Falling out of love {with running}

Sunday evening I got to watch a beautiful sunset (at all of 5pm) as I finished up my 12 mile run. I don’t usually like running late in the day, but I kept putting off my run until I had no choice but to get it done before it was dark and cold out; a trend that has become all too common. I dragged my feet and got ready as slowly as I could.

When Josh finally pushed me out of the house to get started, I was in a sour mood. I just didn’t want to run. In the first two miles I decided that if I still wasn’t feeling it by mile 5, I’d just turn around. I gave myself an out. My pace was fine, fast for a long run actually, but I was struggling. I was willing street lights to turn so I had to stop and wait at the crosswalk.

It was about mile eight that I realized I stopped wishing the run was over and started enjoying the view of the mountains, the reflection of the last few leaves on the trees on the lake and the crisp smell of fall in the air. I fell into a nice easy pace and was happy when I didn’t hit a single light on my way home. For a run I didn’t want to do, I ended up with a pace that would give me at least a two minute PR at my half in December. Nice surprise.

I learned a few things about myself on this run; my warm-up time is ridiculously long and I’m getting worn down by my constant training.

In the past few weeks I haven’t really wanted to run at all. The only reason I have been is, well, Halloween candy and the fact that I have a race in less than a month. I’ve been in some form of training since about January, almost an entire year of continuous training.  It’s been great for my endurance and speed, but I’m starting to fall out of love with running. After December, I’ll be ready to just run when I want, how I want and for as long as I want (or don’t want). I’m ready to try some new forms of exercise and have more flexibility in my schedule. Maybe I’ll even do a few shorter races.

How do you fall back in love with running?

Wait, that was only 3 miles?!?!

That is the exact thought I had when I looked down at the treadmill.  It’s hard to believe I once was able to not train for half marathons and PR.  Right now running, ok let’s be real, fast walking (for me) 3 miles is exhausting.  This week I’ve been slightly sick lazy and run only once, oh and there was a stint at the gym too.  I did 3 miles and it took me a whole 36 minutes.  Which means that race I’m supposed to do in a few weeks maybe be my slowest 5k ever!  Admittedly I had a bad attitude about it from the get-go and I could probably go faster if I did run-walk, but I was determined to not walk. 

I know I used to LOVE running, but I’m having trouble falling back in love with it now that I am able to do it after my 7 month hiatus. I think a big part of it is that I’m exhausted by the end of the day and I feel defeated when I do run.  I thought about trying to run in the mornings, but um…getting up at 4:o0 or so would mean I would only get an hour of sleep after Ella’s middle of the night feeding and not get to go back to bed until 9pm at the earliest.  So, that would be 17 hours days at a minimum.  My days are long enough thank you.

Can I run 20, ok even 5 miles right now? Nope. Can I run sub-9 min/miles? Definitely not. I’m back to square one which is frustrating and makes me not want to do it.  My legs and my brain need a little extra encouragement.  I set a goal for myself to run a half marathon distance (not necessarily an organized race) by the end of the year.  That means I have just over three months to accomplish it. 

I’m going to channel my inner Little Engine that Could…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Anyone seen a runner lately?

I’m a runner. I love running, but lately there has been no running. Between all the travel and my first trimester nausea and exhaustion, running has been the last thing on my mind. Hence the complete lack of posts lately. I’m going to try to get back on board now that I’m not keeping this huge secret and I’m in my second trimester (yeay!). My energy is finally coming back and I’m rarely nausated anymore. Woohoo.

On the fourth day of our trip in Mexico, I ran for the first time since the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, more than a month between runs. Eek. I hate doing that. About a week before Thanksgiving I had a little scare after a run which just made me feel paranoid about running. Of course my doctor said I should be fine since I was already a runner, but me being a nervous first timer, I stopped. I didn’t completely stop exercising or anything, I just stopped running.

Now that I’ve seen our Peanut (yep, we’ve nicknamed the little one after a snack food), heard the heartbeat, been reassured that there is only about a 1% chance that something could go wrong at this point in my pregnancy, and am feeling almost like myself except for the expanding waistline, I’m going to go back to my sport.  I’m may be slow but I don’t care. At least I’m out there once again.

Oh running how I’ve missed you.

Sad Decision Day

Well this week marks the start of July, which means the Denver Marathon is only 3.5 months away. You may say, well that’s pretty far away…ha nope. If I started training next week, I’d only have about 14 weeks of training which would need to include a 3 week taper. That means I‘d only have 11 weeks to get myself back up to 20 mile runs. That’s just 2.5 months to get from zero to 20 without injury. Even though I’ve been cross-training my butt off, it just seems like I’d be asking for injury.

As much as I’m desperate to train for the full marathon, I’ve come to the decision to drop from the full to the half marathon. I’ve been going over all of this in my head, on paper, trying to figure out training plans that would get me prepared enough to run a strong race, not a fast one, but a strong one. It’s just not in the cards for me. If I were up and running even just 10 miles a week right now I’d just go for it. Maybe only do one 20 miler. But without the base, I’m not going to risk injuring myself even more.

I HATE giving up which is what I feel like I’m doing. I’m trying to remind myself that I need to listen to my body and my body is telling me that I am not ready to jump into training for a full. It’s not my fault mother nature robbed me of my full marathon for the year and left me injured. My plan now is to train for a fast half marathon with the goal of setting a PR. After all, a half marathon is better than no race at all. Maybe I’ll even find a winter marathon to run in November or December. That will give me more time to prepare. I’m beyond frustrated but know that you can’t make your body do something that it’s not ready to do. It’s not like there won’t be other marathons in the future right?

The Results are In

Tendonitis. Yep, still tendonitis. I’m happy that it’s not a stress fracture that’s for sure, but come on. Who has tendonitis after not running for over a month? This girl!  Plan of action: physical therapy at least once a week, custom orthoditics and ice on a regular basis. Oh yes and tylenol. Definitely lots of tylenol before running. IB Profin after.  Basically they don’t know why I’m continuing to have pain. My deltoid tendon is irritated but that shouldn’t be causing continuous pain. Ugh, so irritating.

And just like that, I’m giving myself permission to start training. It’s going to be slow and steady. I’ve definitely lost conversation pace speed, but that’s ok. I’m going to start off with the three day a week plan.  After a few weeks or a month if I’m feeling good, I’ll start adding in speed and tempo workouts.  So happy I don’t have to be in a boot!

Look out trails of Boulder County, I’m coming for you!