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Monday, September 21, 2009

Burnout?

I'm trying to figure this out.....

I've been running 40 miles per week for several weeks.  Most of my runs have been on the treadmill because of the heat and because of my work schedule.  And, most of those runs have been great -- I had a personal best last Tuesday, where I was able to run 8 miles in 1 hr 11 minutes and 50 seconds on the treadmill, just under 9 minutes per mile.  I was thrilled!

And, I set the treadmill at a 1% incline, to best emulate running outdoors.  So, I felt like I was ready for my 18 miler on Sunday.

My goal was to run the 18 miles at 9:10 per mile.  The first three miles were at 9:30/mile.  I wasn't feeling fabulous, but I was chugging along.  At mile 5, I had an awful stomach cramp.  I stopped for a few minutes, rehydrated and slugged down a Hammer gel and kept going.  But, as the run progressed, I kept getting slower.  My legs felt heavy and I felt a bit tired.  By mile 14, I was just forcing myself to keep going, and my pace was down to 10:30 per mile.  I pushed to 16 miles and called it quits early.  There was no point in torturing myself to get the extra two miles out.

I've been agonizing over this not-so-stellar performance.  What went wrong?  Am I doing too much treadmill running?  Does this mean that the Long Beach Marathon is going to be a miserable experience too?  And my little Boston Marathon dream -- forget it!

I was so glad to talk to Coach Jamie today.  It was quite reassuring.  He thinks I'm overtrained, and has more confidence in me than I probably have in myself right now.

I'll have a day of easy running tomorrow, some track work on Wednesday, a 10K time trial on Friday, and an 18 mile run Sunday.  Coach Jamie thinks that if I can nail this 18 miler then I will be okay.  I've also vowed to do all of my running this week on the roads, not on a treadmill.  Maybe that will help.  I hope.....

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're almost certainly overtrained, IMHO. Good luck in Boston! I went to Wellesley College, and we would always cheer the runners on as they passed Munger. -victoria

Ruth said...

Oh, no! I had hoped an interventional cardiologist would know the answer to the 'on' and 'off' days in training! I really want to know the physiology of this issue. I do not train at your level, but even at my level I notice days when I'm sure I'll do poorly, but don't, and vice versa. Why are our self-perceptions of our actual state so far off at times?

Jesse said...

Hope your 18 miler this week went much smoother. I don't think I'd ever be able to do 18 miles on a treadmill without going crazy - I need the change of scenery.