Marathon Meltdown / Peak Training Week

It was bound to happen.
If I'm honest, I was overdue, considering the circumstances.

On Friday night, I threw a fit of epic proportions. It lasted almost three hours. Two of them being the most embarrassing, and one of them involving tears in public and pouting.

A friend asked me what corral I was in for the Chicago marathon. I have been checking weekly, and had not seen anything about corral numbers. When I went to check, I saw that I was in corral F, which starts at 8:00 am and is for 3:50 - 4:00 pace.

I was SOOOO upset to see that the deadline for changing your finish time/pace was August 16th. I don't remember seeing anything about this!!

When I registered, I thought you would be able to go back and change your finish pace, I didn't even remember what I entered or if I would be 100% clear to run after my IT band injury this Spring.

I called the Chicago Marathon offices, and they said that changing corrals is very strict and would only be allowed if there were bibs left over at the Expo.... This information did not make me feel better.

I am a pretty even keeled person, and aside from a Hallmark commercial at Christmas time or one of those 'Thanks Mom' Olympian commercials, the only other time I cry is when I get mad.

Ugly crying happened. Sweaty fist clenches happened. Head on arms on table happened.

 Me, the moon, and an empty parking lot! I kind of loved it!

Me, the moon, and an empty parking lot! I kind of loved it!

I've trained so hard this summer, and one of the most difficult parts has been managing the sun and heat. I have DSAP (Disseminated Superficial Actinic Porokeratosis) which means I really have to be careful about my exposure to the sun. I have been starting pretty darn early on Saturdays for my long runs, finding routes with a good amount of shade, or running inside on the treadmill. I've even split my runs up to do half inside on occasion.

That being said, I've done most of my training solo. Luckily P has met me a couple of times for a mile or two at the tail end, which is such a shining beacon in those later miles!! I didn't know if I would be able to do any of the 15+ miles by myself in the summer heat.  In addition to running solo, I've also pushed myself to reach new goals this season in terms of speed and length of my runs. 

Seeing that I was in the wrong corral and that there is no flexibility to change after working so hard this summer, pushed me over the edge. 

 At least when I'm running on my own, I can stop to take as many photos as I want!! These little guys have been my part of my weekends all summer long! I love them!

At least when I'm running on my own, I can stop to take as many photos as I want!! These little guys have been my part of my weekends all summer long! I love them!

We stopped by Fleet Feet on Friday night so I could grab some long run essentials (Huma and skratchlabs drink mix), and I was talking about the corral issue to the guy helping us. He said, "You know, that is what I don't miss about training for marathons. Just the exhaustion of it all, mentally and physically, especially during peak training week."

I said, yeah exhaustion is right, and then suggested we leave because I was getting emotional again. IN THE MIDDLE OF FLEET FEET. (insert blushing eye roll emoji)

Eventually I got over it, and prepped all my running gear for my long run the next day.

My fit was due to a special mixture of insomnia that I've had off and on for two weeks, hormones, and really just the tiredness of peak training week.

All of It - Marathon Meltdown / Peak Training Week

Turns out I totaled 75 miles this week. A record for me!

This Saturday, I ran 21 miles in 3:02, with 4 easy warm up miles and 17 at marathon pace which averaged at 8:24 per mile. My fastest miles came after mile 10, in fact I finished my 18th mile in 8:01. It was tough and stairs are difficult today, but I DID IT and feel great about it.

Next time around, during peak training, I will rearrange my week so that it isn't jam packed and make sure I start my runs earlier so that I am not wired at bed time. I will eat more so I'm not up at 2:00 am having vivid thoughts of baked goods.

Could I have managed my emotions in a more age appropriate way? Yeah, probably. But I also think its healthy to have a good cry every now and then. I'm going to focus on what I did right for four months of training instead of the stupid mistake I made on screwing up my estimated finish time.

Even if I don't reach my finish time goal at the Chicago Marathon, or if I start in a different corral, I will walk away with a new sense of confidence and self-worth. Instead of saying, I could NEVER run that fast, I find myself saying maybe some day!! Had you asked me three months ago if I could run 21 miles by myself, I would have said NO WAY!

So, my fellow marathoners, my running buddies in peak training week, my friends who are running faster or further than they thought was possible, thank you for inspiring me.

Do you have any tips for staying on top of things during peak training week? Have any details of a training induced melt down you'd like to share??

Happy Running!!!