Marathon Training Week Ten- Considering Some Options

As I write this I am still battling a flu that hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. Being down and out and once again unable to train for the marathon has given me a lot to think about with respect to running. While I haven't made any concrete decisions since writing this, I have been weighing some of my options.

First let's look at a run down of last week's training:

Monday: Cycle Pump (75 minutes)
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: Triple Threat (20 min sprints, 20 minute strength circuit, 20 min spin sprints)
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: Spinning (50 min) Hot Yoga (60 min)
Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: Sick day

Total distance ran: 3km

Here's what's been on my mind:

I'm not caring for my body as well as I should. I definitely need to hydrate more, sleep better and stress less. Despite all the things I do to focus on health, I am lacking in three major areas.

One major reason that I don't like running these days is because I don't feel like I am getting better at it, at least not the way I hoped. Not training enough and failing to put water back into my body are not helping the cause at all. I need to get my act together if I am going to continue to do this.

I'm not sure if I want to run the 30km race I have planned for this Saturday. There may be the option to drop down to 15km and actually feel accomplished (and alive) at the end. But, on the other hand, if I run it I will set a PDR and hopefully renew my passion for this training program. Sure, it could also go in the other direction and I'll dislike running even more but at this point I'm not sure I have a lot to lose.

Running is hard for me and I really don't like when things are hard for me. It's another big reason why I am not improving and disliking it more and more each day. I compare myself to other runners and get frustrated that I am not as good as them; that I might never be as good. I know you are supposed to run for yourself but its hard to measure success without a gauge and unfortunately that barometer is other people sometimes.

Not everyone is meant to run a marathon. I am quite sure I am one of those people. Yet, because I signed up and committed to it I don't want to give up on it either. It's tough to decide whether giving up this dream is the best or worst idea for me. To be honest, I am not even sure it is a dream anymore. I've still got a lot of thinking to do on that one...

Thoughts this Week: It's funny that I expected marathon training to be physically tough but so far it's proven to be more of a mental/emotion challenge for me. If nothing else I will learn a lot about myself, which is one of the reasons that I signed up in the first place.

Well I'm off to drink about 17 litres of water and try to get a good night's sleep. If you need me I'll be in bed... or the bathroom.

So tell me, what is one thing you could do to improve your health right now? Do you like a challenge or would you rather do something you are good at?


  1. So sorry to hear that you are battling the flu! Summer illness is the worse!

    In regards to running, I believe in not doing anything that makes me unhappy. I learned last year and races and running were making me unhappy. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well and pressured myself to LOVE the sport. When I finally came terms with the fact that I didn't love it and didn't want to run races, that's when all the pressure came off and every once and a while I enjoy a good run or so.

    So my point may be that you are runner, but perhaps you aren't a race person? Just a thought that came to me!

    No matter what you choose do, make sure your decision makes you happy! Get well!

  2. Hang in there Sam. Running is so temperamental sometimes -- you feel on top of the world one day, the next you question why you do it in the first place. This may just be a bad week (or two or three), give yourself the time you need to rest & assess how you feel then. You'll make the right decision, whether that's to do the marathon or not. It'll work out :)

  3. I'm so sorry you are sick!! I think it's so important to listen to your body and I am just plain terrible at it sometimes! I've trained for 2 marathons, broken 2 bones in the process and finished zero! I failed to listen to my body and paid the price! You are so great at so many things and I hate that you are beating yourself up over the one thing you don't like! Your awesome so if running isn't your things it's no biggie!! Do what you love and love what you do!

  4. They do say running is 90% mental!!

    I think you should hang in there, you will feel amazing when you achieve your goal. And please try to get out of the mindset that you're not getting better. You are training for your FIRST marathon - if your speeds are getting slower and not improving that means you're doing something right. No-one IMPROVES their average paces/speeds while training for the first marathon. It's all about adding endurance and mileage. And simply by running longer distances every week you ARE improving!!!

    I hope you feel better about running - and in general - soon!!

  5. oh honey! that sucks! im sorry that you are having doubts and that you are sick.
    i had breakdowns and doubts like that before i ran my first marathon. and in the end, i ended up running it and am very glad that i did.

    its ur first marathon and its supposed to be hard. if it wasnt, everyone would do it. and you are getting better and improving!
    but at the same time, maybe now is not the right time for a marathon for u. even tho i think it is. and you can do it.
    u r strong and you are fierce and u can do it!!!!
    take some time off, do a few things that you like and then get back to running. taking a week or 2 off from running, but keeping up your cardio, will be ok.

    keep smiling girly and hope everything works well for you.

  6. I think I am another runner not meant to run a marathon. 26.2 miles is a long way, no matter how you train for it, it's far.

    I'm going through a running dry-spell right now as well. I hastily signed up for a november half marathon, and while it's still 15 weeks away, I'm dreading it. I don't want to train for it. I want to run 3-4 miles and be happy with that..

    Good Luck, and you know what is best for your body.

  7. Sorry you are sick! Personally, I love a good challenge, BUT I have to enjoy doing it. For example, swimming would be a challenge but I know I would not enjoy it -- so I don't challenge myself to swim. Keep your options open about the marathon. Do they have a half option just in case you get to the date and feel you haven't trained enough? Don't make any rash decisions yet, hang in there.

  8. I'm so sorry! It seems like you've been sick a lot this summer. Such a bummer. Hope you feel better soon.

  9. Don't assume that you can't improve your times! Maybe you aren't seeing improvements right now, with health issues, heat, etc...but you aren't missing some magical running gene. If you truly don't enjoy it, definitely don't torture yourself...but wasn't there a time when you DID enjoy it? What was different then?

    I hope to see you at the 15/30 on Saturday, but not at the expense of your health, happiness or sanity. Races are supposed to be exciting. If they become something that you dread, it may not be worth it. But I still think - just from this blog, mind you - that you are more of a runner than you realize.

    Feel better & best of luck on Saturday if you decide to run. =)

  10. I completely agree with you about it being more of a mental battle than a physical battle. DON'T LOSE HOPE....you are ten weeks in and I remember that during that time I was always tired and got sick of it to but you CAN do this!! You CAN improve and I think you will surprise yourself:) Thinking about you and I hope you get feeling better ASAP!!!

  11. Sorry to hear training isn't going as you had hoped!
    I like a challenge but, like you, I need to feel like it's a reachable goal and that I'm improving/moving towards it. If it's too challenging I'll just get frustrated and give up.
    I'm training for my first marathon right now (I've tried to train for one before, and stopped after it was too much for me at the time - so I understand that too!) and I would have never guessed how emotionally taxing it is. Way more emotional than physical.
    I think you should take a rest from running at least until you're feeling better. If you keep forcing yourself through runs, you won't like running anymore. Running should be fun (or at least not something you dread). It's hard to read blogs and not compare yourself to others in terms of pace/distance/races etc. I struggle with this but I finally stopped comparing and it has done wonders for my running.

  12. Just to throw something out there...have you ever considered that perhaps distance running is what is not clicking with you? I recall a recent post where you raved about intervals. Your body may be telling you that it enjoys faster speeds for a shorter duration....maybe your next goal could not be to set a PDR, but to run 5 or 10k as fast as you possibly can? Just a thought.