Warning: This isn’t the most positive update in the world; after last week I’m feeling super discouraged about running. As in, what was I thinking that I could ever actually run this far type of discouraged. It was kind of a hard week for me last week and I know everyone says you’re going to have “off” weeks but by the time Saturday’s run was finished, I was kind of a mess. Messier than my living room after my 11-year old opened his birthday presents.

Training Update Week #10

Week #10’s Workouts

-Monday: supposed to be a 4 mile run but opted for a yoga workout instead at night since the day got away from me before I could get a run in.

-Tuesday: ran 4 miles in the early a.m. – basically ran circles around a nearby neighborhood since there was a lot of lamplight in the pitch dark; maybe it was the repetitiveness of the run but I had to literally talk myself through each step so I didn’t stop; I finally switched my Pandora station to OneDirection and channeled my inner teenager to get through it.

-Wednesday: no workout.

-Thursday: ran 4 miles on the treadmill – it’s been a while since I’ve done a treadmill run and even my silly BBC show on the iPad couldn’t distract me from the fact that I would rather have been shoving hot pokers under my fingernails than continue running.

-Friday: did an early morning interval training workout (had gone to bed late the night before and was super tired when my alarm went off at 5:50 a.m.; I told Brian the only thing that got me out of bed was that he was snoring like a freight train so now that I was awake, I knew I’d either lay there for another hour listening to him and contemplating smothering him with my pillow…or just get my buns out of bed and workout). He said “you’re welcome.” Apparently he thinks that was almost like being a personal trainer.

-Saturday: planned out a route on google maps for a 6 mile run but while actually running found out the road I was supposed to take to circle back around doesn’t actually exist which put me about 2 3/4 miles farther from home than I should have been. Not to mention that google maps neglected to tell me the entire route was up and down hills (my fault for not driving the route but still). There was one point, when I saw another rolling hill in front of me, that I actually wondered if I sat down by the side of the road and didn’t move ever again, would anyone find me? By 6 1/2 miles, I was almost in tears and was supposed to be back home already for my 11-year old’s birthday breakfast (I had set off pretty early so we could get on with a day of three soccer games, birthday celebrations, Easter activities, and church obligations). Despite wanting to get all the way home on my own, I had to call Brian to come get me. I literally didn’t have it in me to even walk the last 2+ miles home after I had been running for over an hour. In my not-so-finest moments during that run I almost wished my aching hip flexors and hamstring were harsh injuries that would require a doctor to order me to never run a day again ever. Don’t hate me for thinking that (especially if you actually have an injury) but I promised to be honest and so there you go.

This is me. Taking a sockie selfie (Brian made all sorts of fun of me) while Jackson opened birthday presents minutes after I got back from running. I could barely move and was trying to stretch but couldn’t bend at the waist yet.
Training Update Week #10

So yeah, sorry to be a downer. I think because time seemed to slip through my fingers last week + the fact that all three of my runs were straight up brutal kind of threw me. I tend to overthink things anyway and combine that with just an emotional week – it wasn’t a great combination. Brian gave me a pep talk on Saturday about focusing on how far I’ve come over the last ten weeks (going from not even running a mile without stopping to 6 1/2 miles) instead of thinking about what’s not feeling perfect. I get it. I do. But it was still kind of a rotten week and I really am not sure I can run more than I’m already running (6 1/2 miles kind of did me in). Not only did it make last week kind of pitiful but it’s made me go into this week of running with an already negative attitude.

This Week

-5 mile run Monday (today) – hoping to get that in tonight since my morning was a little hectic
-Cross-training workout Tuesday
-4 mile run Wednesday
-Cross-training or yoga workout Thursday
-Rest day Friday
-10K local road race on Saturday (although realized that our family schedule that day may prevent me from running it since it starts later than I thought, so we’ll see; still planning on it otherwise I’ll do a 6 mile run in the early a.m. before the craziness of the day starts)

Hopefully your running week was WAY better!

37 Responses to Training Update: Week #10

  1. Laura says:

    Mel, have you looked for a MRTT (moms run this town) group in your area? I ran my first half a month ago and I couldn’t have done it without the plans to run with other moms. Might be something worth looking into. Good luck and keep running! You can do it Mel!

