The Third Time is Not Always a Charm

Yesterday I ran my 3rd 15 mile run. I have also run 2 20 miles runs and an 18 mile run. I expected this 3rd 15 mile run to be a piece of cake. It was not. It was hard and I got the worst time of all 3 of these 15 mile runs.

The first one was June 3rd and I had a very hard time with the last 2 or 3 miles.
The second one was July 1 and was apparently pretty unremarkable. It went ‘okay’
The second was yesterday and I didn’t bonk but I was fatigued pretty much the whole time and really dragged butt.

Stuff like this shatters my confidence that I will make my sub 5 hour goal but at this point I hardly care. I know I will finish and right now that feels good enough. I’m not very fond of ‘good enough’, preferring ‘I rocked’ under almost all circumstances but at this point I don’t have a lot of fight left in me. I have had too many really hard, uncomfortable runs to care.

In all fairness my pace, including long bathroom break at the 1/2 point and a couple of stops to find my water bottles was 11:31 which is still a 5 hour pace (hope springs eternal) but I in no way felt that I had another 11 miles left in me*. I don’t know if it was fatigue from my track workout on Thursday and the fact that I spent Saturday on my flip-flopped feet in a museum plus high heat (I left at 6:30 and was melting by 8) or if I’ve just lost my running mojo. I can only hope that by marathon day I will be rested, fed, hydrated and ready to rock this thing. And if I don’t then so be it.

When I got to 15 I did make myself keep going for a little while. I wanted to transcend that ‘I just can’t do this anymore’ feeling and I wanted to cross the line and get my second wind. I sort of did – enough to remember that in a marathon I’m willing to endure pain and the desire to quit in order to get to the finish line. In fact, now that I think about, since this will be my 3rd marathon I hope the 3rd time really is a charm

*Update – talk about a self defeating attitude. I would only need to go another 9 miles, not 11! I think you are all right – I just need a REAL taper, not this crazy pseudo taper.

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18 Responses to The Third Time is Not Always a Charm

  1. Iron Pol says:

    Some other things to consider:1. You’re in taper because you’ve pretty well burned your body up with training. The challenges with the run are proof positive that it’s time to back off and allow for recovery.2. If your weather was anything like ours, that might have been a factor. My pace was slow, and I had to cut several miles off, due to the heat (somewhere around 100F).3. We all have off days. Race day magic, as you know, helps us accomplish amazing things.

  2. Vickie says:

    Just the fact that you got through the 15 miles is credit to your determination. No bargaining, just got it done. Its always discouraging when you feel like crap though, I know!

  3. Bob says:

    We have all had days like this, just tell yourself miles in the books, and move forward. My guess marathon day you will be much more prepared and ready to kick but.Oh and I am curious what Marthon is run in July and where is it??

  4. Susan says:

    Well all have crapy days like that. It really, really stinks – I’m like you – I want every run and every race to rock. But it can’t be that way.15 miles is 15 miles and that is 15 miles. sometimes I make no sense – you’ll have to ignore me.

  5. WADDLER26.2 says:

    Great job just getting the miles in! Your body is tired from all your hard work that’s why you taper and recover for the big day. By then all those muscles will recover and be stronger and ready to go!

  6. Dori says:

    Nobody ever feels that they can go another X number of miles during a long run. But since this is your third marathon, you know you’re capable of it. Was a 15 mile run on your training schedule two weeks before the race? I’m nowhere near a 5 hour marathoner, but what I’ve read is this close to the race, you can’t help your performance, only hurt yourself. Good luck on the big day!

  7. Lisa says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. You got the job done. Remember, the taper is to allow your body time to rest and heal from all the hard work. You’ll kick ass on marathon day. 🙂

  8. Running Rabbit says:

    Don’t let one 15 miler make you doubt yourself. You are going to be fantastic!

  9. Running by.... says:

    Blame it on the heat. At least you know that even in the worst heat waves, SF will stay cool. Taper mean taper, slow down and rest up. You’ll be fine come the big day.

  10. Rose says:

    Third time may not be a charm, but it’s just a training day, so it doesn’t have to be. It is still an accomplishment, and as iron pol’s third point is worth taking to heart!

  11. Juls says:

    What is this “pseudo taper” thing?Taper for real!And stop worrying, you will be fine.

  12. Bolder says:

    i think it is the animal of the day.alpacas do not lend themselves to a good taper…that’s all i’ve got.

  13. hilary says:

    a) the heat won’t be nearly as bad for your marathon as it was for your training run.b) is the route posted somewhere? you might get a fool or two (kf)to cheer you on if you’d like?

  14. susie says:

    I seem to have runs like this: bad, bad, bad, great…bad, bad, bad, great. I hope your “great” comes at the right time! I think you are so ready for this.

  15. jeanne says:

    what they said…don’t let your confidence be sapped by one crappy run…you DO care, and you’re gonna do great! think positive!signed,pollyanna

  16. Stefano says:

    I agree with Susan 15 miles is 15 miles and that is 15 miles. You are on the right way to a great performance.

  17. Matthew says:

    “Young lady”…you are over-training…55 marathons and I can tell you I went down the same path.Your pace on your LSD runs needs to be 1-2 minutes slower per mile than you target pace.To run beyond 2 hours is really going to tear you down…I rarely do it unless I am doing an ultra and then there are slow lopes mixed with power walks…I read that you are interested in running under 5 hours.Remember there are 4 elements to running:Tempo: race pace run not race distance..for marathon about a 8-10 milerSpeed: Faster than race pace shorter distances…for marathon 2 or 3 milers (2 ir three of them with 5 minutes of jog or walking in between repeatsLSD. Long slow distance …as detailed above incrementally increasing Power: Hills One time a week…and you can actually combine speed and power into one.Speed training one time a week..ease into it…but this is the single factor…besides tempo which will get you under 5 hours…trust me.Email me if I can be of further service…been there done that…got the t shirt….grin!Matthew

  18. Stillwater Heron says:

    Ditto on what everyone else said!You did the 15, and you felt crappy doing it but it’s in the bank :)Now eat well to re-fuel your body and rest well to allow it to rcover.All runners have off days!It’s part of the game!

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