Bad Attitude

If you’ve talked to me IRL (in real life) this week, you may have noticed that I’ve been in a funk. I don’t want to run, I don’t want to work, I don’t want to do laundry, my pants feel too tight, and yet all I want to eat are cookies. It’s no secret that the winter gets me down (oh HEY Seasonal Affective Disorder). I think I could very happily hibernate in my bed (with netflix, library books, and hot chocolate of course) until April. Alas! The world doesn’t work that way. I’ve got a full-time job, a blog, bills to pay, friendships to maintain, and Spring marathon to train for. The push and pull of what I want to do (hibernate) and what I need to do (run/work/be a real person) generally gives me a bad attitude and this week it was at its peak.

In addition to my bad mood, work has been busy, so I didn’t make the CPTC team tempo workout on Thursday. But  rather than logging a goose egg (a.k.a. zero miles), I still managed to run for about 9 1/2 miles post-work. Could I have found a way to make it to the workout? Yeah, probably, but I know myself pretty well and last night easy, relaxed miles were what I needed, at least mentally if not physically.

This week so far:

Monday – 4 miles + strength training (omg!)

Tuesday – 6.5 miles, morning

Wednesday – 6 miles, evening

Thursday – 9.5 miles, evening

Friday – 5 miles w/ 2 miles at HM goal pace, not a real workout, but better than nothing!

Saturday – 10 miles, morning <– If I write it down, I’ll do it, right? (planned)

Sunday – 4 miles easy in Philadelphia (planned)

Total: 45 miles (assuming I get in those weekend miles – I’m headed out the door now, I swear)

I’m still hovering in the mid 40 mile range which is alright, but guess what? That’s about to change. I’ve finally put together a tentative Boston Marathon training schedule that begins on Monday, January 16. It’s only 13 weeks long, but I have a good base, so 3 months should be enough time to ramp up the tempos and long runs.

Megan’s 2012 Boston Marathon Training Plan

It’s in google docs, if you want to see it and can’t access it for some reason, let me know!

A few points on the plan:

  • *I’ve purposely kept it pretty loose. I like having a general plan for mileage and long runs, but how can I plan a specific workout for say, Febrary 9th if I have no idea what my schedule, mood, or legs will be like on that day?
  • *My overarching training philosophy is to run fairly high mileage (peaking around 80 mpw), finish either a weekly tempo run on Thursdays (exact workout to be determined by the CPTC coach) OR a tune up race, and to incorporate some “fast finishes” into my long runs. Before the NYCM in 2010, I ran a 22 mile run with the last 7 miles at goal marathon pace. It was a solid workout and a big confidence booster and I’d like to do that again on March 24th or 25th.
  • *You might notice that I only have about 6 rest days planned during the 13 week cycle. There are a few reasons for that: I run my easy runs slow, so the 4-6 milers are essentially recovery days for me. It’s very difficult to reach 70-80 miles a week if I take a day off, for me it makes more sense just to run some slow, recovery miles. Of course, if I’m feeling hurt of burned out, I’ll take a rest day, I just can’t plan for that in advance.
  • *Do I expect to run all of these miles and workout? Realistically, no. Work or weather or travel or the flu might throw a wrench into these plans, but I am anticipating that. If I can complete 85-90% of the planned workouts and mileage, I think I’ll be in a very good place.
  • *Note: I am not a sports scientist or coach. This plan isn’t based on a particular training philosophy, rather it is cobbled together from the experience and training I gleaned from my previous 3 marathons. High mileage, fast finish long runs, and weekly tempo workouts of 4-8 miles. Should you listen to me? Will it work? I have no idea, but stick around and you’ll find out!

In other news, I am getting ready to hit the road for a weekend in Philadelphia with this gal. A long weekend away couldn’t have come at a better time! The only thing on the schedule is eating, drinking, shopping, and visiting with friends. We have dinner and brunch reservations at some really fun places and I can’t wait!

On Friday night, I got the weekend off to a good start. I had dinner with a group of my lady friends. I’m glad it worked out because it can take some planning to coordinate the schedules of seven busy 20-somethings (we missed our 8th, Danielle!)

Queens Kickshaw. Fancy Grilled Cheese. Beer flights. Get it. See my friend Katie’s previous recap for photos of the sandwiches. I went halvies with Anna on the gouda-guava jam-black bean hummus-pickled jalapeno sandwich and the minted eggplant-ricotta-manchego sandwich. Whoa.

