Friday, March 10, 2017

Time to Step Back (and some pictures, because, pictures)

You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven't had much to say here lately, and that's kind of a combination of a bunch of factors. 1) I've been stretched super thin with precious free time for rambling on the internet (ie, it's taken me like two weeks working in fits and starts to scrape this post together), 2) the same thin-stretching has, sadly, resulted in less actual/interesting running to write *about*, and, well, 3) running has kind of just sucked lately.

Things I've been doing instead of running: I was supposed to race a 10K this weekend but said ehhhhh screw it & we went skiing instead.

View from our hotel room.

This place is pretty hard to beat.

There were poke cones for dinner, and good wine.

I mentioned this in my Victory 10K race report a bit, how from the start of the year even just lacing up my shoes has been a struggle, how everything hurts, how sometimes I get home from work and running is just about the absolute last thing I feel like doing, which is just really weird after six months of "WEEEEE RUN ALLLLL THE MILES & FEEL (mostly) GREAT!!!11!1" I had this goal of taking my post-CIM marathon fitness, which was no question the best it's ever been in my life, and stacking 10 weeks of half marathon-specific training on top of that with the hopes of running if not a PR at Shamrock'n Half at least my first sub-1:40 in 4.5 years.

OTHER NON-RUNNING STUFF: That time I put on non-running clothes for Valentine's Day.

But it's like the universe is just completely dead set against it. First I was sick. Then running sucked. Then I was super busy with work and renovations and traveling all the time. Then I started having asthma problems from all the dust. Then I pulled a hamstring last week. (It was getting better, then this week I tripped & re-pulled it.) Then I got food poisoning this past weekend. So instead revving up for a super sick half, I've spent most of 2017 with my Shamrock training feeling like the BBQ piglet from season 7 of The Simpsons.

"It's just a little malaise! It's still good! It's still good!" "It's just a little undertraining! It's still good! It's still good!" "It's just a little hypoxia! It's still good! It's still good!"

Then this weekend happened and when I was finally not feeling like I was going to puke every half hour or so, I looked down the barrel of the work that's left to be done for our renovations, much of which must be done very soon and can be done only on weekends, and finally had to admit, "Nope; nope, it's gone."

What our downstairs looked like a month ago:

What it looks like now:

If the race was here in town and I didn't have to drive 2 hours there and back and pay for a hotel and give up half my Saturday as well as half my Sunday, I'd probably still run it since I've paid for, but even then I don't think I'd try to race. My workouts have been few and far between, I haven't run double digits since January, and I've only run the full race distance or more once this year. I don't know, maybe I could still coast my way on all that marathon training to a pretty decent half, but the truth is I just AM.NOT.FEELING IT. (And I'm definitely not feeling like giving up so much of one of my only free weekends between now and May and paying for a hotel room.)

Before the food poisoning, hanging out with my mom & sisters in Ft. Worth. (I randomly happened to be there for a conference this past weekend.)

Me & my tall sisters.

So, Wednesday morning I finally emailed my RunCoach coaches and ask them to suspend my account for a couple of months. They both agreed that there was nothing wrong with taking a bit of a break after CIM, especially during a busy time and especially when my motivation for real "training" is completely MIA. I can't tell you what a relief it was to finally, officially make that decision (which I think is how you know it's the right one).

There is decent running in Ft. Worth! Trinity Park (30+ miles of paved & dirt trails) is just two miles outsie of downtown.

Running across the Trinity River towards the park, then along the river for 4 miles out & back. (I don't know the area well enough to do loops, but one could, in theory.)

As for the new plan, here's what I've got:

  • Keep running as much as I'm able and feel up to. So, I dunno, maybe ~30 mpw or so, but I'm not planning to set any real number goals. I just don't want to be dreading it all day.
  • Forget about workouts for the next two months. Getting to the track adds a solid 30-40 minutes to my run, plus it's that much harder to muster the mental focus for fast running when you feel crappy and also guilty about all the other stuff you should be doing instead. (Besides, a good chunk of easy base training never hurts!)
  • Finish building my damn house. Or, y'know, making final decisions about tile and engineered wood and appliances so the wonderful wonderful guys we're paying can finish building our damn house. I didn't realize how much I'd been stressed out by thoughts like "How am I going to visit the tile store AND get in my run?" and "How am I going to go look at fridges all morning plus all the usual weekend chores AND get in my run?" until I said, "Fuck it, the house has to be the top priority right now" and it was such a weight off my chest.
  • Go to Hawaii in May. Because I need a damn vacation. (I have completely forgotten what it feels like to get on a plane out of something other than a sense of obligation.)
  • Train for PrideRun 5K on June 24. In the best of worlds, I will get in lots and lots of good base training, six weeks of solid speed work, and crush it; in more mediocre ones, I will do almost nothing and pay $30 to jog three comfortable miles for charity 20 minutes from my house, which will also be fine. Most likely it will be something in between, and that's fine too. :)

Ft. Worth also has cool water gardens. (Yes, the water recirculates.)

So, there you go. That's what I've been up to. What's new with you?


  1. Sucky running? Getting sick? Work getting really busy? Injury? Yep, it's all happened to me in the eight weeks since I ran a marathon. Honestly, I was not devastated when my doctor told me to take 3 weeks off from high impact activities (i.e. running). I basically see it as an excuse to park myself on an elliptical at the gym and watch The Great British Baking show on Netflix. Or just park myself on the couch.

  2. Looking forward to updates about the house.

  3. Normally outside stressors = injury for me, so I think taking it easy is wise.

  4. Was just wondering how you were doing! Yeah. That's a lot going on. I find it hard to train all-out for more than one cycle at a time, really, so stepping back a little is a wise idea!

  5. Girl, I am totally feeling the same way (but with less food poisoning and house renovation stress). Take a break! Enjoy Hawaii! (that sounds amazing, btw, and I'm very envious)