert Friday night and then woke up early on Saturday to run 5 miles before volunteering at the Vendy Awards. Super fun, but it meant spending all day on my feet. Just got back from a 15 miler which I think can be summed up by Sarah – “Not all runs can be awesome”. Running 60mpw and only sleeping 5-6 hours a night is just NOT working out for me. The goal for next week? Learn how to say no! As much as I would like to do it all, I just can’t. Right now my priorities need to be work, running, blogging, eating, and sleeping (not necessarily in that order….) – I think the social schedule needs to be scaled back a little bit.

How do you balance your social life with your priorities? Do you ever feel guilty going to bed early instead of seeing friends? I need advice on how to scale back my schedule! At least until November 7….

  • Rough. I think I would be dead. It is really tough to say no but I’m in the same position at the moment. I have some really big stuff coming up that I need to plan for and organize like crazy – quiet nights in getting work done are just necessary. So, I’ve been trying to say no to more things just to buy myself some time and rest. I find that so long as I still have a couple social things on my calendar, I don’t go too cuckoo!!

  • What works for me is that I give myself a weekly max. Right now I will schedule no more than 2 events during the week and be very judicious about what I schedule for the weekend. I also make a plan of which days would be best to be social. For instance, Monday is my day off, so Sunday evening would be a good time to be social. If I know I have to get up early on a particular morning (like thursday at 4:30am) then I don’t schedule anything.

    If I want to be more social then I just include my running friends on runs. I think its just about scheduling. Before the start of the week I sit down and see what workouts I have (2 runs per day on weekends, longer runs on weekends), what commitments I have, etc. It is hard, sometimes I just put my head down and focus on the running and the training for a few weeks and not be social, but then when I have lighter weeks I give myself more room to be social.

    I think its all about finding the balance that makes room for all the things you love and value. I think it is a constant shuffling of priorities and just remember to take good care of yourself.

  • I really admire your dedication, but WOW you really have put your body through the ringer lately! I hope you can find balance this week—I totally know how you feel. I recently said no to a few social invites because work has been so crazy lazy. I hate saying no to friends, but I remind myself that my sanity is more important!

  • Anne

    Every once in a while, I just go to bed at 8 pm and sleep until 6 am … refuel and rest : )

  • Yay, hills!!!!

  • ummmm would it be bad to think that i’m always drinking the crazy juice? hahaha. maybe not ALWAYS but lately it feels that way! it reminds me of the zoolander quote “i feel like i’m taking CRAZY PILLS”!

    and i chickened out of the hills i was going to do this weekend. so reading this is making me feel guilty hah!

  • Sorry the crazy pills are getting to you. 🙁 You indeed have a lot on your plate! 60 miles a week will wear you out eventually. Hang in there!

    And there is absolutely no shame in skipping out on the “fun” to go to bed early. I was in bed at 10:45 last night, on a Saturday night. Lame, but sometimes sleep is just necessary!

  • First things first: the bad week is GONE. HOORAY!!

    Secondly, I don’t think this is such a bad thing. You have identified some of the primary causes of your crazy (lack of sleep, high mileage, too much fun), so now you know what to do to make your crazy go away temporarily. Yeah, this means cutting back on fun, but only for a month or so. Your body will thank you mightily.

  • my body would go on strike if I tried to do all you’re doing. Actually, I think it kind of did when I got the foot fracture (and even then i wasn’t running half of what you do!).

    Take it easy on yourself. You’re an amazing runner and, I’m no expert, but your body could probably do just great with a few less miles and a little extra rest! There’s just too much to do in this city!!

    Oh, how were the vendy awards? I have to find out who won!

  • Unfortunately for me, when my schedule gets hectic, my already-minuscule social life is where it suffers. Thankfully, most of my friends are in college like me, so we all tend to get swamped around the same time. Embrace the power of Facebook! hehehe

    I say take some time to pamper yourself as you’re working so hard towards this goal. Maybe even set up some fun, little rewards at the end of each week before the marathon? Treating myself to a cappuccino after a difficult task always boosts my morale.

    Keep at it and keep going strong! You’ll feel so proud of yourself afterwards!

