Wednesday, August 17, 2005

How Am I Surviving my Peak Training Month?

I am really starting to feel the stress of the mega-mileage I have been putting on lately. Last week 77K/48M, the week before 71K/44M. This week I only have 63K/39M scheduled, but the week isn’t over yet! And the amazing (for me) thing is that my pace has actually been creeping upwards the whole time. Overall I would say that training for this marathon was easier than training for the first one in May. And this despite the higher mileage! My recovery times are faster, my pace more consistent (all the time too fast now ;-), less aches and pains (again despite the higher mileage), and my long runs don’t leave me whining on the couch afterwards – I can actually carry on a normal life the rest of the day (okay after a couple hours with the legs up).

What is interesting is that I am not (yet) paranoid about actually running the upcoming marathon. I’m trying to keep it in the perspective of going and doing a 42.2K long run on that day, same pace as I have been training, same procedure as every long run, if I can pull it off I’ll be done in 4:15:00, no problem. Hmmm…

With 4½ weeks to my marathon I am paranoid plus about injury and especially dog bites. As I came up on an unleashed (of course) dog last night during my run I recall having thoughts of how I would strangle the dog if it bit me and beat up it’s master who was busy gabbing with another dog owner (who at least had the sense to have their dog on a leash). My face must have told all, the unleashed dog owner gave me a nasty look as I ran by. Grrrr. I love dogs, but only when they are under control!

Anyway, where was I, lots of mileage. Yep, I’ve never run so much in a single week as I did last week. For the most part I have survived. Okay a few more aches and pains than normal, but I have been sleeping better than expected – insomnia being an indicator of overtraining (for me anyway). Lately is has been like – put my head on the pillow and that’s it, I haven’t even had to count kilometer markers! The only problem has been to get ENOUGH sleep, my body craves it in the moment. I’ve been trying to get 7-7½ hours sleep a night (which is a lot for me), but I can tell this isn’t enough! Today I’m dragging.

Last night I did my light weight training, then added some weight and did some squats, bench presses and a couple other exercises (note to self, leave the squats out next time). Then it was out the door for a 3K/2M jog around the block. After showering, my wife sent me to the store to pick up meat for lasagna tonight. I left the car in the garage and took my bike, added a couple detours along the way and got in about 6K. My legs are kind of stiff this morning.

Tonight I really want to go to Weingarten where our garden is and run my hill route. Saturday is only a 22-24K medium-long run, so I can afford to do a good workout tonight. The mind is willing, will the body cooperate?

Next week will be my Maximum Mileage Week - I hope to hit 80K/50M, anyone want to join me? Incidently, this is still about 10-15K less per week then marathon trainees are doing in some of the running clubs my area. And you thought I was nuts - these people have no normal lives!

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