I actually made myself register for a race! So that means I will start running a lot again, and maybe posting on here about training!
I realized I am terrible about motivating myself to run when not training for a specific purpose. I enjoy running a lot, that is no secret, yet when I come home from work I find it impossible to find the energy to go running. In the summer I can grab a quick run in the mornings sometimes, but my regular hours are 7:30 til 4 so the afternoon is when I have the time. Registering for races seems to be the only way to get my motivation up.
For now I am at least registered for the Mad River Half Marathon (“The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon”) in July. Running a half seems like a good excuse to also take a weekend trip to Vermont, right? This is the first year of the race, which includes a half and full, and looks to be very scenic. Farms! Covered bridges! Cows! Now it is time to setup my training schedule based on things that have worked for me and ideas from other schedules out there (Runners World, Hal Higdon, etc.); goal will be to beat my time from last year’s Brooklyn Half.
I am in the lottery for the NYC Marathon too, so we’ll see in two weeks if I am training for that…
The 10K yesterday went pretty well - I did it in 1:02, which is 10:01 minute miles. I probably could have gone out a little faster but I was worried about losing steam, so for the first 5 miles I was doing 10:15-10:20 minute miles. But then the last mile or so I sprinted and made up some time.
Anyway. This was the playlist I listened to while I ran, on shuffle (obviously not every song came on during the race, but this was what I put on it):
Robyn, “Indestructible” Robyn, “Stars 4-Ever” Telekinesis, “Dirty Thing” Bright Eyes, “Shell Games” Fleet Foxes, “Battery Kinzie” Mountain Goats, “Southwood Plantation Road” The Rural Alberta Advantage, “Don’t Haunt This Place” Florence + the Machine, “Dog Days are Over” The Cure, “Friday I’m in Love” Telekinesis, “Please Ask for Help” Ra Ra Riot, “Boy” Basia Bulat, “In the Night” New Pornographers, “The Laws Have Changed” Sun Airway, “Put the Days Away” Robyn, “Dancing On My Own” Robyn, “Hang With Me” Kanye West, “All of the Lights” Arcade Fire, “We Used to Wait” Architecture in Helsinki, “Contact High”
Tomorrow is the 10K Scotland Run in Central Park, which – if you’ve been following along from the beginning – you might recall was the race that was my goal race last year. When I started running last February, the thought of running more than one mile seemed insane to me. But then I ran two miles, then three, and then five, and then last April I did the 10K, which is 6.1 miles. It felt like an achievement.
But after this fall, when I got my stress fracture and everything just seemed kind of grim, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever really be able to run again. So it’s feeling kind of awesome and full circle-y and all that that tomorrow I’m going to run this race again, and that I’ve gotten back into running altogether. One thing that my physical therapist told me when I was recovering from the stress fracture was to really be careful not to overdo it—that a few factors probably contributed to my getting a stress fracture, but that it was partly because I was running too much. Now I run no more than three days a week (a couple times I’ve run four, but only a couple), and my body doesn’t feel as tired when I do run. I work out almost every day, whether it’s biking, swimming or weight training, but I’m not running five to six days a week like I was last summer — and so far, no more injuries.
Guys, I’m getting very tired. I’ve been running regularly for the past year and a half, and I’ve been training for this half marathon (running 6 days a week instead of 4, with cross training and strength training and long runs one day per week) since January. I’m now to the point where I just don’t know how to increase my energy level.
I mean, I’ve been through the body changes by now. My chest shrank about a cup size and my waist is smaller for sure, but my butt and quads are a bit larger. This was difficult to deal with until I saw my reflection while running — it’s worth it, then, to see what your body looks like in motion. It’s beautiful, really.
I’ve never been a morning person, though. Never. So I found myself working a full day then having to train on the treadmill all winter. Everyday. Not being able to take a day off, really, or feeling insanely guilty for cheating.
My actually long run days, luckily, started up as soon as the weather broke (kind of) in Denver. It started with 6 miles at the end of February, and now it’s up to 9 miles and soon 10 and 11. Race day is about 5 and a half weeks away. I’ve been watching my protein intake, drinking water, stretching, getting physical therapy massages every month as a check up and a treat, sleeping, not drinking heavily … and it’s just. getting. exhausting.
Nick (my massage therapist) asked what other races I would run after the half. I have a 10k at the end of May, then I’m doing the running leg of a triathlon relay at the end of June. But after that? I’m kind of just looking forward to running for fun again. This constant training, the pressure to continue, the fatigue … it’s draining. You give up time and even rearrange how you socialize and factor in time to run or crosstrain. You can’t decide to take a week off. You have to monitor your muscles, though, too, because there’s risk of injury always poking you on the shoulder like “hey, I’d just love to ruin all your work.”
Though now I can run outside after work (daylight!), and that helps, I still can’t shake feeling depleted. I guess I’m wondering if any of you have had weeks like this — where your muscles were tight and they were sore, or where yes, it’s nice to see your training pay off when you can run for an hour and a half without dying, for instance, but it’s also nice to get drunk on a Friday night and sing Karaoke and then sleep in forever the next day.
What do you all think? Has anyone else had to train for a long race in the winter and felt treadmill burn out? How did you get out of the rut?
**For the record, I have not given up and I continue to run and follow my schedule. I’ll run my 9 miles this Saturday and it will be in the mid-60s and I’ll get that weird high and feel happy and sleep in on Sunday. But Wednesday afternoon? In the office? Thinking about how I have to run instead of nap when I get home? Shudder. Every now and then it just kind of sucks, you know?