In short: That big PR didn't happen. In yet another shocking twist, I had an amazing training cycle and then on race day things never fell into place and I finished short of my goal. Again!
Unlike other races that didn't go as planned though, I didn't feel like my spirit was crushed. It was a beautiful, perfect, marathon day. It just wasn't *my* day. For whatever reason.
|Nope. Not today.|
But I'm not here to to talk about that. I'm here to talk about now.
NOW IS GOOD.
The first few weeks of getting back to training in December were Capital-R-Rough. I started week 1 getting sick, went on vacation during week 3, had a terrible half marathon in week 4- after which I promptly got sick again, only to have it linger for a couple more weeks. Not exactly a recipe for success. Through all of this I was still managing to get all of my runs in, hitting the prescribed paces... but never feeling good about any of it. All of it was hard. All of it felt like WORK. (Yes, I always expect marathon training to be hard work, but it's difficult to feel like you are improving when you go though a long stretch without seeing signs of actual progress!) During every run my heart rate always felt too high and I was tired all the time- even on slow recovery runs. I was sticking to my plan day in and day out but everything about training was feeling like one big shrug emoji.
But somewhere over the last couple of weeks something started changing and the result is that I'm finally beginning to feel like myself again. Even better than myself, if that makes sense? Out of nowhere I've had a series of particularly "hard" workouts and long runs that have been nothing short of Fan-Tastic. Last Saturday I finished a 20 miler feeling super strong and the last 5 miles the fastest-- while just a month ago I was riding the struggle bus to the finish of a half marathon. This past week I've even been running extra hills to run on my routes instead of avoiding them because I want the added challenge. That is NOT normal for me.
Suddenly I'm like, "Ohhhhhh all those days I thought I was doing crappy were really helping me get stronger and I'm NOW JUST REALIZING IT."
Now is a good place to be. I hope it lasts. Like maybe through race day this time?
Goal: Sub-3:35 at Circular Logic Marathon, April 1st. (BQ +10 minutes for 2018)