Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fear is the Training Killer

From Dune
If you were to have talked to me yesterday, I would have a jittery story of how the bottom of my left calf randomly had cramps/spasms throughout the day. It happened walking to work, in the gym, and to a lesser degree later in the day.  I didn't feel any radiation into the rest of my leg, which I guess is good. The cramps make my walk pause for a moment, pull up, then it goes away. I'm guessing it is a mix of fatigue, hydration, and the strain in my leg.

Now last night if you asked me if I would have a successful run today, I would say, 80% chance of NOPE. My leg scared me. I really don't want to do anything bad to it. Time to the marathon is getting short. I didn't want to skip the run, it is the hardest run until next Tuesday. Mentally I'm thinking, I've already missed enough. I'm already rethinking time goals to be reasonable with any leg issues that might linger. I've had some freakout thoughts that I may not heal up. I ate my emotions all evening. Although, I couldn't even manage to get myself to feel full and disgusted with myself! what gives? I took at few Ibuprofen for good measure and went to bed.

We're at 3:40am now, I get out of bed. I think I isolated the foot force that will cause, or at least help make the cramp/spasm occur.  I didn't have an incident, but I could feel the extra pressure in the area. I'm trying to decide what to do. Drink my coffee. Bio. Foam roll. Stick. I can't conjure up any good reason not to run. A big part of me wanted a reason. Bad something to make an excuse for me.  But off we go. I started about 10 minutes later than planned thinking I had to bio it again, but no go with that.

I did my warm up jog before stretching, and tried to get a photo of the moon and stars..Not much success, only got a blurry moon photo:
this is why I haven't shared more photos. 

I passed a group of about 6 running at 4:30, and the lead guy jokingly said: You are out too early! what are you doing? Then a lady said, no no! We see him every Friday!

Glad I'm remembered!

My plan today was warm up, 9 miles marathon pace, cool down. I did 2 warm up miles.  I felt timid. I kept waiting for the OH SHIT moment. Kept waiting for my calf to buckle.  I didn't want to go faster. I was content just trotting along.  But that isn't why I wake up so early. I make an agreement with my fear, go a little faster each mile, and see what happens. Run it smart.

As I speed up, the agreement seems too one sided. My confidence starts to wake up. It speaks up and says, dude, its been 4 miles and you have had no issues. Man the F up, and run. Only thing holding you back is your fear.

Me: Okay, lets go then.

The speed felt great. Going slow gave me too much time to be unstable with my cadence and over think my steps.

I will say that the run was rough energy wise.  I've been trying to up my food intake, maybe I also ate too late and was a tiny big sluggish. Maybe it was the humidity and sweating. My GPS had my half mile splits between 6:45 and 7:15. I should have brought a gel and water with me to help out.

My slowest split was my turn around lap. After that mile, I felt like I might need a bio break, slowed down, and thankfully was near the Belmont restroom, but that was a false alarm.  This happened one more time. At least I didn't freak out over my splits too much to care.

The last few miles I lost my mental focus for little intervals and had to wake back up to get my pace adjusted. The last half mile was the hardest. Another guy jumped on the path going my direction, at like my exact goal pace.  I was ready to hear my GPS beep my mile and be done.  But my ego kicks in and says, oh come on,  you ran hard 90% of the way, and you want to F up the last half? His foot steps got closer, and this played through my mind:
Yes, a 300 movie clip

Was my run perfect? No. Average mile was 7:09 for the marathon pace distance. I know I held back to start and drifted at time. But was I happy with it? Hell yes. I ran through a fear, I didn't feel any pain, and I still was able to recover my times when I drifted away. Lots of good lessons today.

I also saw Mr. and Mrs Fueling Strong.. TWICE! Even got a high five, which I think resulted in a 30 second faster lap. Thank you Kelsey!

Now for making it through my Friday dramatics, here is some comic relief.

Happy Friday!

How your office should ideally behave...just the tip of the.. HR reports.

Happy Friday Everyone!


  1. I think one of the hardest things to do when training is to decipher between normal fatigue/aches and injury fatigue/aches. We're hitting peak training now and it's perfectly normal for our bodies to react to that and be tired and sore. It means we're getting stronger. The key to being injury free is to stay on the good side of the fine line between good training and overuse. This is why on average, elites deal with an injury a month.

    Great job pushing through the mental aspect of your run today. It was hot and humid which could have affected your pace but everyone has off days where effort seems spot on but our bodies can't hit the usual pace. Totally normal. You really stepped up to the mental challenge and owned it though which will make you a stronger runner during the marathon.

    Enjoy the cutback weekend!

  2. Thanks for comparing us to elites! I just keep telling myself I'm in professional care and will rehab in time!

    I fully plan on enjoying the cutback weekend!! especially with the heat on Sunday!

  3. I did my first predawn run this weekend and thought of you!

  4. Awesome job! it leaves your day with so much more time for activities doesn't it?! And great morning talk at work!