Okay, it's time we have a heart-to-heart here. You've always been such a good listener. I've loved the way you've stopped to think and really hear me when I talk to you. But this time, I'm not quite sure what's going on with you. I feel rather neglected, and out of respect for myself (and you), I'm going to be quite clear here since my other more subtle hints are apparently not working.
I NEED REST! I need for you to STOP Running for a bit. I NEED a BREAK here sweet Amanda. Yes, those hints I've been giving you are not just in your head. Let's go over just a few of the messages I've sent you lately:
- Overly tired
- Can't run for several days on end without then having your runs be awkward and just OFF.
- Trying to run after your long runs or harder workouts and finding yourself with a limp and feeling like I'm (um, your body) is all jacked up (that's because I AM).
- Left leg weak, exhausted and many times hurting over the last 6 or so weeks of your Napa Training.
- Weight Gain (probably from stress and perhaps just from ME (your body) not knowing what to do with you. Might as well hold on to something if you're going to insist on tearing me down everywhere else, right?
Oh, and if all the signs above that show I need a break aren't sinking in, I think you had a very clear sign when you got our ferritin levels checked and it was at a level: 10!
These things are NOT just in your head like you've been trying to convince yourself. They are REAL!
Come on girl! What are you holding on to exactly?? That sub 3:20 marathon that you know you have in you? All the work you've put in the last 18 weeks? What?! If you are truly going to try to run Boston for "Fun" and make it an easy run then here's the thing:
- You don't need to be getting in all of these workouts. I (your body) promise you that I (if healthy) can make that distance of 26.2 without much more training. Promise. Even if you took the next two weeks off with maybe one or two light workouts.
- I just might agree to hold out for you until then IF and only IF you agree to take at least a good month off after Boston is over. Promise???!!
And just because it doesn't seem to be sinking in, I might make this clear to you too:
There is a reason why WE feel so good after a few days of complete rest (see last post). It isn't because your iron is all of a sudden at a decent level (although this has something to do with it) and you're ready to be superwoman and run like a crazy lady. It MEANS that you NEEDED REST!! And I responded to it. But that doesn't mean that you should stop that rest just because you're feeling perky after a few days of it. PLEASE listen to me. If you want me to hold up until I'm long into my 80's and even 90's then please take care of me now.
You had a hard 18 weeks of training and then to top that off you have been:
- planning a move across the country (packing, finding homes, researching schools)
- being a mom to 3 very energetic kids
- making sure you and your family have proper closure to the act of moving out of your home, leaving friends, and transitioning
- planning going away parties, birthday parties, and final activities before leaving
- running through injury...don't even try to call it something else anymore...screw this "oh it's just a little niggle!" I mean, what's a niggle anyway? A niggle doesn't usually last 6 weeks. Or maybe it does but in my book, a niggle means to back off a bit. Hello! You spent most of your training taped with KTTape in 2 to 3 different places and wearing compression tights on every run. And even then feeling torn down and depleted.
I'll make a deal with you Amanda. I'll be willing to THINK about performing "just enough" at Boston. Maybe. That's 2 weeks away. I'll put up with your crazy nonsense until then on a much lower scale...I mean cut the workouts you have in your plan and go into some active recovery mode...you DON'T need all of that if you are truly just going to "Run" Boston and not race it. Be honest with yourself. Let it go. Yes, I know, this is the HARD part. Letting GO. You had a bad race at Napa. But there will be other races IF you take care of yourself now. So, don't just say you're letting Boston go. The act of saying it isn't enough if you haven't truly let it go in our HEART. Got it? Saying and Doing are very different things. And until now, you really haven't let anything go. You've just pushed through and told yourself what you needed to.
So, about that 18 miler you have on your calendar today..... Hmmm, let's really think long and hard about this one. Yesterday when you tried to run even a few back and forths on the road so your husband could see your stride, I was very clear in my messages to you that I'm not working so well. Um, that limp? Can that possibly be good to run on for 18 miles???! You're more than likely to do some more damage from that. In fact, there's no doubt that you're doing MORE damage. If it takes you a good 2 miles to "warm-up" and feel "normal" when your current normal is still quite different from what you remember what normal feels like over a year ago, then something isn't right! Who cares if you're hitting an easy 8:06ish pace naturally once you start going. Who cares that you nailed your 800s the other day even though your body still felt "off". Seriously, if you're doing that when you feel the way you do, you're :
A. capable of much more when you are healthy (you know this anyway)
B. most likely tearing your body down more and more so that your chances of having some good PRs ahead of you someday are slowly fading.
Thanks for listening to me.
Lots of Love,
After writing this above "letter from my body", I had a good conversation with my coach. I told him all of the things that I realized. His response was something to the tune of being proud of me for coming to these realizations myself. He has been feeling the same way (in fact, he doesn't even think I should run Boston for fun) but wanted me to come to these lessons on my own. As far as not running Boston at all goes...I'm not ready to make that decision. Here's my plan for the next 2 weeks:
- Active recovery: walking/stretching/yoga/rest/light jogging
- Eating right
- Good Sleep
- Continue taking IRON and Multivitamin
- Daily journaling of gratitude and goals. This is really good for me in staying focused.
- Working on really taking things one day at a time and focusing on being in the present moment as we adjust to this new and wonderful place to live.
- Truly embracing where I am at. Right. Now. Today my body is screaming at me to REST and get things figured out. Can I run? Yes. Can I run fast? Sure. But am I recovering normally or am I left feeling injured and off after harder runs? Well, most of the time over the last many weeks, I'm feeling injured. This is such a clear warning to me that I need to...BACK OFF.
- Consider scraping Boston Marathon and just enjoying the trip to Boston, one of my favorite cities. It really would be fun just to watch the race, see the elites finish, cheer on so many of my friends who are running, and just enjoy the Boston experience from another perspective.
- Finding other ways to get my heart rate up and move my body without running. Hard without a gym right now BUT my husband has an Insanity workout that he does that looks like it could be modified for me.
I admit, it was a little emotional for me this morning when I came to the point of admitting to myself that I'm really not healthy. Admitting that my body just isn't okay and that I need to TRULY let go of my expectations...not just say that I'm letting it go or not being attached to some sort of hope for a good race. I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a part of me that clinging to the idea of having my body just snap into shape and finally being able to run the marathon I had trained for. I felt the tears bubble up a little this morning when I heard myself tell others that I was letting go. When I made the decision to not run my 18 miles this morning, I knew then and there that I was finally ready to ACCEPT where I'm at and stop fighting it.
Here's to the next 2 weeks of rest and loving myself as we continue to plant our roots here in Asheville. In fact, I think I just might be ready for a nap even though I just woke up a couple of hours ago.