The intensity of this training cycle has been much more intense than what I’m used to. Usually during the winter months I usually only run about 40 miles per week and maybe do a faster paced workout, but only if I had access to a treadmill or indoor track.
And honestly many of the past winters, I really haven’t run much at all:
Winter 2014/2015 – I was recovering my c-section.
Winter 2013/2014 – I was coming off the Kenai Marathon and then found out I was pregnant in February.
Winter 2012/2013 – I was dealing with an upper hamstring/glute issue, so I wasn’t able to run much.
Winter 2011/2012 – I think I ran most of this winter, but probably only around that 40 miles/week range.
Now that I’m working with Nichole this winter, my training is definitely at a different level. I hit 70 miles a couple weeks ago and will hit 75 miles in a couple of week. I do 1 – 2 hard workouts each week in addition to my long run. I have never done doubles before, but usually have 1 or 2 doubles each week now. Needless to say, it is intense!
I sent an e-mail to Nichole a couple weeks ago expressing my lack of motivation and slight exhaustion on most of my runs. I said I wasn’t used to this intensity and was thinking that maybe I need to back off on the mileage for a while. After I sent the e-mail off, I told Craig (who I often refer to as my assistant coach) what I had written to Nichole, and he basically said I need to suck it up and just keep training. Ha! I love his honesty.
When Nichole wrote me back, she said this is typical and she actually wants me running on somewhat tired legs most of the time. I was surprised she said this because this is not how I’ve trained in the past. But this is exactly why I wanted to hire a coach: someone to develop a plan much different than I’ve done in the past and something that challenges me in a way I haven’t been challenged before.
But these are also the things I love about training hard: feeling completely spent after a hard track workout, muscle soreness from lifting two days later, and a long run that wipes me out. Of course I don’t want to feel like this all the time, but I do have to remember to embrace all of these daily training runs. While it is easy to get tired of the same thing day in and day out, this is what I truly enjoy doing. (I know this because of the times I’ve been injured or haven’t been able to run at the intensity I want to, I miss it. . .A LOT!)
I know it takes months and months (if not years!) of consistent training in order to be at the top of your game. As we approach spring and summer, and I am able to race again, I know all of my training is going to pay off. The early morning runs I slogged through on too little sleep, the long runs that felt never-ending, and the second run of the day that felt like I didn’t even have a break from the first (Actually I strangely like double days.) are going to seem all worth it when I cross that finish line.