Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Runner's Guilt

Race week is upon us...
which means one last good workout before taper and just like clockwork my ornery Garmin will decide to go apeshit on me.

About 3 minutes before the damn girl lost her mind. Again.

While it looked a bit touch-and-go there for a second, Lazarus has arisen and is back in working order. Again. If there is anything I've learned about my Garmin Forerunner 110 over the past 4 years it's that she's a crazy b*@#$. I've lost count at this point, but it has revived itself from the dead several times now and has caused me countless headaches and moments of frustration. Now I just wait her out, and eventually she always comes back to me.

Tried a hard-rest TWICE yesterday morning, with no response whatsoever from ole faithful.
But this morning when I hooked her up and plugged her in, she responded and no reset was necessary. Lucky for me all my data was still there, including yesterdays workout that I was really eager to see the splits of.

Workout was 4x1.5 mile repeats 5-10 seconds quicker than HMGP(6:35ish)
On rolling hills. Into the wind.

The 24 hour period where my watch went on vacation was KILLING me because I really wanted to see these splits. Felt better than I've been feeling during speed workouts lately and wanted to see some type of visual assurance that my body is actually making progress and that it's not just a figment of my imagination.

In all outright honesty, workouts for the Naperville Marathon for the most part have been hard.
Like whats-wrong-with-me-I-feel-so-out-of-shape-hard.

But, it's been awhile since I've trained somewhat logically and hard for a full (back in fall of 2011 to be exact) where that still didn't pan out too well for me. Think there it was just too much of everything going on there. Too much drive. Too much commitment. Too much mileage. And too much pressure that I put on myself.

Which is why I've made an honest and solid vow to myself that there will never be a 60+ mileage week for Naperville and quality workouts are going to serve me far greater than the quantity of miles this time around. Even so, I've been lingering in the mid-50 mpw range for the past month or so now and I honestly cannot imagine running one step more than I'm already doing.

Which leads me to think...
how the hell was I running 70-80 mpw consistently last time around?

I feel like even now with my weekly mileage lingering around the mid-50's that everything revolves around my running.

My sleeping schedule.
My eating schedule.
My social life.
My bedtime.

It's making me crazy, and I'm only at the half way point.
53 days and some change to be exact.

Marathons just seem to pull so much out of me that I now feel pretty confident in saying that this may be my last, at least for awhile. The Runner's Guilt I constantly experience because of training seems to be weighing heavy on my heart these days.

Am I alone in this?

The guilt that my husband after a hard days work has to make dinner and eat in solitude because I'm out for a run...
Missing a friends birthday 30th birthday party because of an 18+ miler that pulled me out of bed at 5 am before work caused me to crash at 9 pm....
The fact that I'm a greedy hog these days that refuses to share any food because my energy stores are constantly calling for more and more fuels...
How my house has become as disastrous mess because I no longer have the time or energy to do anything about it.

Maybe I've just hit a mid-training cycle lull.
Or marathoning just makes me even crazier than I already am.


  1. My Garmin came back from the dead a few months ago as well then today during an easy run it said I was running 4:11 pace. Obviously that was completely false so I'm worried it's going to die on me again. Then people wonder why I'm hesitant to shell out more $$$ for the priciest model.

    Honestly, we have ALL been there with marathon training. Before Chicago of 2011 and up to race day I was like "Let's just get this over with." My head was not in the game at all. We've been in this so long, sometimes we just need a rest. I think that Marathoner's Guilt is just part of what makes our sport so challenging, it's that mental aspect too.

  2. Love this post! Minus that little b*tch Garmin of yours!

    I feel so guilty for being gone a lot, running, so I try to get MOST of it in while my husband is sleeping. Sigh. Then stay up late with him = super tired Kim. And then he says he wants to "wake up together," which is very sweet, but I like to get up early. Sigh. I feel like I am never winning, but I LOVE running, so I keep doing it.

    53 days! Gulp.

  3. I experience the runners guilt in the evenings around 8pm when my body just starts giving up. The minute I sit down, I'm done. Half the evenings I try to relax with my wife to watch a show, I start nodding off or get a little cranky from fatigue... just to run at a god awful hour again!

  4. Yes. Absolutely feel the guilt. I'd feel much less guilty if I was making a living from running, but since its a hobby, it's hard to justify early Friday nights and crack of dawn wake up calls on the weekend. At least L is running one again this year too.

    Hmm maybe focusing on getting speedier at shorter distances would reduce the guilt and time commitment?

