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Carterusm with Spoons

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04/08/2013 at 18:09

Hi all,

Feeling quite low at the moment and hope to get some runner's perspective from you all. 

I just can't seem to get a good race since my disastrous London effort and it's making me feel sad/worried.

I went to Helensburgh feeling confident enough but after a few days of v tiring work schedule and little sleep doubts were creeping into my mind.

The race started ok- I told myself to start out slow seen as perhaps at Dundee I started too fast and then bombed after 7 miles (had hit my 7 miles in 58 minutes which was truly on track for close to PB, around 1:48-49).  So started slow here and felt OK.  But by mile 7 again I was exhausted.  Absolutely exhausted.  I tried to plough on but really I couldn't make my legs move any faster.... I got slower and slower.  Today I actually felt quite ill by the end of the race.  So much so that at the end I just crumpled to the ground after hitting the finish and forgot to even stop my watch for ages.  I don't even want to look at the results when they come up- I am pretty sure I was over 2 hours today.  I have never run over 2 hours since my VERY first half marathon just over 2 years ago, when I ran 2:02 on a tough, hilly, challenging course in hot summer sun.  And then I was a runner who hadn't done a sub 50 10k, or anything longer than 10k at all for that matter, didn't even have a good running schedule, ran 3-4 times a week/whenever I felt like it.  I think I ran my slowest EVER half marathon today despite having trained hard for it and being in the middle of marathon training.

Now I'm a runner who has done a 4:04 debut marathon last year in crippling heat, run a 1:48 HM 6 months ago which felt not EASY but like it wasn't the best I could do, just a sign of how I was improving, yet the past few months have seen my results just plummet, and every long race leaves me exhausted, truly exhausted.

I don't understand.  I just don't get it and I'm pissed off.

This isn't happening in my LRs.  I can easily churn out 18 miles at a slow pace.  But I don't seem to have the endurance/speed combination to run long AND fast just now and I don't know why.

I am worried as it's 8 weeks till Loch Ness and if I can't run a HM in under 2 hours on a flattish course today then what chance do I have of breaking 4 hours then.

Sorry for being such a moan.  I'm upset.

04/08/2013 at 22:56

Hi Ali - sorry to hear you had a bad day. What I've picked up on your post is that youve had a busy time at work and haven't been sleeping well. Those two things there would mean you won't tow the starting line in good racing condition. Maybe you were just too tired to be able to push hard. 

How do your tempo runs go during training ? Do you do a tempo run every week ?

Don't dispair though, you have just had a bad day. We all have a bad day or two, we can't run every race as we would want too. Try and stay positive and keep training as hard as you can and I'm sure you will get that PB at Loch Ness, 8 weeks is a lot of time. 


04/08/2013 at 23:11

I know that feeling AliBali ..... did you do that long run on Friday? How are you finding marathon training - do you feel tired, fatigued? Maybe you were just too tired to race?

We all can have really off days - I remember a training run 2 weeks ago which was only a slow paced 10 miler but I had to cut it short as I was really struggling.. next session I was right as rain again. So maybe you just had one of those?

PB's aren't the be all & end all & in my experience usually come when you aren't gunning for them.

Try some HM pace again later in the week and see how it feels.

Carter - great getting a 20 miler in!

I finished my recovery week with a 4 ml rec run yesterday & 12ml LR this morning @ 9.16 pace.

I am now entering the second phase of P&D at the start of week 7. We are off to France on Saturday for hols so somehow have 50 mls to fit in between Mon & Fri! Will be an interesting week!

Edited: 04/08/2013 at 23:11
05/08/2013 at 09:54

Thanks guys. yes carter I've been very tired with work. But then I was too in last years run up to edinburgh. I just feel this year I am more affected. I used to be aanaemic- worried i case I might be verging on it again. Think I'm going to buy a daily multi vit with iron and see if it picks me up any.

re tempo runs- I try and do one a week but if I am honest I am not as rigorous about them as I should be. Reason being when I am knackered I always feel its more important to 'get the miles in' rather than focus too much on speed... I do need to try and get the balance of quality and quantity.

ricky- I did run on Friday but v v slow and only 10 miles. Have done this before during marathon training with no big effect.

i am finding my marathon training ok but yes, I am feeling quite fatigued. My mum thinks I need a week of easy running and lower mileage as she thinks I'm taking too much out of myself. Again I never felt like this during run up to edinburgh. It's a bit depressing.

can I really bounce back from such slow times to where I was at? I feel exhausted today like I've run a bloody marathon.

05/08/2013 at 10:57

Hi Ali - Sorry to hear you had a bad day yesterday. Just to add to the other guys comments, 10 miles on the Friday seems a lot before the HM on the Sunday. Going back on my last marathon plan (16 week plan) week 8 I ran a HM and on week 10 also. Both of these weeks the mileage went down 11 miles and 9 miles.I think running the 10 miles on the Friday was not good, especially if you are not sleeping well and suffering a bit. I think really it may have been better to rest Friday and then have an easy 4 miles on the Saturday. Do you follow a structured training plan? I find it helps drawing one up from the beginning as you then just look and follow and I feel it helps in recovery etc.. You have eight weeks to go and plenty of time to get back together, I think a week of easy runs might help you get back into things and not knock yourself out on the LSR next weekend, maybe bring a few miles off that run, just to get back into things.


