Week 4: Rough…to say the least

Week 4

I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated. I’m discouraged. I’m pissed. I’m questioning.

Yup, that effectively sum up the running portion of training week 4. Coming out of week 3, I was amped up and ready to take on what, on paper, seemed to be a scaled back week. The week was scheduled for 32 miles, as opposed to 40 from the week prior, and no races to sap extra energy. So what the hell happened?

Signs Warning of Approaching Curve

No signs were needed to slow me down this week…

I’ve got one theory  as to why I ran way slower this week and didn’t meet my distance goal: I’m not taking this serious enough and Mother Nature is conspiring against runners everywhere.

I’m not taking this serious enough…

  • I’m drinking too much: My affinity for mojitos, gin & tonics and wine is not conducive to my body’s ability to support running at a fast clip over long distances.
  • I’m staying up late: My affinity for Big Bang Theory and writing this blog are not conducive to getting enough sleep for recovery.
  • I’m not eating well: Unfortunately, when I travel for work, I tend to overindulge a little…maybe a lot. This leads to dreaded GI issues. Ugh.

Mother Nature is conspiring…

  • I now know what a “Tropical Plume” is: It sucks and it’s wet and makes the air as thick as pea soup.
  • I am not a Kenyan: As a 180lb runner, I don’t run well in high heat. Problem…it was hot. In New Hampshire it was hot. In D.C. it was “my name is Lucifer” hot (and beyond humid) during my time there.

These two elements, when added together make for the worst week of running I’ve had since I started running about a year-and-a-half ago. The reality is that Mother Nature could allow for a perfect race day, or perfect training month, and if I don’t hold up my end of the bargain, I won’t even come close.

Luckily, week 4 is over and week 5 is here to allow for a new beginning. Week 4, for all its demonic misery (ok that may be a bit overdramatic), provided plenty to reflect on.

The main reflection point came during my trip this week to D.C. was purchasing the latest issue of Fast Company. The cover story is about Baratunde Thurston’s recent “unplugged” period from the digital world. Just a head’s up, I will be doing this soon to better prepare. In the end, my goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon, not to maintain a blog. In order to get my ass in gear to be able to run 7’05”/mi for 26.2, it’s going to take some adjustments. More to come on this soon.

Phenomenal read...#Unplug

Revelatory read…#Unplug

Lastly, my run Sunday felt a lot better. Not great, but better, especially considering I’m carrying war wounds from trying to show off my freakish physical ability. Just a head’s up, trying to jump vertically out of a pool (waist deep) and land on the other side of the deep-end divider is not as easy as it sounds (FYI, I made it out of the pool, just wasn’t able to cross over…ouch, rope burn). Like I said, I need to get serious….that was just fucking stupid.

And to think...I was sober.

And to think…I was sober.

I hope you all are starting off on a terrific week. Go get ‘em!

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Categories: Running

Tags: , , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. I know the feeling! Circumstances and the summer heat can really mess with you. It will eventually all come together!!!

  2. Hang in there! There must be something about the Week 4-6 period that makes us otherwise confident, forward-motion folks question ourselves. But it’s better to figure out what we’re doing well (or not so well) now, rather than at mile 10 of 26.2. This is where you have to reflect, fix, and then just get back to why you enjoy running…and be nice to yourself! (BTW, your marathon goal is nuts for a non-Kenyan. Just to have that goal makes you a badass.)

  3. Thanks a million! It’s good to hear that I’m not alone in this frustration. Hopefully with a little reflection and implemented change, I’ll be able to remedy these issues. I will also work harder on being nicer to myself!

    Thanks again and have a terrific week!

    • I’ve been having similar weeks and couldn’t agree with you more that the world must be working against us. I think it also has a lot to do with the first few weeks and getting into routine. I think you had a good week in that you got in your workouts. Were they 100% of how you wish they had gone? no…but, that is ok. You went out there and did it and all you have to do is kill this weeks workouts. Sometimes we have to re-adjust goals and paces to account for lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and heat… its ok to slow down because your body can’t do it all. Good luck with this upcoming week!

      • Thanks so much, I really appreciate the encouragement. I need to keep reminding myself not to be so hard; however I certainly need to be smarter with my nutrition and recovery activities. This week WILL be better!

        Have an awesome week!

  4. Well you are super fast! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Seriously this heat takes a toll on your body and putting in the mileage and time on your feet is what counts. You are doing the right things. Enjoy that mojito in moderation too 😉 All about balance. Keep up the fantastic work! It will feel good once this weather cools off.

  5. Hang in there – I was just thinking the same thing about my own running (not taking it seriously enough…overindulging, etc). It’s nice to know I’m not so alone in it….the key is recognizing it. You got this. There’s plenty of time!

  6. We all get bad weeks here and there. Sometimes for no reason at all. So, don’t feel bad and keep “chugging” along, eventually it’ll pick up. I had a LOUSY week last week and I didn’t really mess anything up (other than the weather being super hot, etc.) it just happens. our bodies catch up with us and we have to be honest. hang in there and keep at it!

  7. The Big Bang Theory is my running kryptonite too…Just….can’t…..stop….watching. 🙂

  8. Don’t worry about it — everyone has bad weeks, plus the heat and humidity slow everyone down (and they should, as it could be dangerous to try and run your usual pace when the air is so thick). I almost always run by feel rather than pace, which stresses me out less and helps me listen to my body. I often surprise myself with how fast I go, too.

  9. Agreed, the “Tropical Plume” does suck.

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