A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Some things I know FOR SURE...

When last I left you, I told you how unhappy and frustrated I was with my marathon training. I have been feeling this way for a long time, but I kept pushing through and doing my best.

I kept waiting to feel confident.

I kept waiting to feel strong.

I kept waiting to feel like I was improving.

Weeks went by, and I didn't feel any of these things. It all came to a head on Sunday when I stopped to stretch during a 10 miler and I ended up sobbing in the grass. I've never cried during a run before. Something was wrong.

What I couldn't figure out was whether this feeling was normal during Hansons training. One of the main elements of the program is the concept of cumulative fatigue. Am I actually improving, but I can't tell due to the heat, humidity, and cumulative fatigue of it all? Or am I not improving at all? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO TELL?????

Okay, let's not focus on what I don't know. Let's focus on what I do know.

Some things I know FOR SURE...

I am not a 6 day a week runner and I was STUPID to think I could be one for 18 weeks. 

I am not a high mileage runner and I was STUPID to think I could be one for 18 weeks.

I drank the Kool Aid. I got very excited reading the Hansons book and I thought as long as I followed the "rules" my body would feel strong and I would improve. I ran all the easy runs easy. I kept my paces in check on speed and tempo days. I ate good food. I slept. I stretched. I was a good little runner. My body still said... "NOPE."

I should have trusted in myself! I earned my current marathon PR by running 4-5 days per week, and there is no way I was running more than 40 mpw.

I am okay with not running the marathon on September 11th. There are lots of other marathons.

However, I do feel regret for wasting 3 months of my life following a training plan that has done jack shit for me other than given me a bad ass runners tan. **Note: I am not blaming the plan. Every person I know has had success with Hansons. My body is just not made for it.

I'm definitely leaning toward not running the marathon. I've trained for lots of marathons and the only time I felt more unprepared than now was when I ran Boston less than 3 months after knee surgery. I know I could run for "fun", but right now running a marathon does not sound like FUN!

I think there is a half I could bump down to, but I don't really feel like running a half.

I just don't feel like RUNNING.

I better get my shit together, or I'll have to change my blog name to Meg Go Lay On The Couch.





PS. I haven't run the past 3 days and it feels GREAT!!!

37 comments:

  1. I'm glad you can recognize these things. It doesn't make sense to force yourself to do something that isn't working for you. Im glad you are enjoying some time off from running!

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    1. Thanks Lisa. I want to enjoy running again and I think these couple days off are going to help!

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  2. Don't look at it as a waste of 3 months. It was an experiment with a new training plan and you learned a TON from this experience. Mostly that you know how you need to train. Give yourself a well deserved break. And sign up for a half in a couple of weeks. I bet you'll crush it.

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    1. I will be honest, it is *really* hard for me to look at these months as not a waste. I hope with some time I will be able to see the benefit of knowing for certain how my body needs to train.

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    2. You never know unless you try. So you tried and it didn't work. Give credit for trying and now try something new!

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    3. Thanks Cathleen, that's a good point. :)

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  3. To me training should be fun 75% of the time. If your not having fun...it just not fun! Ha You could use resting heart rate as a guide for when to train hard and when to back off. Also resting heart rate can be used to gauge your fitness. I use resting heart daily to guide my training.

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    1. Yeah I normally always have fun when training! And even if a hard run sucks, there is still that good feeling after knowing you gained some fitness. I think feeling like I wasn't getting stronger or faster just erased a lot of that kind of pleasure.

      I keep forgetting to check my resting heart rate. I guess you're supposed to do that first thing in the morning?

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  4. Meg drink wine on the couch, it is better than kool aid!
    I think what you do know is very important!! and I have told you, there is no question you are smart enough to know what you need, so take the break and ease back into what feels good.
    6 days a week is a lot! It feels suffocating to me just thinking about it, but I know everyone is wired different. I do think some of their "rules" have a benefit, but we are not one size fit all, and at least you know for sure what doesn't work. Hugs from VA
    I promise you will feel like running soon :)

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    1. HA wine IS better than kool aid. But is it better than kool aid with vodka in it? Hmmm now I am asking the DEEP questions! :)

      Thanks for the pep talk, Karen!

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  5. Are you drinking win straight out of the bottle in that last pic? I think that's what everyone should do when they take a break from running.

    You know my feelings about the Hanson's plan for me. I also agree, being a 4-5 day per week runner, doing the jump to 6 was very jolting for me and caused a lot of problems. The book convinced me that it would be fine, but it wasn't. If running a marathon in the fall doesn't sound fun, then don't do it. If it makes you feel like you trained for something, you could do the half... at worst, it's only like 2 hours of no fun. Enjoy your time off and don't rush back to running if you don't feel like it. Really, you should drink more wine! :-)

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    1. Nah, there was a glass there that you can't really see but please continue to think I am badass drinking wine from the bottle in my PJs. :)

      Yeah the book convinced me 6 days would be fine too! Ugh.

      Good point about the half only being half the amount of no fun as a marathon. :)

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  6. First I will say I completely agree w/ Wendy. Definitely not a waste but a very valuable learning experience. Second I will say "you do you". You know your body, you know your heart and what you can handle and more importantly what makes you happy. Being so sad about running...well, it's wrong on so many levels. I am glad you are giving yourself a break to get out of your head a bit and just rest. You will know what to do in time. Promise. Love + hugs xo

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    1. Thank you Susan! It is hard to not look at it as wasted time. But hopefully with time I will be able to look at it as being worth the learning experience. And if I don't, well at least with time the sting will hurt less!

