I need a reset button. “Six months to 100K” have very quickly become six weeks to… who knows what. And I am not ready. At. All.
I feel unfit, heavy, sluggish, and lazy. I know on an intellectual level that that is almost absurd, because I have actually been training for this race and my training has actually been going fairly well. But when it comes down to what actually matters (to me) – how I feel – I’m not feeling much like an ultramarathoner these days. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, between a busy work schedule, training for this race, and general life changes (great ones… but changes nonetheless), and it’s definitely catching up with me. I haven’t been eating as well as I should, running as consistently as I could, and resting as much as I need to. Even my blog posts have come more sporadic. All of that is about to change, because I’m going to press reset. Now.
It is difficult to steer myself away from the path of panic, yet my mind keeps wandering in that direction involuntarily. Oh my… I am so not ready for this… I didn’t do a long-long run last weekend; just a short-long run… is that another Baker cyst developing behind my knee?… and for the love of Pete, how is it that I have gained twelve pounds in the last month?
I feel utterly overwhelmed at the moment, and despite efforts to bring myself back down, the stress has been building for some time, and I am beginning to wonder if it is manifesting itself in extra pounds. Because they have to be coming from somewhere, right? I mean, they can’t all be from Dutch letters, can they? I really haven’t eaten that many, and I don’t feel that my diet has gotten any better or worse than it normally is. But if someone could please explain to me how it’s possible to run 40 miles in one weekend and stand on the scale to be greeted by a number I have not seen since I subsisted on bread and peanuts in the Peace Corps, I would be most appreciative. Clearly, my skills as a Mathlete are failing me in this regard, because I can’t figure it out.
My only (relatively) educated guess on the matter is that my cardiovascular system has become so efficient that running barely raises my heart rate anymore… unless I am gutting it out in Anaerobia, that is… which I am most certainly not during my long runs. My long runs feel steady, but not difficult. My thoughts meander as much as my legs do, and I often don’t even think about my pace or breathing anymore. I thought that was a sign of something good and natural, but perhaps not.
During my most recent long run, in fact, I was so unfocused that I managed to turn my left ankle on a section of uneven ground, and, in a failed attempt to keep myself from falling, slipped on a patch of wet grass and wiped out on Grand Avenue in front of the medical school at Des Moines University. I fell on my left arm arm and hip, and while it hurt, it could have been much worse. I suppose that if I am going to take a spill of that magnitude, on the medical school lawn would be the place to do it. Though my ego was more bruised than my body, I am feeling stiff and sore from that fall, even two days later.
With time running out as June 2nd draws ever nearer, I am taking the opportunity to reset my mind and body. I am making a commitment to myself to eat better, rest more, and work on building my confidence. My body can do this, I am certain. Even with twelve extra pounds on my frame (OK, so maybe it’s only seven), I know I have the base training for the ultramarathon. The next six weeks will be an exercise in mind over matter.
Thank you for reading!