There’s nothing like a beer flight and lots of cheese to improve your mood.

Okay, off to go run. Seriously. Let’s hope I finish in time to make my bus to the city of Brotherly Love…

When you’re in a funk, do you force yourself to run anyway? Or do you allow yourself some time off? I must admit, occasionally skipping a run for no other reason that I JUST DON’T WANNA can feel pretty damn good.

  • Halvsies was the best idea. And that was probably the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. 

  • Yes! Agree! For the most part I force myself to run because I know that as soon as I lace up my shoes and head out the door my mood will instantly change. BUT sometimes all I want to do is curl up in bed and watch cheesy wedding shows.

  • The pickled jalapeno definitely made that sandwich. Want more.

    I don’t adhere to a training schedule or anything, but I’ll take a close look at the funk and decide if it’ll be improved or worsened by a run. If I’m just feeling blah and aimless and low on energy, I usually give it a shot.

  • brian

    i’ve been in a funk ever since philly marathon weekend (8K). i don’t think i’ve run since and it’s starting to guilt trip me. mainly cause that sorta thing keeps my habits in check…. hockey alone just isn’t enough. i need to sign up for another race soon to keep me motivated.

    looking forward to seeing you ladies this weekend!

  • Page

    I would just be scared of the minimal rest days. But like you say, take ’em easy 🙂

  • leslie

    that grilled cheese totally transformed my mood last night. well, that and the time spent with you ladies. i think we set the stage for this weekend perfectly!

    i try to strike a balance between giving myself a break from exercise when i mentally need it and not giving in out of sheer laziness. i let myself take it pretty easy the past couple months, which i totally needed after years of not being able to let myself do that. but the relaxed schedule also made me realize how great exercise is for my mood, my confidence and my energy levels, as long as i give myself adequate rest (i need days off both mentally and physically). so i guess for me i try to ask myself how i’ll feel if i stay in bed. if the answer is “awesome,” then bed it is. if the answer is, “ehhhh i’ll probably feel better if i get moving,” then i do. or try to. 🙂

    ps i packed my sneakers because i knew i’d be traveling with you! so you may have some company for those easy miles tomorrow. 🙂

  • I’ve been there, more times than I would like to admit.  On Thursday I started running, it was going to be an easy 4 miler.  After 1 mile I was just not into it so I walked for a bit to see if I’d get the desire to run again.  It never came so I stopped and did my strength training.  We aren’t elite runners.  Yes we want to go fast, but we have to take care of ourselves mentally as well as physically.  Our personality traits won’t allow us to be completely lazy, so you can trust yourself when you just don’t want to do it.  It’s all about balance and we are all different.  Enjoy your weekend!!  Now I need to go run…

  • Anonymous

    Very good point re: personality traits. I guess I always think that once I skip a workout it’s a slippery slope, but I do love running ( and I’m a little type A, maybe type A- actually), so I don’t think I’d completely succumb to laziness. Thanks for the insight!

  • I almost always feel better once I’ve started my run — it’s lacing up my shoes and getting out the door that’s the problem. So I usually force myself to get off my butt and go. I definitely agree that just taking a total lazy day can feel SO good though! 
    I NEED to go to that grilled cheese place. I think that melted cheese is just about the best thing to happen to humanity since dark chocolate, and when it’s served inside of fancy grilled bread? Delicious.

  • Ericka Andersen

    I feel you, sister. I read this and thought for a second, thank God I’m not alone. What is it about January. This is how I have felt since Christmas and it freakin’ sucks. To top it all off, I hurt my back this week and haven’t been able to run — which is my usual stress/control/sanity method. It’s been hard but I’m trying to just breathe through it knowing I can run again soon. Good job keeping up with the runs. If you took a day off, you might find yourself craving it. Anyway, just wanted to chime it.

  • Hi Megan.  This post hit home for me.  I tend to get very anxious about the weather forecast.  I just blogged about it.  For me the anticipation is a lot worse than the reality when it comes to the weather.  I worry and worry and worry and the reality is that the weather and dark days/early nights just aren’t that bad…. I’ve experienced it all before.  That said, I am sort of tough on myself.  Since I’m not training for anything I have pretty low outdoor mileage right now (7-8 miles 3 or 4 times a week) and the rest of my  workouts are at the gym.  But I have a rule.  I ask myself why I don’t want to run.  If it is because I’m worrying about the weather I run.  Running in bad weather is hardcore isn’t it?

