The mid-training slump has hit, and hit hard. I don’t feeling like running. I don’t feel like training. And I really haven’t felt much like writing. Instead of looking forward to the marathon, I feel like it’s this huge cloud hanging over my head.
I thought I might be able to dodge the dreaded beast this time – I’ve varied my long run locations. I’ve run with different people. I’ve even added some serious Latin spice to my weekday workouts. Sadly, in spite of my best efforts, the slump has arrived. I’ve encountered the slump during almost every training season, regardless of race length and it always hits around the same time – 3-4 weeks prior to race day. Combined with a few personal stressors, the slump has made a very bad blogger of me.
The good news is, by the numbers, my training is still going very well. I was slated for 15 miles this weekend and, as seems to be a growing trend, I found myself out in the Hamptons for a repeat of my last 15-miler (link to 15 miler). This time, the weather was perfect – cool, sunny, slight breeze. I ate well the day before and ended Friday evening with some coconut sorbet. Even though I didn’t sleep very well, I was up and ready to run by 7am. The run was pretty unremarkable, except for the fact that I was in MUCH better spirits than the last time my feet met the curves and hills in those roads. I focused on moderating my run pace and had sport beans at mile 6 and mile 12. The crisp fall air kept my skin cool and I soaked in the bright auburn and gold of the season’s first changing leaves.
I realized when I popped a few beans in my mouth at mile 12 that I was oddly close to finishing my run. Hmm…something wasn’t right. I was afraid to stray from my designated path and unwilling to allow my compulsive nature to take me on an extra loop or turn, so I opted to head on home as planned. 2 hours, 10 minutes. Yeah, maybe I’d do a 15 miler in my dreams at that speed. Many thanks to Gmap’s satellite view for revealing the error of my ways – apparently the “road” on the standard view actually contains about .5 mile of beach running and I skipped that portion twice, thus resulting in 14, not 15 miles. For a brief moment, I was positively crestfallen. I hadn’t run the mileage I was supposed to! Should I go back out for 1 more mile??
Reason and rational thought soon returned and kicked Crazy Kate to the curb. I reminded myself that I’d just run 14 miles and, in case I’d forgotten, that was pretty incredible. And at a 9:20 average pace! And I felt like I could run another 14!
So I put my big girl (yoga) pants on and focused on relaxing and enjoying the rest of my weekend. I tried to think about non-running things and wound up going for a long walk on the beach bundled up in a sweatshirt, eating a fantastic dinner with a few glasses of red wine, sipping Arak while curled up by a roaring fire and enjoying great conversation with The Huz and Huz Parents.
I’m still feeling the slump, but I know the end is in sight. October 25 will be here and gone before I know it and I’m truly very fortunate to be able to do what I’m doing. Will I sign up for another marathon? I’m not going to answer that until October 26th because, right now, I don’t feel like ever running another mile again. But who knows what life after the finish line holds?