Listen to your body, they say, in voices that do little to mask their impatience. That's not the problem, I want to reply back huffily. Do you think that I don't hear my stomach when it gurgles and that I don't feel the twinges in my knees after I run too hard for too many days in a row? I'm not that oblivious. It's not that my body isn't making the appropriate noises; it's that my mind seems to be overruling my body's streaming feedback.
My mind listens to those wants and needs and doesn't even bother flicking them aside...it steamrolls right over them, with no regard to the carnage left behind. I'm beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that it's my happiness and my health that are being left for dead. I feel incredibly deprived, but I've stopped losing weight. All I do is think about food and exercise. I'm so tired that it's all I can do to walk around for an hour in the afternoon. This is no way to live, cries a little voice from the back of my head.
Clearly, I need to make some changes. I'm still wrestling with the idea of returning to therapy and seeking out a nutritionist for the first time, but I'm ready to change my workout plan now. I know I've been doing too many hard workouts back to back, and I know I haven't been giving my muscles enough rest or the proper food to ensure full recovery. I really don't want to get injured (as much as I'd like to be sidelined for the Bradbury Breaker).
This is when it's really nice to have an older brother (and seasoned marathoner) who will send you a personalized training program* that has a little flexibility, a carefully calculated mix of easy and hard days, and a regular rest day. Here's what I'll be working with right up until race day (click to enlarge). Thanks, Brother #2!
*Keep in mind I've already been "in training" for months...This plan isn't intended to show the progression towards a successful 9 mile trail race from beginning to end!