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  7. I think you did the right thing by taking time off running! None of us are getting paid to run so if you don't want to, don't. Besides, there are tons of other healthy exercise activities you can do, life is too short to do something voluntary that you don't want to do.

    As far as Hanson's goes, yes people have success with it but the first thing you learn in Intro Pysch in college is "Correlation does not imply causation". I was successful with the plan, but it may not have been the plan- maybe it was the increase in overall mileage. Maybe it was the consistency that following ANY plan brings.

    You know yourself better than any coach or "plan in a can"... you have run enough marathons to know what works for you and there are as many ways to train as there are people out there!

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    1. Thanks Amy! I think the only thing I gained from this is now realizing I know myself better than a book does. Now I am just trying to tell myself the past 3 months were worth learning that lesson.

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    2. Sometimes it takes figuring out what DOESN'T work to find out what really does. You gave it a shot. Who knows, maybe it would have worked for you but if you hadn't tried it you would not have known. That's how I felt about streaking, it wasn't for me but I gave it a chance and learned from it.

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  8. Laying on the couch has benefits too! I like the wine :)
    Running should be fun, and it sounds like you were absolutely miserable. No bueno!

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    1. I was miserable! I had a very dark couple days there. First world problems, right?

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  9. Good! I'm looking forward to some drunk ass posts!

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    1. Haha! Unfortunately I write my posts several days ahead of time so even if I do write while I'm drinking, there are several editing sessions where I am sober.

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  10. Do you follow Janae(Hungry Runner Girl)? Just read her post today about how you can be a runner for decades and still be learning new running lessons all the time. I had dreams once of high mileage marathon training and learned the hard way too that my body doesn't handle high mileage or daily running very well.

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    1. I used to read Janae but not anymore. Yah I was silly to think my body could handle even CLOSE to that mileage for 18 weeks.

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  11. I hope that this picture of you drinking wine on the couch are from this morning! Because I'm going to say again, that I'm jealous!

    I'm sorry you are feeling like this, but I say enjoy the running break. and If you don't shake off the funk... let's think of Meg Go Lay On The Couch possible post... like What wine goes best with Season 4 of Dexter.... hopefully not red! or Ranking the best Stephen Colbert Ties... I don't know... just putting some out there.

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    1. LOL no they are from last night. :) Paul got me VA wine when he was on vacation. It was good! I will have some again tonight.

      OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG YOU ARE SO FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not worried at all about running again because you have convinced me that Meg Go Lay On The Couch could be a THING!!!

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  12. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Unless something else is going on in one's life, I would say stopping to sob during a run is not normal on any training plan. Breaking down like that means something is seriously wrong. Hansons does work wonders for a lot of people, but you are not a lot of people. You are Meg. People manage to run fast marathons on all different kinds of training plans. For every Hansons success story there is someone who ran an insane PR on one of those Run Less Run Faster plans.

    For what it's worth, I tried to make the leap to 6 days of running during my last training cycle and I failed too. Physically it was fine, but mentally it was just too tough for me. I felt like running was taking over my life and I never got a break. The one rest day never felt anywhere close to enough rest. There were very few weeks that I actually ended up running 6 days. I've found I do much better on 4-5. So, you're not alone.

    Take all the time you need. Running will be there for you when you're ready to come back.

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    1. Thank, Hanna! I am convinced only robots run 6 days per week. ;)

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  13. Megan,
    Good for you in recognizing that the plan was not for you. Running plans drive me crazy and I never use them. The plans are well intended but we are all different. We experienced runners really, really know our bodies and what we do and do not need to succeed. It is normal to have a go at something that promises to make you stronger and faster but YOU KNEW it was not right. It took a bit of time for you to recognize but better late than never. My guess is that you are really, really tired. Your fatigue is probably a combination of this horribly hot weather and too much mileage. Just rest and get those electrolytes going again. Your runner's high will come back to you.

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    1. Thanks Donna! You know I never used a real plan either. I just made sure I did a 20 miler 3 weeks before the race. So crazy. I wish I would have stopped this plan earlier but I didn't want to be a quitter in case I was just having a bad day or a bad week or a bad two weeks or a bad 8 weeks... lol.

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  14. If nothing else, I'm glad that you now have some clarity and you can make a decision that is best for you.

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    1. Yes, I am glad I have *some* clarity. Thanks!

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  15. Yes, I agree with others--it wasn't a complete waste. You found that it wasn't right for you!! Maybe had you never tried it, you would've wondered how you'd do, you know what I mean? It seems like you've run enough now though, to know what works for you so when you're ready, you know what to do :)

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    1. Thanks Helly. If I look at it objectively now I know it's not a complete waste- that's why I love you guys for pointing that out to me. It's hard for me to see because I am "in it" but I am confident I will appreciate the lesson in good time.

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  16. Enjoy your time off and don't rush back to running if you don't feel like it. Really, you should drink more wine Sakura Beauty

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  17. Well done for knowing the difference between quitting and being sensible. I'm new to your blog but I think I read you are a teacher. I.e. you have a job. Running is presumably something you do because you enjoy/ love it. If something is stopping you from loving it then it seems clever to remove that something! Good luck with whatever way you approach running next. But please continue blogging because it's helpful to the rest of us!

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    1. Thanks for reading! And yes you are right in running is not my job and it should be something I enjoy. Hoping to switch things up so that I start to feel good again.

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