Taking a Break from Running Ridiculous Miles
What I realized after my last marathon is that I need to take a real break from running. I mean I've been training for marathons pretty much non-stop for over 5 years and ran 25 marathons since then. Sure I hit the taper phase and then take a few days off after a marathon, but what I really haven't done is take a "real rest". No wonder why my legs are feeling fairly fatigued in the last 6-7 miles of a marathon! I ran 3 marathons in 77 days and OK so now I can apply to be part of the Marathon Maniacs club too. Although I didn't even think about doing that until after these last three races occurred. I'm not sure if I will - maybe after I run 3 marathons in 3 consecutive days to obtain a higher level. Who knows?! With my next marathon only 35 days away, less is more and rest is what is needed. It's almost the only thing I can do to salvage a decent performance at this point. So I am really just plodding along running only (gasp!) 20-25 miles per week compared to my usual 40-45 miles. I'm running very easy miles and sprinkling in some speed workouts to keep sharp too. My body is very much enjoying the break. I really never thought I would say that, but I'm just letting go and not being so rigid about it and it kind of feels good to rest. I have been spending my non-running time with my family, visiting friends and setting up my business. There is no shortage of other things to do in life so it is not a problem to fill the time and the truth is that I am never bored. I am interested to see how this plays out though for my next race. I believe it is the right thing for me to do at this time and I probably should have done this at other time points too but you live and learn. I will report back on the outcome of the next marathon. I'm mostly curious how I will feel from mile 19 on.... will I feel the same level of leg fatigue or will my legs feel fresher and lighter? The next course is a bit hilly I understand so we shall see! What I really want is to feel strong and be able to plow through that last hour of the marathon. I kind of miss that. I've lost that ability a little bit due to the leg fatigue and I really want to get it back because it's an awesome feeling of strength and determination.
Pat and I did run a 4 mile race on Super Bowl Sunday so we interrupted our break a bit. I was concerned how this was going to feel a week after a marathon, but we did pretty good considering! Well he did GREAT (27:21 sick!) and I did OK (33:16). I felt fairly tired during the race as if my legs were barely moving but I pulled off an 8:19 pace for 4.11 miles technically. Thank God it wasn't a full marathon because I could only run THAT FAST for 4 miles ONLY!! Four miles is a drop in the bucket compared to 26.2 miles but today it was GOOD ENOUGH for me. I know if I was really rested for this race (next year), I would love to pull off a 31 minute & change race. Surprisingly my heart rate during this race never even hit zone 5 (above 160 bpm) for me. I thought for sure 1 week after a marathon booking at a pace in the low 8's, it would be through the roof but it wasn't BECAUSE I WAS ACTUALLY RESTING. After this race, I got my VO2 max back up to 50 - not quite 51 yet like it used to be. This past weekend, we ran four 400m sprints and boy that was tough. We got our paces into the 5's, 6's, and 7's but I was losing it towards the end of each run. I definitely can't get back the speed I had during my teenage years. LOL! But I also haven't used my new Nike Vaporfly's for these sprints either so could those possibly help?! I don't know yet. Overall, I have enjoyed my rest time and I hope to come back to my next race feeling good and rejuvenated.