marathon training, 50 mile weeks, training thoughts

“My ambition is handicapped by laziness.” – Charles Bukowski

I was looking back at my training so far in 2013 and noticed something interesting—I struggle to maintain 50+ mile weeks.

If you look at my Garmin Connect calendar, you can see the weekly totals that are so close yet so far—43 miles, 52 miles, 40 miles, 38 miles. I’m not talking about my cutback week; this is a consistent pattern over the past few months. Some of the weekly totals are on target for what I have on my schedule, but a lot of them aren’t.

marathon training, 50 mile weeks, training thoughts

Caught unsuccessfully trying to stay awake before Saturday’s 20

I do the bulk of my mileage on weekends. Since I started incorporating back-to-back long runs into my training, I now run 30+ miles a weekend without blinking an eye. I tell myself I do this because it makes me a stronger runner to run on tired legs, and it prepares me for upcoming ultras. It makes perfect sense. But between you and me, the real reason is because I use the weekend to make up for my missed runs during the week. I call those my “procrastination miles.”

marathon training, 50 mile weeks, training thoughts

When I’m not running you can find me doing this – especially on campus during grad school finals

My weekday mileage is what takes the hit the harder my training schedule gets. I’m either too tired in the morning, too busy at lunch, or too lazy in the evening. But you know what they say about excuses…

Right now I’m at the peak of my NJ Marathon training—I ran a 20-miler on Saturday with an 8:47 average pace, but could not drag myself out the door yesterday for another run, and thus ended up with less total mileage than I wanted. I have 22 on the schedule for this Saturday with a half marathon thrown into the mix, so I hope that by planning ahead I can run smart and not get burned out before Sunday’s long run.

marathon training, 50 mile weeks, training thoughts. Garmin Connect

2013 stats

However, my mileage is at an all-time high despite the missed runs. March was my best month to date with 182 miles, and I’ve already surpassed 500 for the year. In comparison, last March I only ran 47 miles. Total. So I can’t get too down on myself.

I will have to get my act together and overcome this mental block before I buckle down and start seriously training for a fall 50-miler. I’m going to keep a closer eye on my stats as well as on my emotions and other activities, because each week will teach me something new, and that’s how I’ll get stronger.

But at the same time, running is a big commitment, and sometimes you have to put it on the back burner. I have to remind myself of this. The hubs and I have a lot going on at the moment, and it’s not always fair for me to say “peace out!” and disappear for a few hours. It’s important to find that balance.

So who knows. The way I see it, I’m aware of my habits and will consciously work to break them. But I will also not stress over it too much, because skipping a few runs isn’t the end of the world.