  • Mealsformiles

    oooh fancy grilled cheese. that sounds like the perfect comfort food for this cold, craptastic weather. I kind of want to hibernate too! Hmm, I guess it depends what kind of funk I’m in – if it’s mental, then I usually make myself run and then feel better after. If it’s physical and I feel tired or have dead legs, then I try not to make myself run because then I might feel worse. 

    yayyy for a solid training plan – that looks awesome, friend!

  • Courtney

    The one thing that makes me have a bad attitude more than winter weather running (sometimes) is not being able to run bc of an injury! 🙁 Keep up the running and spring will be here sooooooon! 

  • I’m right there with you. Come 5 O’clock when its dark and cold, all I want to do is just sit in bed and watch TV (Modern Family season 2 – laughing is cardio, right?). I usually force myself out the door but maybe once a week (or twice) I just say “you know what, I’m going to do what I want today.” I try to make those days the exception rather than the rule….

    When is spring?

  • Bobbie

    I do both. There are some times when I force myself to do it by repeating “you never regret a run” over and over again. Other times I blow it off and I’m okay with it. You’re still doing great!! Have fun in Philadelphia…my stomping ground whenever I manage to get out. 😉

  • Katie

    Sorry to hear you’ve been funkalicious lately :-(.  I suffer from them year-round, unfortunately, and it’s a constant struggle to make the smart decision to do what I need to do to get out of it (leave the house, see friends, exercise) instead of succumbing to it.  It depends on the intensity of the funk, and the reason for it (if there is one)… if it’s because I’ve been pushing myself too hard and need some alone time, then I’ll stay home and veg and not worry about it.  But other times, exercising REALLY makes me feel better.

  • When I am in a funk, I try to go running anyways.  However, instead of sticking with my training plan expectations, I pick my favorite spot, my favorite tunes, and my favorite pace and just go for it until I feel better

  • franklin & mortgage cocktail-induced silliness heals all wounds. hope you’re feeling better, lady!

    i agree with leslie: i only force myself into working out if I foresee that i’ll feel better after. if not, not worth my time.

  • Kelly

    I really want to LIKE running so if I force myself to do it I end up resenting it and hating every single step. Whenever I am in a running funk I will do something else for a few weeks (swim, bike, weights) until the urge to run comes again with renewed interest. The longest I went without running was 6 months. But then once the spark was ignited again I was off and running.

  • I just found your blog and am newly inspired to start running again. YAY!

  • You make me want to go to Astoria…like, right now.

    This reminds me I need to make my Boston plan!  Ah, so soon!  I like that you don’t plan specific workouts because sometimes you just don’t feel like doing a tempo run…sometimes a rest/recovery day is much better on a Tuesday rather than a Wednesday, and I like the idea of flexibility.  I think funks are a hard thing to work through, but I think you’ve been running long enough that you have somewhat of an idea as to whether it’s a “ugh, I’m busy and tired and would rather sit in bed with hot chocolate” funk versus a “I’ve been running a lot of miles and these legs need a break” funk.

  • Hi Megan –
    I’m glad I am not the only one that wants to hibernate. Hang in there!

  • Depends how I’m feeling…a lot of times, if its during the week, I’ll do the run but just run it a bit slower.  During the weekend, I try to maintain my workout.  

  • Anonymous

    I usually force myself to run and usually feel better after. Winter sucks though. I hate the darkness.

    Excited to follow you on your Boston training! I feel my 6 mile tempo runs really helped me for my last marathon. Now I am wondering If I should try longer like your 8 mile tempo runs…do you do all at tempo pace with no breaks?

  • Anonymous

    the 8 mile tempo is 4 miles at marathon goal pace followed by 4 miles at half-marathon goal pace (20 seconds or so per mile faster). no breaks between the segments, it’s a toughie!

  • Rebecca

    Hi lady, i’m trying to get myself back into runner’s shape out here on vacation. Well, okay, pre-running shape. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things! I’m hoping by early February the corner of king and you-know-what will once again be the site of our early morning run meets! 

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Great workout week.  I usually go with the self force thing and remind myself how much better I feel afterwards.