Sole Searching

I’ve been having a bit of a “Tri-dentity” Crisis lately – struggling to find the balance to incorporate two new sports that I love, training for two upcoming triathlons, but also staying focused on my “A” goal [marathon] on October 16th.

Last week I mentioned that the summer heat/humidity along with various setbacks had really been beating down my marathon training and confidence. Combine that with my “tri-dentity” crisis, and my run mojo was suffering. I even found myself wishing I could just get the next two months over with so I could move on. GASP! Who am I?!

I had a much-needed session with Dr. Pain (who is as much a coach, mentor and friend to me as physiotherapist) last Friday and he was able to help me talk it out while pummelling working on my muscles.

I admitted that I have not been running as well as I’m used to and that I have not been able to build my mileage given the recent increase in cycling and swimming combined with setbacks noted above. As much as I know that cycling and swimming are making me stronger in the long run, I just didn’t feel like I was putting in adequate run mileage for a strong marathon.

I even confessed that I’ve been feeling like I just want to survive training at this point, run the marathon and move on. Dr. Pain knew immediately that that’s not me! I caught myself getting a bit choked up because I know I owe myself more than that, and this marathon is worth more than that to me.

I had considered putting the marathon on the back-burner and riding out this season, possibly running a half instead. I was ready to sit back for now and tackle a new training cycle in the winter for a spring marathon, when historically I tend to do better. But it just didn’t feel right. I knew I wasn’t quite ready to give up on this race.

After running the 30K on Saturday at a pace not far off my BQ marathon from May, my confidence and drive have been restored. Those final miles reminded me what it feels like toward the end of a marathon…. completely and utterly exhausted but proud of what I’ve accomplished and ready to give it all I’ve got to the finish, no matter what time ends up on the clock.

I want that in October. I’m ready to run another marathon and see what I can do. The season is not over yet and I’m ready to take my marathon back.


23 thoughts on “Sole Searching

  1. I'm sure with your racing schedule all the workouts and running can begin to feel like a chore. That I just want it over feeling is something I have felt too so you are probably in there with loads of company! Glad to hear that you were able to talk and think it all through and get back to a ready to take it on frame of mind!

  2. That's the Marlene we know and love!!! Go get'em girl!! You will rock that race in October. Side note…Everytime you talk about Dr. Pain, I find myself getting terribly envious. I want a Dr. Pain!! 🙂

  3. I think everyone feels muddled with their training from time to time. It's nice you had someone to hash out with and to set you feeling good about it all again! You'll do awesome at it all!

  4. I know EXACTLY what you are going through. After my BQ I had a hard time with training, its just hard to be so ON with running all the time. I think that's why I picked a race I wouldn't try to PR at (Big Sur) as my first one after 🙂 then took the summer off. I think you are doing a great mix right now, its not like you are slacking!! Just keeping yourself active without pushing the burnout zone with running. You are going to do great girl ❤

  5. Training for a Tri (*especially* your first!) is so much to take on, much less doing it while you're still tackling marathon mileage! I think you've done an amazing job so far, for whats it worth 🙂 But I also know that personal-mojo is entirely necessary to keep the legs going! So glad to hear that's "back"

  6. If you felt like you were 'slacking' or not putting the effort in, it certainly didn't show in your workouts. You are the bomb…I think every multisport athlete feels a bit overwhelmed at times. You are juggling a lot!

  7. Right now you are starting the heavy labour of giving birth. The part where you really start to question everything. But you are so strong and so prepared. You are going to do so awesome at your October marathon. All this training, through the hot summer months, is REALLY going to pay off in the fall. I just know it. Go Marlene!!

  8. You have been pushing yourself so hard, it's so easy to get the mind messed up when it's tired and stressed. I'm happy to hear the marathon mojo is back, I know it's going to be an awesome race!!! Keep focused, not that much longer!!!

  9. Wow! This post couldn't be more timely! I was just thinking this morning (on my way back from a swim workout) that I MISS running. I am training for a 1/2 Ironman and yes, I am still running in Tri training, but it isn't a FOCUS on running. I miss super hard speed work and really long runs. I enjoy triathlon training, but I am definitely looking forward to Marathon training starting on September 26th (the day AFTER my race)! Good luck!

  10. Aww you love running the mostest! I worried that you would get caught up in the tri training and not go back to just running and enjoying that. I know that biking and swimming is making you stronger and you are going to do great and I hope that you continue to run and train and love running!!

  11. I second what J said! I was worried too but when one thing is bothering you, it makes sense to cling to new more exciting adventures. Remember your a kick ass runner and to cut yourself some slack! you just BQd in april!!!!

  12. I know it's hard to balance everything, but you are doing a great job. And if you could run the recent race so strongly, just think how you'll do if you taper a bit! Good luck continuing to balance it all!

  13. the sports involve very different training and i think you need to pick one to focus on. you can incorporate the other stuff as cross training but if the marathon is your A race for the year, then that's where you need to put your time and effort. it was really, REALLY hard for me to ditch my "always in marathon shape" mentally when i started tri training. i tried to keep it going but it was just too much. i miss it, but you gotta go after one goal at a time.

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