Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States



I've hit a running plateau during the last month.

That first 10K after the marathon was great - River City Run, PR by more than 3 minutes - but since then, it's all been downhill. I hurt my back one week, so I was off my mileage as I recovered. I haven't felt energized by a run for a couple of weeks, so I took several days off to see if that would help, but it didn't. So then I figured maybe this is just something I have to work through mentally, another aspect of preparing for longer runs.

But it's all still blah.

I've already "fallen off the wagon" with my initial maintenance plan (see previous post), as I just couldn't bring myself to keep that once a week treadmill workout going. That's definitely a mental block, but I justified the change by deciding that I should continue to run outside while I still can, since eventually the weather will get too hot (summer) or too rainy (fall). OK, that's valid, especially since I'm not in training mode at this point.

But my 15-milers and even some 10-milers have felt like absolute crap lately. I still get the mileage in, but I can't help thinking it's more "junk" than anything. Yet I don't want to decrease my weekly mileage too much, as I'm totally anxious about losing the improvements I made prior to the Mad City Marathon. I hate the fact that it can take soooo long to improve physical fitness and that you can lose that new ability soooo quickly (at least, that's how it feels to me).

To top it all off, my right big toe (the one I had surgery on in October 2003) has been hurting for a week now. Very frustrating.

So I'm not sure quite what to do. I feel like a failure for not sticking to my plan, yet at the same time I wonder if my plan was too ambitious for a period of time that's supposed to be "maintenance" rather than "training." I don't want to be in training mode all the time. I want to have some time when I can be more flexible with my workouts, but I also feel stuck in this routine because I don't want to backslide and have to start everything all over again from my baseline.

At this point, I'm probably going to start training for CIM in mid-August once the CAC re-opens after annual close-down. That way, I'll have two full weeks with no CAC to perhaps scale back a bit on my workouts and then start fresh when I'm about 14 weeks pre-race. I think that sounds reasonable.

Now if I could only figure out a way to make my peace with whatever I do over the next two weeks prior to closedown...


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