  2. Mary says:

    Hi Mel-
    Reading your runing updates has been like dejavu from when I started running! (you will treasure this record when you finish your race and long after). I am by no means an avid runner but I have run several half marathons and I LOVE what running does for me physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. You were spot on when you said that you didn’t realize how hard runing was mentally. I swear all the training we do for races is more for our minds than our legs. I am not a mentally tough person by any stretch and can easily talk myself into walking or taking shorter routes BUT I have found a few things that help me hang in there. #1 Bribes: on longer runs I bring 2 or three starbursts and eat one each for the last 2 or three miles. On race day I bring four for miles 10, 11, 12, and 13! #2 Occupy my brain. Even with a good book or great tunes around mile 6 (or somes days as early as mile 2 :)) my brain starts “opperation sabbatoge” and all I can think about is how much farther I have to go and how tired I am and how hard this is. But my sister told me to count up to 100 and then back down in my head. And do over and over and over. I can’t tell you how many hard miles that little trick has got me through. I thought it sounded lame but when I tried it it was amazing. It occupied my brain just enough (especially the counting backwards) to keep me from talking myself out of finishing or pushing on. I hope these ideas help! You have totally inspired me to stop all my excuses ( 5 kids 9 and under…one of whom does not believe in sleeping, a busy husband, and a puppy (what was I thinking???)) I’ve finally gotten back into early morning runs and it feels great! Thanks to your inspiration I’ll be at the Utah Valley half!

    • Mel says:

      Love your tips, Mary, love them! Thank you so much. And I’m SO excited (like, goose bumps excited) that you’ll be running the Utah Valley Half. Is that weird since I don’t know you? Either way, can’t wait to meet you. I’ll be the girl shoving starbursts in my mouth and counting to 100 and backwards over and over. 🙂

  3. Whitney says:

    Have you ever used mapmyrun.com to plan your routes? It will give you length and you can also view the elevation gains and losses.

  4. Jenny says:

    Hang in there Mel! I’m so proud of you – high five from an internet stranger! Someone once told me that when you get past 5 or 6 miles it is no longer your heart/lungs that get tired but it is just how long your legs can hold out and I’ve definitely found that to be true. So you are over a really hard physical hurdle (and your legs will hold out really well after all those hills) and the challenges change to things like finding the time to do the long runs and not dying of boredom. I like podcasts when I run. It’s almost like someone is talking to you and then I can’t hear myself say how much I hate it with every step. You are going to rock it in June!

  5. Karin says:

    When I was training for my half a few months back I miscalculated and hit my expected mileage miles from home. I did the same thing and my husband came to rescue me. I discovered that I really enjoy listening to books on tape while I’m running. It makes it much easier to get my brain to think less about how bad it hurts. Keep going! When you’ve completed the race you will feel so proud of yourself!

  6. Sheila says:

    Mel, please remember this running is not all about reaching a goal but the journey that gets you to that goal. Your kids will look back during difficult times and remember how mom through blood, sweat, and tears worked continually hard despite “emotions” to accomplish her goal. They will look back and remember the loving support of Dad to help you, the precious together times when they ran with you, and how you kept focused and pushed forth through physical pain, horribly busy schedules, and many emotional set- backs to accomplish what you had set your mind on doing. My advice: “Stop looking at your nose resulting in your tripping over your feet and start focusing upon the long term “leaps and bounds” of this running journey in showing your children, husband, neighbors, and others internal needed character qualities that will get you through anything life throws at you. You are such an inspiration to so many! This journey is about so much more than just running.

  7. Emily says:

    It WILL get better and easier I promise! But it’s getting through these very natural barriers that’s tough. Do you have any running friends? I have a running partner, early morning set time and place 3 times a week or so, it does wonders for me and is without a doubt the reason I’ve been able to stick with running. Plus it’s like girls morning out every time and a good therapy session to boot;) I know it’s not an option for everyone, but I highly recommend it.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Emily, thanks for the insight. I do agree that when I’m meeting someone in the morning, I’m much more accountable – I haven’t run with anyone yet besides my husband and a couple of my kids. I’m kind of a loner when it comes to running which sounds weird but is kind of how I roll, I guess.

  8. Jamie says:

    You can do this! Last year I decided to do the Utah Valley 10k which is the last 6 miles of the 1/2 marathon course. I was about 50 lbs over weight and I honestly didn’t train hardly at all. I thought that I would just walk most of it, but I found myself jogging almost the whole thing! It really is an easy course. In a few weeks, 6 miles won’t be intimidating. Some runs/weeks just stink and some are just awesome. If you don’t do the hard ones, the awesome ones won’t ever happen. Hang in there!

