For the past few weeks, I've been in a runner's rut. I can't explain it, don't know why, but it's really starting to bother me. After Boston, I figured I could and should scale back my running training to focus on more swimming and more biking. However, I knew I need to keep my fitness level for running up to a certain standard. I wasn't going to go and bust out 20 mile runs just for the sake of it, but I knew I could drop a 12 or 15 mile run at an easy pace and feel comfortable doing it. About 3 weeks ago, I went out on a Sunday morning and actually did a 12 mile run at about a 6:30 pace per mile. This actually impressed me some, but also got my confidence up.
Since then, I haven't had a good run at all. On the weekends, I continue to try and go out for a 12-15 mile run and the first time, my legs were tired so I called it after 6 miles. I didn't mind this figuring I needed a break and it was a once in a while issue. Then at some point that week, even during my 5 mile run at tempo pace, I was gassed early. Now it started to worry me a little. Last week, I had an easy 13 mile run on the schedule. One where I even said to myself, slow the pace, I don't care about speed just get the mileage. Again, I got about 7 miles in and couldn't finish. I have no idea whats going on.
My bike and my swim are great. They are actually better than where I thought they would be so I'm thankful for that and am lucky that my fitness is being kept that way. But for some reason, I have this block on me when I go out for a run. It doesn't matter what distance I try to do. It can be a short 4 mile run, a 8 mile run, or a long 13 mile outing. I just can't get it in my head that I can run. I think it might have to do with my A race now is in August and I know I'm physically capable of doing it right now if I needed to. There is obviously some letdown after a big race from April, but that is now 6 weeks ago and I should be back in the swing of things now.
I need to break out of this rut quickly. I love to run. I love to run more than I love to bike or swim so it makes me happy going out there and hitting the pavement. But when I'm in the kind of rut that I'm in now, I can be so frustrating and it really affects me.
The one shining moment was my last brick workout. I had a nice long bike ride and pushed a little hard on the bike, but once I went for the run, I was cranking. My miles were flowing, my pace was great and I felt comfortable and my legs were fresh. In fact, they were fresher than they have felt in weeks. And this is after an extremely hard week of workouts. I wish I could have felt this good for a stand alone run, but for some reason this workout was perfect. In fact, I cut a mile off my scheduled run because I wanted to leave it in the tank and end on a great note and have the confidence than having something possibly go wrong. I was always told that its better to leave a mile out on the road than have it come back and bite you. So hopefully this strategy will pay off on my next long run.
But right now, this runners rut is really starting to affect me and needs to change quickly.
To anyone who's ever been affected by a runners rut, I feel your pain. I'm in it now.