Today begins week 8 of my 16 week marathon training programme. My marathon training takes up the single biggest part of my brain at the moment. At the moment I have to confess that I'm getting a bit fed up of it.
When I finish my Monday run, I start thinking about my Wednesday speed training session (tempo run, hill run, mile repeats or Yasso 800s) - how fast will I go? will I manage it? how much will it hurt? Then, even when I'm stretching after Thursday's recovery run, I'm already thinking about my Saturday long run - what other workouts will I have the energy for before it? what will I eat on Friday? what will I wear, what fuel will I take? what's my route going to be?
And when I'm recovering, I'm thinking about what I'm eating (and wishing I wanted to eat things that aren't just chocolate), procrastinating about stretching, and contemplating which part of me is aching most at that moment in time - usually a choice between my hip flexor, my anterior deltoid, and my foot. Although right now my throat's pretty sore too.
Everything I do, I see it in relation to my marathon training. Does my college class in Current Exercise Trends work my legs too soon before my long run? If I work on Tuesday night, will I be able to run on Wednesday? Should I visit family the day after the tune-up half marathon race, or the day of teh 20 mile training run? It feels like I'm programming my life round my training programme.
Last year, my marathon training only lasted for 8 weeks - this year it's 16. So I've never had to work my body for this long before. I need to find new resolve - mental strength is required, because this is something I've never been through before.
I'm not considering quitting, I still want to run this marathon (Edinburgh on May 26th) and I want to finish in under 4 hours. But unless I continue to remember that really, really want it, my body's probably going to quit on my brain's behalf.
The hideous weather isn't helping. It's the middle of March and there's been snow every day for the last week. I ran in a full-on blizzard a fortnight ago. Yesterday's 18 miles had to be run on the relatively tedious cycle paths and when I was done, I didn't feel joyous, I really just felt relieved.
Right, that's enough moaning. The more I talk up the down, the lower I'll get! Sunday is recovery day and it's all right to feel tired today.
Tomorrow I'll be back on the pavement.
Tomorrow I'll feel better about myself again.
Tomorrow I'll try again to stop eating sweeties and chocolate like Augustus Gloop.
Tomorrow is the first day of the school holidays so hopefully I'll have a fortnight of better rest, more foam rolling and a general bit of R&R.
If you've got any tips to help me find the mental strength to get through this wobble, please share them with me!