I'm quite sure that I'm overtrained.
As any running coach worth their salt will tell you, it's better to undertrain for a race than to overtrain. If you undertrain, you're usually in better shape than you realize you are, and you have lots of energy left in your legs come race day. Overtraining leads to injury, exhaustion, and, well, failure. I have not been succeeding much in the last couple weeks, and that leads me to believe that I've overtrained.
There is but one solution for overtraining, and that's to cut mileage immediately. I cannot, however, forget that I've got a race in less than six weeks. Quite the conundrum in which I find myself. But here are the facts:
1) As of tomorrow, I will have run over 700 miles already this year, including the three most extensive weeks and two most extensive months in my running career. Tomorrow also marks the point at which I have run more miles in preparation for this marathon than for Austin and Seattle combined last year, with six weeks to go.
2) Last April, I ran a total of 63 miles due to injury and general laziness. This April, if I stick to my new, adjusted mileage plan, I'll run over 180, nearly three times as many as last year, which was in preparation for Seattle, my current PR. And that monthly total, by the way, is still more than I ran any month last year.
3) Sunday, I tried to do my long run, as Saturday did not work out for my timing. I severely underestimated the heat index, and found myself at mile 10, no longer sweating. I tried to drink some more water, but my body wasn't having it, and I had to call the run at 11, having my good friend pick me up and drive me home so that I didn't have to walk the 4 miles home in the sun. Great friend. Bad run.
4) My mental toughness and drive to succeed are lacking.
While this post has gone a long way toward reassuring myself about my abilities and chances in June, it also confirms what I've been suspecting. I'm trying to do way too much. I cut roughly 50 miles out of the next six weeks of training, which may not seem like much overall, but will go a long way, I feel toward easing the stress on my body. Additionally, I've decided that, at least for now, it will help to have a rest day, which is scheduled for Wednesday of each week.
I have a lot of decisions to make in the next few months, but there is one thing that, six months from now, I want to make sure I can say about myself, and this is that I am a Boston Qualifier. I know I can do this. I've surprised myself many times in the past, and by being a little more tough, I'm sure I can succeed.
And in order to stay tough, I have to be smart.
78 degrees, sunny