Too Intense

Oh hai.

Why, yes. I do sit on my co-workers’ laps whilst celebrating #PreppyFriday. Don’t you?

Yes, I am back.

Yes, I have missed you.

No, I will never leave you again.

{I sort of promise}

So, let’s jump right in, shall we?

When we last chatted, I was training for the NYC Marathon on November 4. You’ll be happy to hear that the training is still in effect, and I have managed to avoid injuring myself thus far. (Knock on wood).

From nytimes.com. Click to see original post.

I will say this, though: my training? It’s intense. Like, make you never want to run again in your life intense. I’m using a Smart Coach plan. They’ve always worked great for me in the past for my half marathons, so I figured, why not? The plan, however, has become something I’ve grown to loathe rather than love. To give you an idea, my assigned workouts for last week and this week look like this:

Click to actually be able to see those numbers.

That regimen is no joke. And, I can admit, too intense for me. My vicious back injury is trying to rear its ugly head again, and I am just tired all.the.time. I never WANT to run any more, which isΒ so not me. And instead of getting faster, my pace has been steadily declining.

Overtraining say what?!?

Also, I googled “Crazy Runner,” and my own picture popped up. And not on my own blog. What do we make of that???

So it’s time to take a few days off. Do some yoga and stretching. Take Miss Roo for long walks instead of runs (oh, yes, the little lady is running with me now!), and maybe throw in a little easy strength training. I just want to actually be able to run the marathon when the time comes, and I’m confident that I have a strong enough base that I won’t lose my endurance by taking a week to recover and rejuvenate a bit.

Plus, I actually did a ful 26 miles on Saturday. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about the genius move that perpetuated that.

Marathoners: How do you avoid the dreaded burnout?Β 

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22 thoughts on “Too Intense

  1. that’s creepy about your picture showing up on someone else’s blog. i’d just cut down the distance on your weekday runs – this exact reason is why i stopped using smartcoach and switched training plans when i was training last year, it’s just too much. love you!

  2. MJ – burnout is no joke. The crap part is you think you can talk yourself out of it. Like it’s all in your head and you just need to gut it out. Individual workouts can be like that and usually, you are pumped up afterward and glad you made yourself get the work in.
    But when the fatigue, malaise, and general “I don’t even want to look at running shoes” feeling is repetitive: it’s time to take a real break. Smart move on your part.
    What’s worse about burnout is it can strike before you know it – there aren’t many signals that you are there, and if there are, we often attribute them to something else. “oh, I didn’t eat enough” or “work must have taken more out of me than I thought”.
    To avoid burnout, I rely on sleep and vegetation. As in, sit on the couch for 2 hours before turning in at 9:30 type of thing. After maybe 3 or 4 days of this, you might start feeling like running again. This is when I’ll tell myself, “okay, just 20 minutes”. Then, see how you feel when you’re out there. Go longer if you want, but don’t break the speed limit. The body will immediately resist if you try to go too fast when coming out of fatigue.
    Listen to your body, get good sleep, eat healthy meals, and you’ll pop out of it before you know it. Good luck in the last four weeks.

    • Thanks, Tommy. That’s basically exactly how I’ve been feeling. I’ve done the veg out in after work and early to bed deal, too, but it’s not working–so, yes, a break is necessary! You’re totally right: it snuck up on me. Glad I’m taking a break now!

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  3. oh my word. The fact that your picture was on someone else’s site is pretty funny πŸ™‚ Doing a longer-ish walk might feel a little better. Plus if you need to walk at all during the marathon you’ll have prepared for that too:) Sometimes if I’m just really not feeling it, I’m ok with taking the day off. Sometimes those extra rest days are REALLY what I need.

  4. I remember way back when (it feels like so long ago already!) when I was training for my marathon and I came to this point when I was like, “training for a marathon is NO JOKE!”….I think I even had a blog title of said point. But yes. It gets intense. When it get’s to be too much so, I always – ALWAYS – took a break. Rest days are a-okay. You have the base, your speed looks amazing, and you are ready. And what helped me with burning out was a running buddy. I would log 10 miles every Wed. night, but I always made sure that I did it with friends. It made the time and run fly by when I was gossiping with buddies. Have you found any running buds in DC?

    Sending you happy running vibes Lady!

    • Thanks, darlin! I don’t have any running buds (except Roo!), but I think dialing it back and focusing on just logging the miles rather than speed/pace is the way to go. XO

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  5. Kaelyn says:

    Last year I ran my first full after only running for a year at that time with only 2 halfs under my belt. In the months prior to my training I had had some mild IT band problems, so I was looking for something less intense that would not reinjure me. I used a Hal Higdon plan that basically ended up being 4 days of running (5 mi, 8 mi, 5 mi and a long run up to 20 mi max). I did 2 20 milers. No speedwork as it was my first full and was focusing on the distance. No multiple 8-10 mi runs during the week. I did some light strength training 1-2 days per week if I had time and tried to do 1 day of either spinning or swimming (but didn’t always – i had a 1 year old and 3 year old and a fulltime job at the time). Anyway, I experienced no burnout and felt wonderful the whole race. I ran quite conservatively (hey, it was gonna be a PR no matter what!) and finished in 4:11 with plenty left in the tank. Definitelty could have run faster but wasn’t sure if I’d hit the wall- this way, I did not. But it was a wonderful, enjoyable experience I’ll never forget. Couldn’t have asked for a better first marathon. And I think my time was okay for a first timer/newer runner! Maybe just turn the intensity down a bit. I think I maxed out at like 38-40 mi, and only like 1 week. My endurance was totally fine. I know you run a little faster than me (my half PR is only 1:50) but just throwing it out there that in my experience the slightly lower mileage didn’t hurt me at all.

    On the contrary, when I tried to follow a more intense half training plan this past spring (like a modified run less, run faster with lots of speedwork and hard tempo runs and faster long runs), i TOTALLY overtrained and was exhausted and my legs felt like lead all the time. My race was terrible and I didn’t PR. I ended up having to walk some! Ironically I ran a much faster half midway through my full training (with no speedwork) and easier paces than when I really “trained” for this last half and overdid it.

    I’m far from an expert but just sharing my personal experience! Good luck to you! Love reading your blog!

    • ONLY 1:50??? Girl, that is fast! Don’t sell yourself short!

      And thank you. For the sweet compliments and the advice. I think I’m going to search around for some modified plans like the Hal Higdon one and try to get back to liking running again! πŸ™‚

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  6. Yay for being back!!

    Ok – CREEPY on finding your picture on someone else’s blog. Do you know this person? Ha ha. (not so creepy if you do)

    Ugh Marathon Burnout. I have been there and it is NOT pretty. Taking it easy is the best thing you can do. Find that love of running again and NO MORE 26 milers. Okay?? πŸ™‚

  7. your blog posts always put a smile on my face! glad to hear you are still training and doing well and no injuries! wahooo! i also glad all is well. i missed reading your very much entertaining blog posts! πŸ™‚ xoxo

  8. Bloggers, you gotta love them when they take your pic and post it somewhere else! πŸ™‚ I’m visiting for the first time and have enjoyed reading your past posts. I am training for my 1st marathon and it has been interestingto read about all the ups and downs. Look forward to reading more!

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