No Steam in the Engine

You ever have those days where despite the weather being perfect, you just don’t want to run? That’s me today. It took all sorts of willpower just to get out the door today. I felt tired. A bit sore still from my tough half marathon on Saturday. And, the big one – still incredibly out of shape and sluggish. The scale has become my enemy again – I’m up 5 lbs this year from where I was at the same month of last year. Ugh! It’s funny, there have been days where I didn’t consider it a big deal to run 20+ miles with friends, and yet there are days like today, where 4.5 miles feels like an eternity.

The phrase I repeated to myself over and over today was, “Miles not minutes.” I also decided when I set out today, to keep my eye on my heart rate – making an effort to keep it at the low end of “easy” for my particular heart rate range, which I created using my max heart rate and then doing the calculations for the various stages to focus on: Easy, Anaerobic Threshold and Vo2 Max. My as-of-yet measured max is about 196. I think when I do speedwork again, I’ll likely see something over 200 – but it’s in the ballpark. So, my easy range is 136-159 (60 – 75% of max), my anaerobic threshold is 174-181 (85 – 90 % of max) and my Vo2 max is 181-196). Most of my runs, since I started measuring my heart rate a couple of months ago, are in the 155-165 range. That seems to be a really comfy zone for me. I’m still figuring all of this out and likely am misunderstanding at least some parts of it. That’s ok. Trial and error seems to be my method. 🙂 Today, I focused on keeping my average heart rate around 135. It meant lots of walking and painfully slow jogging, but it seemed like a good idea — a chance for my body to keep recovering from this weekend’s race.

I printed up two new training plans in the middle of the night when insomnia was ruling my sleep schedule. One is a Smart Coach plan, that I know will help me get back into the shape I was in last Fall and help me improve my speed at races. The second one, which has huge red text, is titled, “50-Miler Training Plan.” I’m trying to decide which one is really the one for me. I feel kind of goal-less at the moment. A ship without a course. Mentally, I need a race – something to strive for to give me my drive back. I had hoped to work on breaking 4 hours at the marathon this year. I’m really not feeling confident that it’s the right goal for me right now — maybe never. Not sure. It seemed possible last year, but I’m just not sure at the moment I can see it happening – and I don’t even have a race in mind to attempt it. Most of my pals are ultra runners. Many have already knocked out a 100 mile race this year. They amaze and surprise me with their abilities. Secretly, I want to be like them too… eventually. I’ve knocked out two 50ks now in the last year. Is it time to make the leap to the next level – 50 miler? I’m feeling the pull. I’m considering it. I think I’ll toy with it for another couple weeks and see what I decide.

Stats: 4.53 miles. 13:26 pace. 1:00 time. Felt: Fatigued, Blah. Average Heart rate: 135.

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