I ran a lot of miles (for me) the week before last. I think it added up to 27 miles. More than a marathon. I think it might have been a PR (personal record) as well. It took me only five days to complete it. But then I had some knee pain. It was bad enough to feel like I shouldn’t even try to run. I had also done some stretching and maybe a little overstretching. And all of a sudden, after about ten weeks of half marathon training, I couldn’t and wouldn’t run. I didn’t even walk much for a few days. I tried to eat well. I did an exercise DVD. And that was that.
Thursday, I felt like running again. Three miles. And then Saturday it was time to try another long run. Twelve miles. I had some issues with my sneaker laces and hydration, but I went the distance. Even though the last two miles were pretty much walking, I had a sub 12 minute pace. And that was that. No disgrace.
But over training. I have a mental image of a picture that one of our friends showed us from her time in Bangladesh. It was a picture of a train, but we couldn’t see the train. All we could see were people all over the train. Over training. It’s what they do. I don’t know if anyone’s knees hurt afterward. But they get where they need to go. (I hope.)
I had some brilliant thoughts about this last week, but I had no time to write them down. So I think I lost them in a tunnel. Or maybe I was thinking about how I used to have so much excess riding around on me that I couldn’t really see me. It was all getting somewhere, but I don’t really think it was where I wanted to be. More likely it was at the drive-through lane at a fats food chain. Because the sugar monster riding in the locomotive wanted another hit of something. Seriously. I don’t miss that. But I have to remember it, because I could easily go back if I forgot.
When I lost so much weight a few years ago, it was rather dramatic. People thought I had reinvented myself. Or something. But really, I just got rid of the excess baggage that I was carrying everywhere. It makes a difference to downsize. The body and the mind. And sometimes it’s just about being aware. Noticing what’s going in. Tracking and staying on track and paying attention to what I chew-chew. I trained to notice how I felt when I ate certain things or between meals. And I continue to be aware of what to beware. So I can see where I’m going is good.
Running is a lot easier without the excess baggage. But there’s this thing called fuel that a body needs when it’s running non-stop for over two and a half hours. But there’s also this thing called sugar addiction that I manage to control partially by not eating between meals. Racing has to be an exception. But how much?
Training adds the question of how many calories and what kinds of nutrients do I need to eat fuelishly and not foolishly? I have a hard time trusting myself with the experiments I make with seeds and nuts and pureed fruits. What I want is something that gives me energy without too much sweetness. I want it to be something that tastes good but doesn’t call to me all day long after I’ve had one or two.
I tried some apple, oatmeal, raisin, spice bites with chia. I like putting good chia in my race fuel. I think it’s helpful to have good chia along the way. It’s a superfood and it is a good distraction from the mileage monster when the seeds get stuck in my teeth. I’ll try it again on my six mile run later in the week.
I’m pretty sure I’ll have an oatmeal muffin for breakfast on race day. 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, 1 scoop designer whey (unsweetened and unflavored), 2 T. coconut oil, one egg, and a teaspoon of baking powder. Mixed together and microwaved for one minute. I might throw in a bit of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of good chia as well.
I have decided that I will walk through all of the water stations. I will drink the water and calmly start running again. On track.
I don’t know if I will run a two hour and thirty minute half marathon. It’s in my mind that it would be nice to claim it. But it’s also in my mind that I want to enjoy this race and continue to enjoy running. Even when it’s over.