Coming Out of a {Mini} Slump

Coming Out of a {Mini} Slump

Despite my bittersweet PR last weekend, I spent most of this week feeling a bit out of sorts in my running world.  I think I just needed to process the race and it took me a while.  For months I had built up a certain finish time and race strategy in my mind and when the weather and course didn’t quite meet my expectations I had to switch to plan B.  I know that every race does not go as planned and we are not in control of everything.  I tend to the set the bar really high for myself and sometimes I need to cut myself a little slack.  I just wanted to thank you for the encouraging comments from my race recap.  I really appreciate it!

My schedule called for a 10K this weekend but after having two races two weekends in a row I needed to make this one low key.  Plus, there was not a 10K nearby this weekend so I did my own around the HU campus trail near my house.  I have had this workout on my schedule my entire training cycle but I was really NOT in the mood to do it.  I kept thinking I would change my mind once I got started but I didn’t.  I was hoping that this workout would go well and pull me out of the mini slump I was in but it didn’t.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  I ran a 39:46 (6:25 avg.) and positive split.  (Mile splits- 6:17, 6:21, 6:19, 6:24, 6:32, 6:33, 1:17- 6:39 avg for the .2.) According to my recent 15K time on McMillan’s race pace calculator, I should be able to run a 10K in 38:36 (which is a 6:13 avg. mile). After the first mile yesterday I knew a sub-39 wasn’t in the cards. Basically, I ran this 10K at the same average pace of my 15K but finished the 15K feeling much more positive and strong.  Yesterday my heart just wasn’t in it and after the first 5K I was ready to check out of the game.  I was literally running through the motions.

This weekend my schedule also called for a 17 mile run.  (I’m following a mid-level plan from Advanced Marathoning which has been a little challenging but I’m doing my best to stick with it.)  Anyway, I decided to make a large portion of the run at marathon pace since I was going to be doing it on the treadmill.  Doing it outside with hills would have been good but I needed to go very early since two of my kids had basketball games this morning.  Plus, I just didn’t see myself running my marathon pace in the dark in 25 degree weather. 

This workout went better than planned.  I stayed positive and focused.  I set a pace goal and I stuck with it.  I even ended up going one more mile to cool-down making it 18 total.
5 mi. warm-up in 39:49 (7:58 pace)
12 mi @ MP in 1:22:34 (6:53 pace)
1 mi cool-down in 8 min.

This workout pulled me out of the running slump I’ve been in this week.  I needed it!  With the Little Rock Marathon just two weeks from tomorrow I really want to stay positive and focused.  So much of running is mental and keeping your head in the game is the difference between a great race experience and a bad one. 

I know there are MANY things more important in life than running and fortunately, I am surrounded by some pretty special little people who help keep my priorities in in check.

John recently turned 34.  It’s nice having plenty of help with the candles!
A birthday feast!

Abi reading to the others.  I walked by and grabbed my camera to capture this moment.

We had a great Valentine’s Day and had our usual special family dinner.  Our kids look forward to this night all year because we set up the table very fancy (we even use our wedding china) and have a fun dinner.  This year I made Chinese and they got a kick out of using chop sticks.  Poor Ashton wasn’t a big fan (I think everything had a little too much spice for him) but the others seemed to like it.  After dinner we had a family dance party in the living room.  We started this tradition last year as well and everyone always has a good time.

The Workouts
I realize I am now about 3 weeks behind in posting my workouts.  Yikes! Not sure if anyone even reads this portion of my blog but it actually helps me and I like going back through old posts and seeing where I was at the time.  So here we go: Weeks 8, 9 & 10 of LRM training.  Only two weeks left!

Week 8 (of 12) Little Rock Marathon Training:

Sun. 1/27– Off .  Still sore from my hilly 21 miler.  That run has left me feeling like I had just run a marathon. So I listened to my body and took an additional rest day.

Mon. 1/28– 10 mi @ 7:40 pace on the bike trail with Kem.  We did the first 5 easy (8-ish) and picked it up on the way back to her HMP which coincidentally works out well for me around my MP. (7-ish)

Tue. 1/29– 7 mi @ 7:41 around the neighborhood.  This “easy” run did not feel so easy thanks to the 20 mph wind. I just tried to get this run done without a lot of fuss.

Wed. 1/30– 10 mi total.  8 mi @ 7:55 on TM.  2 mi around the neighborhood with Rocky.  This brought his total miles for the 100 mile club to 50! Halfway there!!

Thur. 1/31– 7 mi @ 7:35 on TM.  Last run before my 15K.

Fri. 2/1– Off (Resting up for the 15K.)