  9. Emily says:

    Mel – I’m definitely the type of person that “stalks” blogs since I rarely ever comment but I felt a tremendous need to comment on this. Like you, I’m training for a half and just started running late last year. Unlike you, my half is much farther away in the year and I’m still not running an entire mile straight through so 6.5 miles is something to be incredibly proud of!! I’ve definitely had off runs. There was one a week or 2 ago that should have been an easy run but it was hard. So very hard. I just had to remind myself that some runs / weeks are going to be much much harder than others. I just have to remind myself to take it step by step, run by run. Thanks for sharing your journey and you’ve got this!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Emily – that really meant a lot to me that you would leave me a comment to lift my spirits. Thank you! I am so inspired by all those who are running and persevering through the hard weeks. Good luck on your training! And thank you again…so, so much.

  10. Tanya M. says:

    I’m sorry it was a rough week! But, look at the bright side…. you ran almost 15 miles in a week!! That’s a great!!
    I had to laugh because my son just turned 10 last week too and received the same thing, soccer goals. 🙂 This week I started watching Everyone loves Raymond on netflix to pass the time on the treadmill. One time I laughed so hard I almost fell off the treadmill. 🙂 Hope this week is better for you!!

  11. Tiffany says:

    I loved your post! I too had a rough week running. After running 6 in the beginning of the week I told my husband to never let me sign up for another long race. After 5 miles it just seems like all you are doing is putting in the time and miles, I have gotten enough “exercise”. So Saturday I went to do eight and it literally took me two hours because I swear somebody slipped me a diuretic and every lap I had to stop at my house. It took FOREVER!!! And now I have IT band pain for going too long….so moral of the story is it is never easy and sometimes it just plain stinks! Yet you go out the next day and do it again because doing something hard is so much more rewarding than doing nothing at all. Stick with it and envision the crowd of us web supporters cheering you on, you can do it!

    • Mel says:

      Eight! That’s amazing, Tiffany! But I hear you on the bathroom thing. Not so fun. Thanks for your advice and support, though – it means a lot!

  12. Mara says:

    I could tell from your previous week’s post that things were starting to get a little tough for you. After reading this latest update, I immediately thought of the quote attributed to Heber J Grant (but also sometimes to Ralph Waldo Emerson):

    “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do—not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do is increased. “ Great words to ponder.

    The reason why people have satisfaction after reaching any goals (like running) is simply because it was not an easy path. You are past the first few weeks of exhilaration and you are entering a phase of self-doubt and physical pain. This is where God’s power comes in. It will come from outside and within you, and when your power to overcome the challenge has increased, it will be glorious.

    Enjoy your journey!

    • Mel says:

      Thank you so much for this, Mara – I think you are right about the level of accomplishment and satisfaction being higher. The funny thing is I talk to my kids about this all the time (“we can do hard things!”) but seem to be struggling taking my own medicine. 🙂

  13. Mindy says:

    So, when I was training for my first half, the day of my first 10-miler was a blizzard. Like crazy snow. But I had my run planned and I had to do it that day. So I did- and the whole time cars were driving by and people were looking at me like I was crazy. And I wanted to punch every one of them in the face (I’m an angry runner.) and scream “do you think I like this?!? I think I’m crazier than You think I am right now!!!” But I did it. And when I got to my friend’s to pick my kids up, I was telling her how difficult physically and mentally it was for me, (this friend has run many marathons and half marathons) and she told me-“you always need an emotionally difficult long run before a race. It gets you ready for the race!” It sounded dumb but made so much sense!!! And ever since then, if I’m having a tough run, i always find myself thinking, “I ran 10 miles in a dang blizzard! I can do this.” It really helped.

    That long run will always be a run you conquered!! It was a hard day, on tired legs, and a tired heart. That, is success! You did it anyway.

    I have cried and prayed my way through many-a-run. But in the end, it’s all about self-mastery, and it is AMAZING!!! Sorry for the novel- I haven’t even been checking up on this running because I just moved from Utah and was too sad about not getting to run my race this year, but just had the thought to check it today. Anyway, good luck Mel!! The finish line is ammmaaazzzzing. And honestly, the harder the training is, the sweeter the reward!

    • Mel says:

      Loved your comment, Mindy, for a lot of reasons but I think I might be an angry runner, too, and also, now I think all I’ll have to say to myself when my runs get crazy hard is “at least I’m not running 10 miles in a blizzard!”

