Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hitting a Wall

I am 6 weeks into my half marathon training, my race is 1 month from yesterday!  To say that the training isn't going as planned is probably an understatement.  The truth of the matter is that neither the physical or mental part of the training is going well.  I have not been able to complete the mileage on any long run, and this week I missed it altogether.  This lack of success is really playing with with my mental state.  I am doubting myself so much and all my runs lately, long and short, have been sub par.  It's awful really.  I keep trying to shake myself free of these feelings, but it's not working.  And do you want to hear something dumb?  I have a big owie inside my cheek which is totally making me feel terrible all over.  My glands are swollen and I'm so achy.  And that's the reason I missed my long run this week.  Lame, I know.

I'm not sure if it's the fueling or hydrating before running.  Or if it's overall nutrition.  And believe me, I've spent a lot of time stressing thinking about it.  It's craziness.

The other issue I'm having is that I'm not loving running out of what feels like necessity.  I stress that I have this event coming up and I HAVE to train, sand then I get out there and run and it's not enjoyable.  I was so looking forward to this training plan and to have it turning out like this is a real disappointment.  I'm really trying for the attitude adjustment, but so far, it's for naught.  I'm sitting here with the negative self talk going on all the time.

I feel like I've hit the wall with my training.  And I'm hating this feeling.

So I pose these questions: do you eat before running in the morning?  Does it depend on your planned mileage.  Do you take water on every run, no matter the distance?  Do you think it's better to train yourself to run with less water?


  1. I eat about an hour before I run in the morning so I have time for it to digest a bit. I don't usually take water since there are fountains all along my running path if I need them, but I usually find that drinking while I run gives me a stomach cramp. I drink 96-128 oz. every day so I'm pretty hydrated - and the day before a long run, I usually try to get an extra 32 oz. in there. That way, I'm hydrated without having to stop mid-run to use the toilet!

    And I get kind of psyched out during training sometimes too - as I build up to longer distances, sometimes it feels like exactly what you said, it's not running for fun, it's something I have to do to meet a goal, and that can seem far less enjoyable. When that happens, I usually leave my gear at home - my iPod, stop watch, etc. - and just run. Don't focus on speed or distance, just focus on how good it feels to be doing something I really love. Training is great but race day is a whole different beast - you never know exactly what might happen, even if you feel you are super well-prepared. I try and keep in mind that even if it takes me all day to complete a race, that's fine - I'm out there, doing what I love.

    "Your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is." (Kara Goucher)

  2. It really depends on how far you are going. If it is a quick run and you have to do it really early in the morning then no I will not usually eat- I will drink some G2 though. I always take water or G2 if it is more then 10k. I will also throw some Big Foots into m pocket if it is more then 12k or so. If you are doing your weekly longf run, if at all possible really make sure to eat (Start trying out what you might want to eat on race day). Take note of how long before you ran you ate and what it was.....Remember how you felt and how long into the run you started to feal tired. I always do my long run on a day off and try to duplicate race day as much as possible (get up at the same time, eat and drink what I will on the day and start at race start time) This helps with race day jitters! (don't know if this even makes sence to anyone else). Good Luck-And you will get out of this funk....Just keep at it.

  3. You can't be in a funk ... you are one of my inspirations to even think about doing a 1/2 marathon. Maybe you should go and do a 5km fun run to remember why you want to do long run? Re your questions, yes I eat before I go for a run ... about an hour before and I only take water for runs over 5kms.

  4. I'm also training for a half-marathon. My first. The mental side of distance running is challenging for sure. For me, my training isn't so much about distance as it is about time first. Meaning I plan to run for an hour. Or I plan to do a 30 minute easy run. Or this Friday I have a long run of 1 hour 10 minutes. My half marathon is in October so I still have some time. And my distance is up to about 6 1/2 miles now which is a huge accomplishment for me. Plus I can see my body transforming into a runners body, which helps to keep me motivated.

    I do eat before I run. I try to eat something with a good mix of carbs and protein. My favorite is an egg white sandwich on a toasted english muffin with a slice of cheese and some baby spinach. I also take an active woman multi-vitamin from GNC and try to drink lots of water to keep me hydrated.

    For the mental discipline, my iPod training music is the key. I'm running my half marathon for the purpose of glorifying God in all that He's done in my life. So my playlist is mostly contemporary Christian worship music. This turns my run into my own personal time to worship and praise God and when I feel ready to quit or totally exhausted, God seems to find a way to carry me to the finish.

    Hope that helps! Best of luck to you!


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  6. Bummer! I typed up a huge response...and while posting it, and error popped up. Let's see if I can recreate.

    1) I don't eat before. I feel better running on an empty stomach. I'm sure it started because I run at 5 am. I don't want to have to get up any earlier to eat. :-) But now I find that if I do eat before running, I feel sluggish.

    2) When I started running, I only carried water once my training runs hit 5 miles. Now (unless it's a 5K event, or a training run under 3 miles), I always have fluids with me. I'd rather have them and not need them, then the other way around I guess. :-)

    I think I'm in a similar position as you are right now. I can't run, due to injury....but I'm having these internal conversations with myself. Do I miss running because I should be doing it...or because I want to be doing it??

  7. If I'm just doing a 3 miler quickie run in the morning I can get by without eating. But anything longer, I have to eat my go to toast with PB about an hour before.

    Same for carrying water. I can get by a 3 miler run without it (unless its like BLAZING HOT outside). Anything longer than 30 minutes I try and bring water, or make sure to run on a path where there might be fountains or something.

    Good luck on your training!!