  • Oh man – you need some serious zzzz’s! I am the queen of going to bed early and being a weenie in regards to going out (even on the weekends), but I have my priorities and I’m stickin’ to ’em! Trust me, people understand when you say “no” 🙂

  • Honestly, I just say no. My friends know that I’m doing something that requires a lot of my energy, and a lot of my time. I’ve told them all that come October 1, I’m not drinking and I’m only going out once per week. Tops. They’re ok with it, because they want to support me. Plus, they know the party when I finish will be in-SANE!!!!
    Seriously, sleep is more important. Especially now.

  • Balance is important but getting into the meat of marathon training I would say listening to your body is essential. I’ve learned from my marathon training you need to prioritize and sometimes it means skipping out on events. I cannot function on 5-6 hours of sleep – at all! Hope you catch those zzz!

  • I won’t say that it’s easy to balance all of life’s priorities – nutrition, exercise, socializing – but it is possible.

    I really have to do a lot of planning to make it all work starting with what’s most important to me. I have a meal plan for my meals (and prep ahead where I can), I have an exercise plan for my training routine, and I plan my outings/gatherings with friends to work into my free time. We also have a rule that Sunday is no activity day…so we never book time with others on this day if possible. This gives my husband and I a day to relax before getting back to work..and a day where we can do whatever we’d like.

    Another approach I use is to schedule quick get togethers with friends – where we can stay in touch but not take too much time out of our schedules. Maybe..it’s grabbing breakfast near work, having a tea/coffee in the afternoon, exercising together, etc.

  • I am 3 weeks out from my marathon and join you in feeling super exhausted. I guess it doesn’t help that I went out the night I did a 22 mile run and drank my face off. I’m still recovering from both the run and the booze. Add in the constant hunger and I’ll be glad when the marathon is over! Just know, you are not alone!

  • Kristan

    Before I go into a rather intense training period, I always send out an alert to family and close friends that I will be laying low for a certain amount of time. Does that always work? Not really, especially with my family. But if I have to say no to something that comes along, I feel like they understand a bit more. And don’t feel guilty! Everyone wants to see you do well in the marathon, so take some time for yourself!

  • Pingback: Laundry Day « A Marathoner()

  • ha, this post is ironic considering we were talking about how many different potential plans last night?

    i think this is all about prioritizing though. right now there are two major things that are non-negotiable for you: work and marathon training. everything else is just about the balance that feels right for you – if you say no to plans because you need sleep, i promise we’ll understand, even if we miss you! i crave a crazy busy schedule too, but i’m sure the lack of down time plays into our respective recent ailments. i’m learning that every now and then i have to give myself a break and actually get some sleep. there will always be more outings to go to in the future!

  • Madeline- Greens and Jeans

    High mileage weeks are such a drain and a time suck. I’m horrible at saying no and often find myself with a little too much on my plate. Possible new job, huge move, and running a marathon in a two week period? Not the best plan…

  • oyyy do I struggle with this! not running like i used to makes this not as much of a problem, but when you’re waking up at 5:15AM to run before work, working all day, then drinking til late until the night, you burn OUT, which i most certainly did. it ain’t easy, but you’re good at prioritizing and if that means i’ll see less of you within the next few weeks, i’ll be sad but i guess i’ll have to deal. boo hiss!

  • thats quite beautiful!!! harlem hills is very scenic, and the greenery is so pretty- perfect for a run <3

  • I did a BRUTALLY hilly marathon on Sunday (the Adirondack Marathon, in Schroon Lake, NY) and my quads are killing me. Any advice for good stretches? I’ve done the “foot to butt” thing and also tried to bike it out at the gym a bit, but it’s two days later and I’m still sore.

    The hardest thing for me isn’t going to bed early – it’s not as important to my body how mch sleep I get. Rather, I find it hard to go out and not drink (which is often how I try to compromise and don’t succeed). Having just one drink over the course of an entire night out is tough!

  • first, your new blog design is tres cute!

    second, i honestly don’t know how you do it. cut yourself some slack from wherever it is needed. i would probably die on 5-6 hours of sleep. and i am not even being a drama queen about that.

    third, whine whenever you want to. just hand over the cheese 🙂