"monster month"

So the other day I was browsing the MCM forum on the RunnersWorld message board, and took note of a thread entitled “Monster Month”-which was a reference to this RunnersWorld article…and the initial post in the thread mentioned this:

This month will be your heaviest month of training. Many will be hitting all time highs for length of long run, weekly mileage, and monthly mileage. With cooler weather, your pace will be picking up, and you might begin to feel invincible some days. Be careful. You’ve worked hard to get this far … don’t do something stupid this month to derail your training.

Even though it’s actually referring to the last 4 weeks before the taper…which i guess means now, being that I am 7 weeks out, I feel like it’s already started in a way.  This past week…I got through it, but it wasn’t easy. 

My speed workout this past week….it was tempo, and I hit the times/paces I was supposed to exactly, but I just did not feel that great about it…kinda like my mind was elsewhere or something.  My runs Thursday and Friday…just felt tired, and they were basically recovery slogs.

I decided to do my 16-mile long run on Saturday, figuring it’d be better to get it out of the way then instead of worrying about running it Sunday with sore legs from dancing up a storm in high heels at my friend’s wedding on Saturday nite 🙂  I wanted to get some MP work in, so I chose the west side highway-nice and flat, and hoped that would help me hit the pace I need for 4 miles (miles 12-15) near the end.  And for the first nine and change miles, it was actually going really really well.  And then it happened…

So for all of you who run on the west side highway a lot, you know there is that one part just north of chambers street where the bikers and runners have to share since the part along the water (which I prefer to run, less crowded) isn’t finished yet.  And that you need to be extra careful here.  So I’m running north and am about to make the left turn onto the path to go along the water…next thing I know, seemingly out of nowhere, a biker hits me with so much force that I hit the pavement…and unfortunately he did too 😦   Now, I have run this path countless times, I know to be alert, to look before I make the turn-but it seemed like this guy was riding so damn fast that this couldn’t have been prevented…and even though I felt bad, and was pretty freaked out, a part of me was so angry, thinking that this isn’t the place to be speeding along on the bike.

Thankfully, the worst thing to happen to me was a scraped up right knee, left shoulder and left elbow and nothing was broken and I was, shockingly able to keep running…yeah I know, sick isn’t it.  And I was able to get in my MP miles…if anything, probably just to be done with the run quicker.  Was shooting for 8:15-8:20, wound up with 7:45, 8:06, 7:57 and 7:42…hmmm ok maybe a little quicker than I wanted.  I’ll just chalk it up to the flat surface.  I doubt that is true MP, but that I was able to hit that with 11 miles on the legs beforehand was encouraging after a few discouraging runs.  Another mile to go and I was done…home sweet/safe home, time to get cleaned up and get beautiful for my friend’s wedding.  Unfortunately, a banged-up shoulder does not go with a little black dress, but I did the best I could to minimize the effect.  And the wedding was actually a great time…and yeah, I had more than my share of dance floor action…would you expect anything less of me? 🙂  And actually when I congratulated my friend, she made it a point to say “I better see you out on the dance floor later!”…lol.

And I expected to be exhausted this morning and today’s 6-miler to be dragging…crazy enough, my legs totally forgot they ran 16 miles yesterday and got a workout in high heels last nite, as it actually felt effortless.  My upper body though…oh boy, it was hurting, was feeling yesterday’s impact.  Nothing serious, but just something that will take a few days to subside, I’m sure…

And to top things off, I’ve felt like I’ve really had to force myself to eat this past week (with the exception of last night)…it seems like all i hear about from people who are in marathon training is how hungry they always are, how they can eat anything, what they think about eating after their runs….and I’m really not feeling the same way, and I don’t know what’s up with that.  I am aware that a few of my sluggish runs this past week were due to being underfueled-e.g., my morning runs on Thurs/Fri, I overslept a little bit and didn’t have time to eat anything before running out the door.  Or I’ll usually try and eat something before doing speedwork, but I had to work late and was therefore running late and barely had time to get home, down a PowerGel and get back out the door.  I’m hoping I can just chalk it up to being crazed this past week.  (Though if the result of it is that I can still lose a few pounds between now and October 25th, I wouldn’t cry or anything.)

So I guess this week, the “monster month” officially begins.  This week will be my second 50-plus mile week…all in all, over these next 4 weeks, I feel like I’m entering uncharted territory, that I will be pushing myself to limits I haven’t seen before, and I’m a bit nervous.  And in a way, I feel like I’m sorta going about this alone and I’m a bit nervous about that too.  But I guess I really will need to trust myself, to know that I have learned a lot, not just from these last 11 weeks, but from my previous marathon outings as well…

And I still cannot believe that the unofficial end of summer is tomorrow…“why do all good things come to an end?”

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One thought on “"monster month"

  1. i guess this is why you are running BEFORE work in dangerous environments.. 😉

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