Last October, I wrote a post entitled “Surviving the Wastelands” that touched on the difficulty that I had transitioning between being a weight-loss jogger to a marathoner. This year, I’m facing a new kind of wasteland that my coach, Steve Sisson, has entitled “The Suck.”
What is “The Suck” you ask? The Suck is a raw term used to describe a perfect storm of conditions after a big race like Boston where one is returning from a break and building training back, only to battle the summer conditions in Texas and struggle to keep yourself going. I’ve been going out for an easy run with Team Rogue, only to get dropped about halfway through and jogging it in solo from there. It is admittedly a little disconcerting to look back at training logs and see that I ran a 30 mile long run without fuel at 7:40/mile pace and I’m getting dropped on a 10 mile run at 8:30/mile pace. I have to remind myself that it’s a different time of year, where temperatures can be around 80 degrees with 90% humidity at 5:30am. I also need to remember that building mileage causes your body to experience fatigue as it works to adapt to the new training stresses.
After the Boston Marathon, I took about a week and a half off from running altogether. I didn’t do this at all after my first marathon, and I think I paid for it later in the year. After that time off, I started to slowly ease back into running and also began mixing in some cycling. My friend and former Rogue Running retail manager Chuck Duvall was working at Austin Tri-Cyclist at the time and hooked me up with a used Felt Z85 road bike. They run a great store and I would recommend them for all your bike needs!
On May 31st, I raced the Rogue Trail Series – The Ranch 30k out near Burnet, TX. I ran the 10k last year, and really wanted to get a nice long run in out on the trails. Rogue did an amazing job in organizing and marking this race and, although I faded late into the race, I was pleased to walk away with a 5th place overall finish (and a pint glass!). The Skechers GOrun Ultra 2 shoes were absolutely the right choice for the rocky, muddy conditions with some fun descents mixed in.
Throughout the month of June so far, I’ve been continuing to build my weekly volume so that I will reach my peak base mileage in the first week of July. Let’s just say, I’m going to be running more than I ever have and will be much stronger for this next marathon cycle. I’m also running a 5k on June 20th in Katy, TX. With 95% humidity, I’m just going out to race
Speaking of marathons – I have chosen the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 17th, 2016 as my 3rd marathon! Houston was my first race in 2014, and I had such a great experience that I wanted to go back to see how my body has changed over the past 2 years. Being 7 months out, I will have a lot of time to log a bunch of mileage and tweak the little things that will make a huge difference in the long term.