A blog by runners. For runners.

Mental Exhaustion

I'm happy to say that with only 2 weeks to go to the Chicago Marathon the only exhaustion I'm facing is mental and not physical. I know it sounds strange but it's a relief because I know that as part of my taper I'll be backing off the mileage and will start to feel stronger, have more time to sleep in and be ready to go.
Last weekend we did our 20 miler and I was more nervous than usual. The week before when we ran 14 miles, supposedly a back off week, I felt a phantom knee pain around mile 6. 3 miles later I felt sick to my stomach and ended up dry heaving by the side of the path. So psychologically, it wasn't the best preparation for a 20 miler! Fortunately for me, the weather was ideal for the 20 miles and I had prepared well with sleep and pasta the night before. I took 2 Power Gel pouches during the run: one at 7.5 miles and another at mile 13 and felt really strong when I finished. It was the ideal end to the incremental mileage phase and a great way to head into the three week taper.
Yesterday we ran 12 miles and again it was cooler than the rest of our summer training and I felt strong. I ran with a guy from the Team in Training crew all the way and maintained a healthy 9:20 pace until the last half mile where we picked it up to give us a run average of 9:14 per mile. My goal for the marathon is an 8:45 pace based on my Chicago half marathon time of 8:18 per mile so we'll see how that pans out ;-) Truth be told I'll just be thrilled to come in under 4 hours to beat my personal best of 4:06 two and a half years ago in the San Francisco marathon.
Until then I'll be taking every opportunity to get off my feet, get plenty of sleep and eat and more responsibly…