  14. Stacey says:

    Hey Mel –

    I had no intention of running, just making your really good food. But you and the stories you posted inspired me and I realized that I could probably work myself up to running a mile. And guess what….I was able to run the whole mile on the first day (very slowly, but still I ran and I didn’t think I could)! And I felt so great after with so much energy that I ran 3 more times last week. Some days are hard and I’m really struggling to get through and have to say “I’m a third of the way….I’m two-thirds….I’m on the home stretch….I’m on the final home stretch.” And that’s one mile. I ran yesterday and I’m going to head out now. I still don’t plan to become a runner, but I do plan to do my 1 mile runs to feel strong, to tone up, to have more energy, and especially to get those happy endorphins. This is what you have done for me. Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Stacey! You are amazing. Thank you for taking the time to comment…I love knowing that others have actually started on this running path, too. I talk to myself while I run, also, and let me tell you, the first time I ran my 1-mile run, it was brutal, so I’m so impressed you stuck with it and ran three more times in a week. Your comment totally made my day.

  15. s says:

    If you can stretch that far, give yourself a big hug and past on the back – the fact that you fit in runs and workouts amidst your schedule is amazing! You and your last guest posts inspired me to fit in a few walks. It’s hard as a mom to fit exercise in since I work full time. Give yourself a break and listen to your husband by focusing on how much you have accomplished!

  16. Mary Sorensen says:

    I swear we’re living parallel lives. Last week was tough for me too. I’m still battling runners knee injuries. I barely made it through my 6.5 mile run on Friday. And I may or may not have broken down and cried to my husband afterward about how I don’t know if my body will actually ever let me run all 13 miles. And I must be nuts for still doing this.
    You amaze me with all you do, serving your family, and church and still carving out time to run and workout. Keep on keeping on! Thanks for inspiring me to do this. And remember, we ran a 10K this week! That’s something to be proud of.

    • Mel says:

      Ah, Mary, your comment was perfect for me today (not that I want you to be struggling, too, just that it’s good to hear from others who understand). You are right. A 10K! We very well may be nuts but there’s no way I’m quitting at this point. 🙂

  17. Jackie says:

    I’m sorry you are feeling so discouraged! I think you are doing awesome though! 6 1/2 miles is incredible, even if you did want to die at the end you still did it. And I seriously owe you big time… I would have never started running and found something I am loving if you hadn’t suggested it. I think you are inspiring and helping so many people! Keep it up, you will have good days again. You are amazing!

    Also I hope your son had a good birthday. Is he your oldest? My oldest turned 11 about a week and a half ago. Makes me feel old!

    • Mel says:

      I know, Jackie! He is my oldest and I swear it isn’t possible for me to have an 11-year old when I’m still only 26 years old myself. 🙂 Thank you for saying what you did – it has done a lot for my running self-esteem to hear that my ramblings on here have actually inspired people to get out there and start walking/running. Now if only we could all be neighbors and inspire each other in real life, right?

  18. Julia says:

    Running is a funny thing. Sometimes you can go out and run and feel great, other times you feel as if you are going to collapse in the middle of the rode. Before you first posted about running your first half marathon, I was also thinking about running one as well. Your first post inspired me to make the commitment to do my first half marathon. I think I can speak for many others when I say you are an inspiration, not just for those who are training for a half marathon, but also for anyone nervous to try something completely out there, and maybe even a bit insane. As you mentioned above that you have been told that some weeks are going to be hard weeks. Maybe this week will be better, maybe it won’t. Whenever I am having a hard time running, or am feeling frustrated, I think ahead to the day of the half marathon. I think of crossing the finish line seeing my family cheering for me. Finally I think of how I will feel knowing what I accomplished. I suggest that whenever you are nervous or frustrated about your training, think about why you are running, and then think about how you will feel when you cross that finish line knowing that you completed a half marathon.

  19. Liz says:

    Gee…child’s birthday, Easter, other BIG church doings this week I think and you had a bad running week – how could that be 🙂 ???

    Oh and the blog and 5 children and husband and a 1 year old Golden, etc. From my perspective, you are doing GREAT!!

    I am single with a dog and a cat. I work from a home office. I have been inspired to start running and last week managed 15 minutes and a weight training session of 20 minutes.

    I gather you have perfectionist tendencies … so do I, but still … life!

    It is a new week and today is a new day and we start again and do the best we are able to do. Just know that you have inspired me and if me, then probably others and me and the others think of you daily.

    It is good to have goals and commitments, but it is also (IMHO!) good to know when and what has to give.

    Wishing you a good week, whatever it brings.

    • Mel says:

      Oh, Liz, your comment made my day. I am so inspired by YOU and that you decided to start running. Hopefully my negative attitude this week won’t influence you otherwise. 🙂 Thank you for your words of wisdom!

  20. Lauri says:

    My running week was NOT way better. Shorter distances but about the same level of suck. If the long run really has you that shattered next time, try doing two runs over two days that gets you the same distance. You will still need a “long run” at some point, but it will get the total mileage done.

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