14 miles yesterday, not following the P&D plan, but incorporating a couple of things like yesterday ran 5 miles easyish and then 8 miles at MP and then 1 mile recovery/jog at the end. I was aiming to start off at 8:15 and then run the 8 MP miles around 7:45 (got a bit carried away on the flat):

Splits 7:58,8:12,8:18,8:17,7:51,7:38,7:54,7:25,7:31,7:34,7:49,7:53,8:03,9:06

Route was a bit undulating with a couple of hills and it was a sunny warm morning. Felt pretty good though and the knees seemed to be ok. Had a couple of twinges but nothing to worry about

Hi Carter - How you getting on with the knees?

05/08/2013 at 11:29

Ali - I reckon your mum might be right ! And I agree with her as I have been where you are in my previous plan. I didnt bother with a cut back/easy week as I thought I was different and it wouldnt bother me. Well it did and it knocked me out for about 3/4 weeks so I have now learnt my lesson.

Hi Nell - A nice pacey run from you yesterday, nice one. My knee ? Hmm. It was giving me grief on my long run on Saturday but it kept coming and going and I was able to run through it. At the moment, it only tends to come back when I hit the 9/10 miles mark. I'm still doing my stretches and I've recently invested in a new rumble roller (which is bloody painful !). I have even taken to giving the TENS machine a try for a couple of nights last week. It was 48 hours since my long run and it feels ok now so I will go out tonight for my LT run. I guess it's just a case of managing it until October (Chester marathon) and then maybe take a few weeks off from running and give it chance to heal properly ? Not sure yet and things can change of course. 

05/08/2013 at 13:04

nell- thanks. Am following one of the RW plans as I did for edinburgh and London. Admittedly on last week the 10 miler wasn't on plan (7 was longest apart from the weekend run) but I did slightly longer as I hadn't managed to fit in the more mid distance runs and wanted to up my miles. I felt fine after but maybe it just goes to show you shouldn't diverge so much from plans!

this week I have a suggested 20 miler As my LR... I would have to do it tomorrow as its my only day off for rest of week. So I think I am going to listen to my body and put it off till next week (LR then is just 15 miles but I see no harm swapping) as an aside, I always find conventional running plans annoying to work around given I work most weekends and can never run long on them... My days are always all jumbled up.

do you guys think that would be better for me to feel a bit more rested and recovered this week?

05/08/2013 at 13:15

Ali - I would say definitely rest. I have tried 'catching up' missed miles from the previous week and it didnt work for me, it only made me feel even more tired and that's when it took me 3/4 weeks to feel ok again. Have a few of days off completely, or certainly with reduced mileage, then pick up with your plan. Maybe you could swim or cycle for a few days rather than run ?

05/08/2013 at 13:26

Yeah I think that sounds good. Have a half marathon on 7 September. Would love to be back to form for that. So till then I think I've got to listen to my body, stop pushing through tiredness, stop being so obsessed with getting in the miles, and don't add in any miles to my training plan. Do less if need be.

part of it is mental now too- I have had 3 bad long races- London in 4:26, Dundee HM 1:54, helensburgh 2:xx... And just thinking of them makes me doubt myself and feel like I'm a terrible runner. I think I've just got to think of them all as 'experiences' that will have made me a better runner rather than 'terrible' races. My mum keeps telling me just to think of them as training runs- like they are all just part of the training for Loch Ness rather than races in their own right....

05/08/2013 at 13:33

Rest days are important, after all, every training plan I've seen has rest day(s) in them ! Do you think you might be putting too much pressure on yourself when it comes to races ? Like mum says, think of them as training runs and just go out and enjoy yourself and see what happens

05/08/2013 at 13:38

Definitely- I always want a PB even though I know it isn't realistic. I put too much pressure on myself but am not sure how to adjust this. I love doing races and they are what gets me excited about running but I always expect to do my best. Competitive child tendencies rearing their heads!

05/08/2013 at 15:55

Hi Ali, I think your mother has sound advice. Treat these HM runs as training runs. If you get a good time that is a bonus. The plan you will be following is for a marathon and a half marathon training plan would be slightly different. From what I can see, you are training for a marathon but at the same time wanting to nail the half marathons. I think it might be best to concentrate on the one plan and stick to that. As you can see from the other guys you are not the only one who has been there, so put it behind you, have an easy week and then come back next week hopefully refreshed. I understand about the working week scenario. I suppose all that can be done is to arrange the plan around your working week.

I am running the Haddington HM this Saturday, I will certainly use this as a training run and if I get a decent time so be it, if not I can live with that as long as I am ready for October.

Hi Carter - Wowza! Them Rumble rollers look like they require a warning with!

I use the Grid roller which is a bit more tame than the beast you have acquired! Interesting that you are finding the pain kicking in on 9/10 miles. Could it be the muscles getting tired or maybe your posture?