Sat. 2/2– 1.2 mi warm-up, 15 K (9.3 miles) @ 6:23 pace, 4.5 mi cool-down (15 miles total for the day)

TOTAL MILES: 49 (race week)

Week 9 (of 12) Little Rock Marathon Training:

Sun. 2/3Off.  I needed a rest day after 15 K.

Mon. 2/4–  10 mi @ 7:32 pace on the bike trail with Kem.  Once again we did the first 5 easy (8-ish) and picked it up on the way back to to around 7 minute miles.

Tue. 2/5– 6 mi @ 7:52 on TM.

Wed. 2/6– 9 mi @ 7:21 around the neighborhood.

Thur. 2/7– 6 mi @ 7:48 on TM. Last run before my half marathon.

Fri. 2/8– Off (Resting up for the HM.)

Sat. 2/9– 1.2 mi warm-up, 13.3 mi @ 6:35 pace, 6.5 mi cool-down (21 miles total for the day. This was my last 20+ mile run in my LRM training.)

TOTAL MILES: 52 (race week)

Week 10 (of 12) Little Rock Marathon Training:

Sun. 2/10Off.  My body needed a rest day after the HM/ 21 miler.

Mon. 2/11–  10 mi @ 7:38 pace on the bike trail with Kem.  Once again we did the first 5 easy (8-ish) and picked it up on the way back to to around 7 minute miles.

Tue. 2/128 mi @ 7:43 on TM.

Wed. 2/1310 mi @ 7:45 on TM. 

Thur. 2/14– Off.  My foot had been feeling a little sore (bruised?) so I decided to take an extra rest day and it made all the difference.  Good decision to take a break.

Fri. 2/151.8 mi warm-up, 6.2 mi @ 6:25, 2 mi cool-down (10 mi total) on trail around HU campus

Sat. 2/9– 18 mi on TM with 12 @ 6:53 (MRP)


And there you have it.  Just two weeks to go until game day!

How do you come out of a slump? 
Anyone raced this weekend or have any ones coming up?

9 thoughts on “Coming Out of a {Mini} Slump

  1. I love your Valentine’s Day tradition. The day’s not just about romantic love so it’s lovely to include your offspring. They’ll have such lovely memories from this day.

  2. Awesome training for Little Rock! I meant to reply to your comment about Little Rock. I am in corral A too with my husband Rick. Not planning on staying with you but I hope to see you at some point in the corral or at some other time over the weekend if that’s okay. My email address is on my blog. I cant believe we are 2 weeks out tomorrow!!! I read the race booklet and was surprised at the high temps you’ve had in past years. Hoping for a cool day. It makes all the difference for me.

  3. Wow way to rock your treadmill run! Glad you felt good:) I have been in a running slump lately because of our yucky weather, but a couple of sunny days have dona a lot to help:)

  4. I love that you all get dressed up for Valentine’s Dinner! I think traditions like that are so special for kids…what a great mommy! And, I am in awe as always at how fast you can run on the TM. I just cannot get my mind to do that. It is just so impressive. You are going to crush Little Rock. My marathon is the day before and I hope to channel some of your strength and determination.

  5. How do I come out of a slump? Usually with a bit of rest and a renewed desire to fight! I am just amazed at how easy you make the sub40 10k look now, Tia. Sure you could run a sub 39, but haw cool that even on a day where you are physically worn out, you can pull that sub 40 off. And your MP run was fantastic. It’s no joke to run 12 solid at MP when you are at this point in the training cycle.
    Big things coming up for you!! All you need now is to ease up a little bit on the mileage and enjoy the ride on into Little Rock 🙂

    Love the formal dinner that you did with the kids. I love to bring out the fancy plates for special occasions. We don’t dress up, but that looks so fun. My boys would love it. Happy Bday to your hubby!

  6. What a fun Valentine tradition! Your kids are going to remember that forever. Slumps can be so frustrating, but good for you for pushing through. Slumps seem to come and go for me fairly regularly. The only ways I’ve managed to deal is prayer and just pressing on till it’s over, reminding myself that bad runs happen, but a good run might be just around the corner.

  7. Tia, I am so glad you had a good run to bring you out of the slump…I totally understand why you were in one…despite the PR last weekend you had pretty big goals…ones that I know you would have reached if other things had worked out.
    And I LOVE the idea of a Valentine’s Day dinner…I think I am going to have to borrow this idea next year!!! =)

  8. I’m sorry to hear about your slump… because from a readers perspective, you are ROCKING it! I think that you have already taken the biggest first step in coming out of a slump: identifying it. I feel “slumpy” a few weeks prior to a marathon, especially after a long and challenging training period. But, you are ALMOST THERE!! Keep your chin up!

    And, I am definitely stealing your V-day idea for next year. Keep up the family posts!

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