Down and Out

Not me.  (Knocking on wood right now . . .)

But at least 5 of the runners that I know through internet (and now real life for many of them) are Down and Out.  Jen screwed up her leg after Eugene and hasn’t been able to run much since then.  Maria had cruddy weather for Illinois and Vermont in the Spring and somewhere along the line lost her marathoning mojo.  Lora screwed up something with her achilles during (or after?) Illinois and has been trying to fix it all summer, and has now been told by her doc not to run for 30 days.  Mindi lost her mojo and just decided today that she’s out for Chicago.  And Jill is also just not that into it (though still going to run Philly and Boston).

My first reaction to all these amazaing runners (and really, each of them are incredibly talented) was:  WTF?  But really, if you think about it, it’s not surprising.  Months and months (and years and years) of marathon training is exhausting.  Marathon training takes such a huge toll on our bodies physically and mentally, leaving virtually everyone susceptible to injuries and burnout.  I think the rule of thumb that I read is that the average (non-elite) marathoner should only do 2 marathons a year.  Has anyone else heard that (or different)?  I don’t think I’ve read anything on how many years in a row of marathoning the average person should do though, before taking a break.  Anyone out there know?

I think if I had run Grandma’s as I had planned ( just 7 weeks after Illinois Marathon), I’d be Down and Out with these girls too.   Taking the break was exactly what I needed.  I felt like a slug while I was doing it, but it was exactly what I needed to recharge my mind and body.

Hopefully taking time off of marathon training will be what all of these amazing runners need in order to heal physically and mentally.

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5 Responses to Down and Out

  1. Maria says:

    Love the new blog!!! I’m happy to hear you’re training this time around is less stressful and more relaxed. I think that approach can pay big dividends as well!

    Besides myself and those listed in your post, I know probably 10-15 other runners suffering from the same running blues/mojo this summer. I think part of it all is that we’re motivated people and although we may allow ourselves some down time we don’t stop thinking about the next thing, whether it’s shooting for a PR, BQ or different distance. Our brains don’t always take the down time that our bodies might and thus they end up getting burnt out too.

    For me it is about still trying to let go of a kick ass round of training without the day I had planned so carefully for and then following that up with a summer full of suck running. I was/am feeling beat down but the change in season seems to have breathed a bit of life back into my running. I’m hoping to quite literally “run with it”

    Can’t wait to hear about your TCM experience, keep up the great work!

  2. Lora says:

    I wish my legs would cooperate with my mojo 😦

    Honestly, I’m kicking myself every day for what I did after Illinois. Coach always directs me to take 10 days off after (or right before) a hard effort. Since IL was a bust, I was undecided about whether to jump into another race. I ran after only 3 days off. It was ok, but by the next week, my achilles and calf were pissy. Been dealing with it ever since. Bugger. Yep, we work our bodies like crazy. They need a rest every now and then. I just wonder sometimes why I got a body that needs more TLC than others seem to give theirs… Grr….

    • It’s easy to see mistakes in retrospect. But you weren’t feeling injured from illinois, and you definitely WERE pissed off about it, so I could see how you were anxious to get back into it. I really hope the break helps you!

  3. Mindi says:

    I think every runner is different with what they can withstand. And since we are not elite runners, all of us have to juggle marathon training with our other critical roles (work, parenting, significant others, volunteer work). Plus, unfortunately none of us are getting any younger, so it makes constantly chasing PRs difficult and sometimes frustrating. I have been really lucky and have stayed uninjured for the most part. I just need to get my head and body back into the game generally. Where has Jen been? I haven’t heard from her in a while.

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