Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Should I be scared?

OK, I'm a little scared to write this post.  I dont want to jinx anything, but I need to get this off my chest and maybe get someone else's take. 

So here's my question to all:
  Should I be scared for what I'm about to write?

Obviously, I'm training for my first Boston Marathon in April.  I don't expect to PR and break 2:53:00 for the race which would be my PR, but I would definitely like to break 3 hours again.  My last marathon was the Harrisburg Marathon in November 2011 after NYC was cancelled.  So I ran Harrisburg the week later but actually didnt care about the race.  Halfway through the race, I ended up saying to myself, I am not enjoying the race.  Having trained for NYC and having that race be cancelled definitely threw off my schedule and desire to run a full marathon last fall.  Plus I knew that Boston was the main target so I just went out and ran the race.

I thought that having Riley would put a huge hindrance on my training.  I expected that and was fine with it.  But in actuality, it has been the opposite.  My training has been amazing.  It seems like every run I go on is a great run, feels great, I hit my splits (actually, Im faster than I want), and that everything is just clicking. 

I started noticing this a few weeks back when I was out for a tempo run and my splits were 10 seconds faster than I wanted them to be but I kept feeling great so I just went with it.  It really hit me this past weekend when I was on my 16 mile run.  I was trying to hit splits of 7:15-7:20 miles, but every mile I did was between 6:51-6:59.  And I wasnt tired one bit.  I easily could have pushed the distance another 3-4 miles at that pace, or even another 5-7 miles at a slower pace to get the distance up.  For those of you who know Central Park in NYC, Harlem Hill is a beast.  Its just something people dread on every run, and since there was no easy way to get 16 miles in, I did the park 3 times (its a 6 loop course).  So because of this, I had to do Harlem hill 3 different times.  I ended up doing it in different directions each time to change my run up a bit, but either way there isnt a fun way to hit that hill.  On my run, the hills felt great.  I even had to slow myself down since I noticed that I was going up the hills around a 6:30 pace.  And every time I do the hills now on any type of run, I'm charging up that hill and it feels great.  I've never been like this.  I usually feel it on that hill and need a little to recover afterwards.  But not now. Not over the past 2 months.  I'm flying through those hills, and flying through my runs.  In fact, the worst thing that has happened to me recently on a run was my hands got cold in the winter weather and my gloves werent heavy enough. 

But THATS IT.  I havent had a bad run in 2 months.  I havent had to push through a run because I was sluggish, or didnt feel it. In fact, even when Im forced inside, my treadmill runs have been great.  I havent had to slow down because I didnt have it.

So, should I be scared?  The optimist in me says dont be scared and realize that maybe Im in better shape than I have been recently.  That come Boston, Ill be great.  However, the pessimist in me says something this good cant last forever.  That at some point, my runs will be bad, my legs will get tired, Im pushing too much and that instead of peaking around Boston, maybe I'm peaking too early. 

I know its a good problem to have, but right now my main focus is Boston, and then I can start focusing on Triathlon season.  I want Boston to go well, and I want to cruise through the first 19 miles, hit Heartbreak Hill, then push it the last 6 miles to get under 3 hours. 

Whats the best way to look at this?  Is it good and that I'm just on a natural progression so enjoy the ride, or should I be worried and fear that something this good cant last.

 Has anyone had this problem before?  If so, how did you handle it


  1. First visit to your blog and I must say, that is a nice problem to have. We both are sitting here thinking that a bad run is bound to happen, we all go through them, but instead of labeling it a bad run, I would label it as mental toughness training. When things go a stray and things fall apart, we have 2 choices, call it a day or trudge forward and finish what we started, even if our legs say no. By finishing it, it allows your brain to say, ok that sucked, but I finished, in the long run, a finished bad run can pay dividends on race day. Just my opinion.

    Nice running recently

  2. Funny you say this, I wrote about this exact same "problem" recently as well! I came back from a short break over christmas an new years of not running and eating nothing but cookies, thinking my paces would be reduced...On the contrary, I have been averaging 20-40 seconds faster per mile for the last 4 weeks than I was per week over the previous 4 months! And you know what, it's felt great! I do not feel like I'm running harder or faster. I even asked my coach (Peyton) if I should not be running this fast!!