I seemed to get myself back on track this week getting in all scheduled runs during the week, a short 4 miler on Saturday and a planned 15K race on Sunday. The 15K was a point-to-point race. You picked up your registration stuff at the finish so I had the brilliant idea to make this a 18.6 long run by running to the start and then doing the race back since I didn't do much last weekend.
I should back up and talk about the 20 miler from 2 weeks ago. My Garmin was nonresponsive that day so I headed out (after a lot of procrastinating) with just a regular watch and no plan. The first 5-ish miles were on a normal route and I was not into it but I decided maybe all I needed was a change of venue so I started down some new roads that I'd only covered once last summer during marathon training. It seemed to help. I tackled some major hills and felt like I was covering a ton of ground. Eventually, I found myself about a mile from home, I wasn't sure how far I'd actually gone but my watch just hit 3 hours exactly and I just stopped and started walking. I hit the 'OK, I'm done' mindset. I pulled out my cell phone, called hubby, asked what he was doing and asked him to come pick me up. I found the whole thing kind of humorous - this giving up mindset is a little different for me. I came home, felt perfectly fine, wasn't tired or anything but was just not in the mood to run anymore - still not sure how far I went, I'm sure it was somewhere between 18-20, but highly doubt it was 20!
So, back to this weekend's race, surely, this change of venue, an easy rail-trail would be the perfect mix for a long run. I headed out and tried to judge the correct amount of time to get to the start of the race. Those first 9.3 miles - perfect, although a little bit faster than I wanted. I started feeling some bad pain in the ball of my foot that I'd never had before around 8.5 miles. I was really hoping it was just a cramp or something. I hit the area for the start of the race, hit the bathrooms, found some sliced oranges, re-filled my water bottle and was getting ready for the start of the race. My foot seemed to feel perfectly fine by this time so I was ready to start back to the finish line. Soon, we were off and the first 3-ish miles were fine, although very windy, but I felt fresh. By about 4.5 miles, I was starting to have that 'OK, I'm done' feeling again. My foot had started hurting again. The rest of the race, I walked for a bit, then ran and repeated the process to the finish, finishing in a time much slower than it took me to get to the start of the race!
At the finish line, I got my ticket for my free lunch and feasted on my free BBQ chicken dinner. All filled up, I made my way home (after a stop at Wendy's for a Frosty) and then realized my foot and my hip are pretty messed up. After a nap and some Ibruprofen, things are starting to feel better but I'm just seriously lacking in my motivation for the Pittsburgh marathon which is less than a month way. I seem to be rocking all runs in the 13-ish mile range but everything over that in this training round has been awful. I'm trying to make sure I'm going slow but not sure what is going on, perhaps just a case of burnout. Everything over 13 just takes a long time (literally) and time is short these days with a super packed work schedule. I'm pretty much already planning on taking a pretty nice break after Pittsburgh. One more week to get a final long run but we'll see how it goes with this foot/hip issue. Then, it'll be taper time and I'll see how bad I struggle through the miles of the marathon.
I usually wear the ring in the picture but haven't been lately, because I've been doing a fair amount of giving up. I think it's time to suck it up, get myself focused for Pittsburgh, enjoy it and then take a break. I want to run because I enjoy it, but it's actually felt like work lately, which isn't any fun! Hopefully all the motivation around me will help and I'll get pumped for Pittsburgh...it's been great to see/hear all about Boston and it looks like the locals I know running did really well...guess that should be some motivation!