Marathon motivation

Today’s run was supposed to be a bit of an easier one.  I ‘only’ had a 12 miler on the schedule today.  But, it just didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  And I’m bummed about it.

I knew that it wasn’t going to be the same as some of my more recent long runs.  First, while I started my 20 miler last week in the dark, to avoid the heat; this morning, I pushed back my start time to avoid the cold.  It was 47 degrees when I started…20 degrees cooler than my start time last week.

I dug out my tights and work a long sleeve tech tee over my tank top.  I figured I could always take off the long sleeve shirt if I got too warm.  I also put on a pair of gloves to keep my hands warm.  Even in warm weather, my hands always seem to get cold.

As it turns out, I kept the long sleeves on for the entire run.  I could have kept the gloves, too, but they were hampering my ability to work my ipod.  The weather did warm up, but only slightly.  It was in the low 50s when I finished.

The other thing that got me off to a rough start was that I didn’t get enough sleep last night.  I was working as an EMT out at our local dirt racetrack.  It isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require me to be on my feet for more than four hours, and I didn’t get home until well after 11:00.  So, I knew that I wouldn’t be as well rested as I would like.

I allowed myself to sleep in a bit more than usual, but when my alarm went off, I subconsciously hit the snooze.  A few minutes later, I got up, got dressed and had a little bit to eat, before I headed out on the road.

I noticed rather quickly, that my stomach issues were going to cause me problems today.  It is the worst feeling in the world.  My legs and lungs felt okay, but I still had to deal with the GI issues.  It is so frustrating.

Other than the GI issues, the first 8 or 9 miles actually felt okay.  My pace was pretty good, and I thought I might come in a few minutes under my two hour projected finish time.  But, there were a few difficult miles and my legs just started to get tired.

But, check out that overall time?  Exactly two hours!?!  Crazy.  Like I said, I had hoped to come in a little faster than that, but I am amazed that I came in exactly at the two hour mark.  My splits are usually very even, but my fastest mile and my slowest mile were 40 seconds apart.  I definitely got fatigued as the miles went on.

This run was also tough mentally.  There were a lot of times when I almost talked myself out of finishing.  I was so tempted to just bail after 8 or 9 miles.  This wasn’t one of my crucial long runs for the marathon.  I have a 20 miler next week and a 22 miler in a few more weeks.  I was telling myself that I didn’t need to go that long this weekend and that I certainly wouldn’t be derailing my training. 

I was nearing my house at about 10.5 miles.  I told myself that I would just do a trip around the block and then come home.  Well, when I got back to my house, I was only half a mile from a 12 mile total.  I guess it is a good thing that I’m anal about having to end my runs on an ‘even’ number.  In reality, there isn’t a big difference between an 11.67 mile training run or a 12 mile training run.  Unless you figure in the mental aspect of the training.  Mentally, I wanted to quit.  Instead, I stuck with it and gained a mental victory.

Marathon training is a long process and I can tell that my body is feeling the effects of all the miles.  It is also a mental battle.  There are many times that I would rather do something other than log a three-plus hour training run, starting before the sun comes up (like sleep).  And, now that I am getting toward the end of the training plan, I am finding it difficult to keep my motivation.  I find that I’m not looking forward to the long runs as much as I did a month ago.  Right now, my marathon training is something that I’m just ‘getting through’ rather than truly enjoying.

Any suggestions on how to regain my motivation?


2 thoughts on “Marathon motivation

  1. First of all, this run looks like anything but a failure, so good work! Sometimes you just get into a rut during training. Just keep “pressing play” no matter how you feel and the motivation will come back. You already know, it’s all in your head!

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