Low Mileage


bumper car

I have been using the same marathon training plan I pulled out of a book 3 years ago. I know that’s not the best way to go about marathon training; but the book was a good one, and frankly, it’s worked the past 4 marathons. I’m scared to deviate from it because it’s all I’ve ever known.

I’m not a superstitious person, but I do know that as a runner, I can be a little odd.

I didn’t like the race number they gave me for my upcoming marathon, so I had them delete me and ADD me back into their system to get a ‘better’ number–all in German (which I am loathe to use because my German sounds like I pulled IT out of a college textbook a decade ago, which, in fact, I did.)

I wonder if all runners are quirky? or if it’s just me? Are there certain shoes or socks you HAVE to wear? A particular water bottle? A special ‘last meal’ before a race? I’m not quite as picky as I used to be, but still, there are these little traditions I cling to.

When my CrossFit coach said I didn’t have to run quite as many miles for my marathon training (since I’m also doing Crossfit) I was skeptical.

When my coach also said he was going to “Change things up,” I was scared.

So not only do I have to let go of my magic feather of a training plan, I have to learn an entirely new act. 

But Crossfit is producing results. I can now do pushups from my knees, and it will be no time before I’m doing them ‘for real.’ It wasn’t THAT long ago when I was crashing to the floor in a trembling heap because I couldn’t lift myself an inch.

I actually have muscles now, and I really, really like it. Sort of in a freakish way, like when you have a mole shaped like Mickey-Mouse that you want people to see. I keep walking around the house in a tank top and showing my husband my shoulders.

“See!” I say, flexing, “There are MUSCLES there!”

He usually responds with his sweet, “Yes dear,” look and pats me on the back, which I also flex because I have muscles there now too.

One of the coaches said he didn’t recognize me while I was doing pull-ups because of my newfound muscle tone. Okay, I wasn’t actually doing pull-ups. I was really dangling from a giant rubber band connected to a bar. But I was bouncing up and down sufficiently to count them.

Even though intellectually I know I am more muscular now, I step on the scale and suck my breath between my teeth. Muscle weighs more than fat, and how am I going to run a FASTER marathon if I keep ‘gaining’ weight?

These things are a mystery to me. But I do know that I ran my fastest 6-miler ever–clocking in at just over 54 minutes, which is pretty great for me.

I won’t lie–it wasn’t an ‘easy’ run (is there such a thing?) but it DID flow. I had on my barefoot shoes and my arms and legs and core all worked together to keep me moving along.

I am nervous about my next marathon. I don’t want to get worked up about numbers, because really, this is not one for a PR. I want to run a mountain marathon and finish it well.

I think CrossFit is already helping!


2 responses »

  1. We are all a little quirky!
    I did hear a former pro runner speak last night and he talked about the need to change up your work out. If you do the same weight routine for 6 weeks your muscles adapt. Part of this is getting stronger. But as they adapt making any additional gain becomes more difficult. His idea was to change your lifting or running routine to keep your body from adapting to a routine.
    It may be that the long runs, intervals and speed work in your routine accomplish this.But change is good.

    • Thanks for the info!

      I do agree about changing things up, which is why I like CrossFit (since it’s different every day). But it can be intimidating to change something you ‘know’ works. Of course, if I want to get stronger & more fit, then I DO need change! I also need to trust my coach!

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