According to Wikipedia, doesn’t every great blogger refer to Wikipedia when they need information, a perfect storm is “a confluence of events that drastically aggravates a situation.” Or as a person who was raised in Oklahoma and have been around when the weathermen begin to go crazy weeks before storms come into the state, I begin to think of those moments when all the right things are happening to create a big weather event a perfect storm.
Now I am not saying that this week was a “perfect storm” in the form of a weather event but more of a “perfect storm” for many moments of melt down in my life. Okay maybe that is a little much but it was a tough week and this was the only way I could think of it. (If you can’t handle any whining now might be the time to step away and come back tomorrow for motivational Monday! 😉 Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
As many of you know I am training for my 6th marathon and have tried a new training plan. This one had me doing up to 70 miles in one week. I have worked harder than ever before to get better at this crazy marathon thing. I have felt pretty good the whole time and have completed more miles in a short amount of time than ever before. For the month of April alone I ran 286.17 miles. That is more miles than I even drive in a month.
Anyway, things have been going well and I have felt very confident that this was going to be my best marathon ever! Then on Monday morning of this week (the day after my last 20 miler) I woke up with so much calf pain in my left leg, I struggled to walk and my mind took over. I started to doubt I could complete my marathon in 3 short weeks, I started to count my dreams out of ever getting a Boston Qualifying time. (Can you say, Drama queen much, I know!)
This was one ingredient to my “perfect storm”. In fact here are all the “confluence of events” that made this week my perfect storm. One: calf pain, Two: taper time – basically time to reduce the amount of running to prepare for my marathon. During this time I am usually very anxious because I start to visual the race and how I am going to handle it all and my expectations begin to really come into play. Third: hormones! For those that don’t have it, that time of the month is no cakewalk and for me I tend to be even more emotional during it. Four: added work stressors, really no need to explain that one, we all have them. Five: Turning a year older. Not really that stressful but I thought I would throw it in because it was an added event that happened this week. All the ingredients were present for the “perfect storm” in my mind this week.
I am happy to report that I survived it! I didn’t get the t-shirt but I made it through. Thank goodness I work really hard to stay motivated and in the present moment. Here are some tips for how I survived:
- Slowed things down and tried even harder to stay in the present moment. Taking a deep breath when I felt overwhelmed with not only the pain but moments at work when I thought I couldn’t handle anything else.
- Went for a massage! I highly recommend them. I go at least once a month so my therapist knows me pretty well and she was able to really work my legs and hips so I felt so much better.
- Spent time doing other things with my family. You know those people you don’t see when you are running 70 miles a week and working a full time job. I find it is so much better to stay busy than sitting around feeling bad for myself.
- Slowly easing back into running and riding my bike more. Even though the plan called for a certain amount of runs and mileage, I was able to not run as much and realize that all my training will not go away if I take some time off or take things a little slower. In fact, I might even feel better and more prepared for the race. Plus I was able to take my bike out and go for a nice relaxing 16 mile bike ride, which I have not done in forever!
- Finally, looking at my last plans and results. I know this sounds weird but for me I was able to look through my running journal and my tracking miles and realize that I am farther along than I have ever been before and I am prepared (well as long as I don’t just sit on my butt for the next 2 weeks). It was a great boost of confidence.
So I guess what I am saying is that when faced with the perfect storm, if you are prepared you can make it through. Your family me get tired of you for the week because there might be some whining, but if take a breath, take control of your mind, you can make it through.
Anyone else ever struggle with this? How did you make it through your taper time?