    And I'm so happy Lazarus has become a Phoenix and risen from the ashes! Hope it stays undead for this weekend and beyond!

  5. I love this post - I have not been training any where near the level you have, but I have been training for the better part of a year since I took on my first 26.2 this spring and now my second this fall. And I have 3 small people ruling my life! I love that I can do it, but you are right - at what cost? I too have goals that I've set for myself, that require more than just half-assing it! I would love to run NYC once, and then I may just revert back to the half. I find it is a better distance for balance in my life.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. You're most definitely not alone in this. I've gone through periods where I feel really guilty about prioritizing training over other things. I always try to remind myself that it's only usually that way for a few weeks and that it will all be worth it. I'm definitely looking forward to down time after Grand Rapids when I can sleep in, day drink on the weekends, and see friends that I haven't had time for lately. :) Your 4 x 1.5 workout was ROCKIN' and I'm looking forward to tracking you! (Uhhhh can you say boozy milkshakes are in our future?!)

  7. My garmin has been throwing tantrums for the last few months. The strap broke so I have to tie it on. And sometimes it will hold charge for hours and sometimes it beeps low battery at 45 minutes.

    I definitely struggle with guilt while training- with working, keeping up with the house, my fiance, planning my wedding, spending time with family.. all of it. My fiance is good about it since he is an athlete as well so he is more understanding. My parents have been hard on me about it this year as I have been training a ton (spring marathon, summer half iron, and fall marathon will do that).

  8. Sorry to hear about your Forerunner woes. My Garmin is dying after about 50 minutes of running. I'm pretty sure it needs a new battery, so I went on youtube and someone has a demo of how it's done. It involves an ipod battery, a soldering iron and industrial glue. So I ordered all three items on amazon for $20. If all goes well, it is a great alternative to buying a new one. If I kill it, well, it was worth a shot. Good luck at your race this week. BTW nice splits, especially into the wind!

  9. You're not alone in your "runner guilt." I feel guilty the my friends and husband are suffering from my training. I won't go out for our "friends family dinner" because they are the night before my long run and I feel bad that I pass out by 10PM leaving my husband to watch SNL and sip a beer by himself. Thankfully my husband fully supports my efforts, but I still feel guilty.

  10. I have the same guilt problems with my commitment to running... Sometimes I feel like I'm spending more time running than I am spending with Tom. I've learned, though, that I need to give and take - the more time I spend running, the more that I need to set aside time for Tom. Between running and spending time with friends, etc. I did start to feel like I was leaving him alone a lot. Tom told me that he was starting to feel a little alone... so, I make a conscience effort to spend more time with him. Yeah, that means that I lose some sleep and that I'm BEAT some nights, but it's all worth it ;-) But, burning the candle at both ends can only go on for so long... and, to your credit, you're running a LOT more than I am.

    1. ah brother!

      it is a give and take, and there are a lot of things that fall into the neglect category...like laundry and grocery shopping. balance gets me every time. but, you are doing great! so keep at it, it's a constant battle to keep everything in focus that should be and not let those personal goals get in the way of other more important things. and a lot of times running looses, but it'll always be there.

  11. so interesting you posted this, I recently saw something about during taper you need to mend the fences you have been neglecting..this made me feel horrible! I mean I am not training for a full, and my long runs have been on the dreadmill and I am home..with a cup of milk in the frig, and cup of dry cereal for V to eat. He will wake up, change the TV station to something kid friendly, ask me how far I have gone and how far I have to go. Then he will shout out, "you are doing great friend, I am proud of you!". He then eats his crappy breakfast without complaint, in front of the TV while I finish.

    V is the best support system. He is my coach, he pushes me, and he knows it. Last night 3 different people told me he pushes me. I joked about how he was on a leash and I am trying keep up.

    I think the people in your life, embrace you are doing something for you. They probably do things for themselves too. I also think your hubby married you, knowing you like to run. I don't think this is a surprise. Of course you can schedule date nights!

    1. thanks lindy :)

      V is quite possibly the sweetest boy to ever set face on this earth. you two are an awesome team, i love being in the presence of you two because i not only can feel the love between you two but i can see it in every interaction between you both. it always warms my heart.

  12. I hear ya. Letting running take priority over other things is actually why I DIDNT let myself sign up for any races until December...a year of no racing. Too many other things going on in my life that need to be my priority right now.

    The ironic thing is, is that the races I have done my best in were races I went into totally relaxed, without letting my running take over. I was injury free, energized, happy, and without any pressure to perform, and yet, that's when I did "perform". Go figure.