i’ve reached my limit

After a long, late night of road tripping to my in-laws’ house in VA Beach and an early morning start today (4:30AM, courtesy of Sweet Baby Gus), I am really really tired as I write this. 

I’ve been feeling seriously off these past few days, and it is time to press the RESET button.  I need to clear my head, open my heart and go for a run.  I need to get out of this funk.

Here’s the thing: over the last 3 weeks I have run 3 times.  A strong 8 miler, a fun 17.5 miles in Richmond and then a new 5K PR on Saturday.  That’s it.  Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t exactly been idle – I’ve been keeping up with my strength training routine at the gym twice a week, doing Pilates and chasing after my baby who is getting very difficult to keep up with … hardly sitting around.  But I haven’t been running.

see this guy? he is a monkey. allllways getting into stuff!

After MCM, I realized it was time to take my recovery very seriously.  My new marathon training cycle starts up on December 4th and I want to enter into it feeling strong, fresh and ready to tackle the task at hand.  I have big goals for my spring marathon and I don’t want to hinder my ability to accomplish them by doing too much in between.  So I told myself that these weeks between training cycles would be laid back…

Three weeks of “laid back” is enough for me.  It’s my limit.  I’m done with the whole “no planned runs” thing.  I can’t take it anymore.

With that said, it doesn’t mean I’m going to start my training plan a couple weeks early.  Or that I will stop my other cross training activities (nope, those will remain. Always). It just means that this Type A person is actually much more laid back and relaxed about life when she has structure.  I have been feeling on edge, grumpy, moody, “off” – whatever you want to call it – for too many days now.  It is time to give some structure to my running routine or else surely I will go insane.  Self doubt is trying to creep in and I just don’t have room for that.

And as luck would have it, I am now spending the next 4 days in one of my very favorite places to run during my very favorite time of year to run.  And when I’m not running I will be surrounded by the people I love the most in this world.  I think this is the perfect time to press RESET.

What do you do in between marathon training cycles?  Do you structure your recovery time with runs, cross training and other activities?  While giving your body the necessary break from training, how do you keep from going crazy and doubting your fitness?  Or…is it just me?

6 thoughts on “i’ve reached my limit

  1. I haven't run (or worked out) since my race on Saturday. Today was the first time I “felt” it. Just a little anxiety. I am expecting that to rise a bit too. I will start with a pool routine, pilates and yoga next week. I am scared to take a full 3 weeks off of running, I won't lie but I know it's for the best. Have a great Thanksgiving and try to relax!

  2. I have been off since Chicago due to my bad hip. I will be honest I am officially going crazy and hitting a 5 mile race tomorrow. It is extremely hard for me to be off of my training cycles, but I start one on Monday so all will be right with the world. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Hi, I just found your blog and enjoy reading it. After a marathon I enjoy some time off, but after a short period of time I get worried that I lose all my build up cardio. Plus I'm addicted to a plan,so no worries, you are “normal” 🙂

  4. Welll,considering I've only run 3 marathons, I'm no expert and my first was mostly about survival and I didn't have another one planned for a while. After njm in may 2011, I knew I had NYC training starting late July/august so I tok up what I called the “social running schedule.” my only goal during that time was to do one longer run per week, of about 10 miles. Otherwise, I did what my body felt like. If it was something harder, I went with it. I felt like an easy jog, I did that. Most of it was fun, social runs and I maybe did two workouts in all of June and July. (may was mostly recovery…two weeks off, then basically three as I got sick.)

    I haven't signed up for a spring marathon, yet, but know I want to do one, probably in late April or may. I have signed up forna half in march. Since my it band and hamstring aren't 100%, I'm giving myself nov and dec to get that better and only run as tolerated. I'm hoping to get a little bit stronger, too, and keep up my cardiovascular fitness wi cross training. I'm hoping that by January, I'll be physically 100% so i can go back to running regularly. If not, I'll assess the situation then. If not, well, I'll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it.

    This is mynthird week out from NYC and I'm definitely antsy and want to do something most days. Unfortunately, my it band can't take much more than 3 miles right now so I've had to fi d other ways to get my sweat on! Definitely not down with just resting anymore (the first week, resting felt just great though).

  5. Being in between cycles doesn't necessarily have to mean no running, as you know! The whole “officially starting to train” has never made sense for me because I believe in always doing some level of activity, even during recovery. Actually– it did make sense to me when I used a formal training plan, but nowadays I just listen to my body and go with it.

    Instead of thinking that you are officially starting training early with structured runs, you might think about just making sure you get out for a run 3-4 times a week, and keeping the paces easy until Dec. 4, when you incorporate intervals and tempos. Sometimes the best thing about being in between cycles is the lack of structure before you have to get super focused again.

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