A Glitch in the Marathon Training Matrix

I was hoping to gently canter around the two-mile loop of Birkenhead Park nine times. I was hoping, at least if worst came to worst, to get above the 16 miles I managed to do two weeks ago. Sometimes that ‘hope’ lands and envelops you with confidence, and sometimes it flies off into the gusty winds and you are left sitting on the dusty curb of the path you’d been jogging along just moments before, with burning calves and a bruised ego.

A map of the park with my mile markers and the total time and distance ran.

Bad days happen. Everybody has them. I know that. But having a moment, or three, to feel sorry for oneself should definitely be part of the process of getting over them.

I’ve done marathon training before, albeit a long time before. Things definitely didn’t go according to plan then either. It went pair shaped a few times, including on the actual day of the marathon. So I knew this process would be hard. I am looking forward to looking back and seeing this as just a glitch in an otherwise successful adventure. When you’re in the middle of it, though, it’s hard to get that perspective.

Perhaps a little analysis will help:

  • I had done well in the Half Marathon last Sunday, but possibly a little too well, as I think I’m still recovering from it. It was my quickest time since 2015 so I was giving it some serious effort.
  • We had a track session on Thursday night where I was last in each section, but I was quicker than the last time I tried that particular session last August. Again, that’s great, but my little legs were probably looking for a lie down after that for more than a couple of days.
  • I didn’t feel especially tired going in to the run today, but I had been on my feet for a good hour and a half before, volunteering with Parkrun. As a generally sedentary animal, it will have had a bit of an impact.

The actions above may have been part of the cause of today’s hiccup. I’m going to assume so as it’s always better to have tangible reasons than no ideas. Either way, I’ll keep working towards the end goal and hopefully have more successful weeks as I carry on.

7 thoughts on “A Glitch in the Marathon Training Matrix”

  1. good stuff…I’m aiming at one half, and two fulls this year, one in August, one October….it’s been 3 years since my last…time to get back on track…

    1. Yes, hopefully it is because my legs were just plain tired. A huge difference in them afterwards than when I ran the 16 miles two weeks ago. Recovered relatively easily from that, and after yesterday they’re still very sore. So that’s a sign that I wasn’t just wimping out!

  2. That’s your body telling you that you overextended yourself. It’s a bummer, but you will bounce back. And, there is nothing wrong with having a pity party as long as you don’t stay at the party too long. You got this, Rita!

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