I do find if I feel a twinge in the knee, I concentrate on my posture and things seem to get back on track (apart from 22 miles into a marathon!). I am back to the roller and stretching and performing the strengthening exercises and all seems ok at the moment (as he touches wood) just trying to find the time to fit it all in!

How are you getting on with upping your cadence?

05/08/2013 at 20:36

Hi Nell - I've been trying to shorten my stride a little which is going ok towards the start of a run but I tend to forget about it as the run goes on, certainly by the end of a long or hard run I have slipped back into my normal stride. Saying that, I'm pretty sure I dont have too big a stride anyway but I certainly need to check it out. I used that free app tonight but a) it only went up to 3000 strides b) it doesnt break it down by strides per minutes and c) I was messing about stopping and starting at the beginning of the run so the figures arent accurate anyway. I may just revert to the old fashioned way and manual count them with a stop watch.

So, LT run for me tonight. The plan was 10 miles with 6 @ LT pace. Following Ricky's comment last week about me running the LT runs too fast I set out to run about HM pace of 7:30. There was 3 easy miles to start with and then I could only manage 5 @ 7:35, 7:31, 7:31, 7:39, 7:38 with the last 2 being into a headwind. I could only manage 5 as I was feeling Saturday's 20 miler in my legs. I'm happy with that as it is the longest run I have done that has included so many LT pace miles (5 LT pace in a total of 10.6) and I didnt feel like I was on my limit but still working hard. I had the knee strapped up (much too tight to start with that I could hardly feel my leg, hence the stopping and starting at the beginning of the run while I kept sorting it out) and it started hurting a bit during the last 2 miles, of which the last mile is uphill and I knew it was going to hurt. However, as soon as I stopped running the pain ceased so that is good. I'm not sure what to make of this knee anymore as the pain has moved from the side of the knee round a bit towards the front, it's certainly in a different place now. I think I may pay the physio a visit to see if it's the same injury or to find out what's occuring.

Edited: 05/08/2013 at 20:39
05/08/2013 at 20:42

Nell- thanks for the advice.  Are you looking forward to Haddington?  What is the course like?

Carter- you managed really good pace (and consistent) for your LT run given you are just 2 days after a 20 miler.  Very impressed.

05/08/2013 at 22:47

Hi Carter - Good splits there. Yes I think a visit to the physio may be on the cards. Try not thinking of shortening the stride but concentrating on getting in the 180-184 steps per minute. That should automatically shorten the stride as you are trying to get more steps in, you cannot take such a long stride. That is what I have found in my experience. But then hey, what works for one doesn't another, I can only go by my experiences in the hope they help ;0)

Hi Ali - To be honest I haven't give much thought to Haddington and when my wife quizzed me on it over the weekend I thought I better have a look. I have seen the route on the map, it basically runs a circle underneath Haddington. Had a look at the elevation and that starts at 49 metres, slowly rising to 95 by mile 5 then slowly down again to 48 with a little rise to 78 at mile 10. So I think it may not be too bad... Don't really know anyone who has ran it before. I am just going along for the run and to hopefully enjoy it. Starts at 14:00 on Saturday so hoping we don't have a!

Rest day today and hoping to get up sharp in the morning if I am left alone by work tonight (on call) and do some hill running....

05/08/2013 at 22:58

AliBali - I think you've hit the nail on the head: listen to your body... rest/take it easy!

Much better LT run from you Carter - good stuff sir

I too had an (almost identical!) LT run this evening - 10mls with 5 LT - splits as follows:

9.33; 9.07; 7.33; 7.32; 7.28; 7:21, 7.01; 9.33; 9.32; 9.01

The 5 LT miles averaged 7.24 pace. Quite pleased with this as it felt more comfortable than my last identical LT session.

05/08/2013 at 23:05

Nell- funny time for a race to start especially a longish one.  Always better if they're out the way early in the morning I feel!

06/08/2013 at 11:38

Hi Ali - yes it is a bit of a weird time and not sure how my body will react as I am very much a morning runner!

Nice times Ricky, with a cheeky 7:01 at the end 

06/08/2013 at 11:42

Hill repeats this morning. Nice sunny morning running, close call with the farmers dog, luckily the farmer called him in and let me get on with the hill repeats, not sure whether that was a good or bad thing   

06/08/2013 at 12:28

Ha! I have had a few close calls with farmer's dogs myself nell- very territorial.

well I woke up this morning in extreme pain all up my neck, into my head and back. Could hardly turn my head left at all, and right too was a lot of pain. Could barely move my back- had to move my whole body as one rather than being able to bend at all. after a while of lying in agony on my bed, I phoned NHS 24 and after lots of questioning with the nurse she thinks I have 'wry neck' or 'torticollis'. Basically an asymmetric positioning of the neck, where the muscles fix in an unnatural position and stay there causing the pain I'm in. Had never heard of it before and I'm in agony.

i am confined to staying exactly where I am (in bed) until it passes. Apparently most cases should be gone in a few days. If I hadn't been going to enforce as period of no running to myself before anyway, I would be now!!! Funny how these things happen at the same time.

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