Picking Up Steam

It’s Wednesday – mid-week long run day. I have never, in any training cycle (and this is my third), done very well at getting my mid-week long run in. Today I am supposed to run 8 according to the schedule. Instead, I will run 7 today; 4 on my lunch hour and 3 tonight on the treadmill.

I am at the stage where my legs always feel tired; yes, one indication of overtraining. I think to myself, gee, I just need a little rest, but the time for resting my legs is in the past, and in only 2 and a half weeks, I can in fact rest them to my heart’s content (for a little while, anyway). But there is also a point where you have to overtrain to a degree. That is why we taper in the last week (for a half distance); to recover from overtraining, setting yourself up to be rested and ready to race without having lost any endurance. So I acknowledge my general weariness, my occasional snippy mood, my heavy legs, and my poor sleep, but I reject that it is a reason to stop and rest now.

I did a progression run on the treadmill yesterday – my 3 miles came in at a 10:06 average pace. I am getting closer and closer to a sub-10 minute average pace (on a treadmill), which is completely foreign but incredibly tantalizing territory for me. I deeply resent my slow natural pace and I acknowledge that it comes from an inherent laziness and the desire to avoid pain.

That being said, it is a little bit silly to be training for speed right now when what I need to be training for is more endurance. Being able to run 3 miles in about 30 minutes is all well and good unless you are trying to succeed at running 13.1 miles in hilly terrain. I know the benefits of short, faster distances, but I wonder if by slacking on my longer, slower, distance training (like those mid-week long runs), if that isn’t what is shooting me in the proverbial foot.

I am also surely overthinking all of this. It’s not like I am running Olympic time trials. I don’t care that I am overthinking it; I overthink almost everything.

Something I am happy to report is that my weight is finally starting to come down, thanks to some changes I have made in my life. I have lost 4 pounds so far, and that equates to nothing on my visible frame, but that isn’t why I am happy to have dropped 4 whole pounds. If a 2005 study on osteoarthritis can be trusted, every pound of body weight lost equates to a decrease of 4 pounds of pressure on my knee joint load. So theoretically I have taken 16 pounds of pressure off my knees thus far. Whether that makes a significant difference in my comfort levels or not remains to be seen, but I can guarantee you that weighing even only 4 pounds less won’t make anything worse on race day.

Now, I just need to shake the nerves I am starting to get about this race, along with the weight.

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