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I feel like many bloggers have a dirty little secret that really isn’t a secret – nobody’s perfect. But it’s hard to put yourself out there and shine a light on your shortcomings. That’s not something you really want to draw attention to. But really, those imperfections are the things that I struggle with on a day-to-day basis.
I have some really terrible eating habits. Not to mention, a huge sweet tooth and peanut butter addiction. When my husband is out of town, I often eat copious amounts of cookie dough rather than making a real dinner. I seem to go through phases where I get really into cooking, and then I burn out and don’t cook much for several weeks. Good thing I don’t have any kids and my husband knows how to fend for himself in the kitchen. Now if only I could get him to cook a meal for us once in a while…
I have grown to love my body as it is, however, that doesn’t stop me from looking in the mirror and sometimes thinking about how I would look and feel 10 pounds lighter (okay, if we’re being honest, 18). I’m a perfectly healthy weight for my height, but I’m at the upper end of a healthy weight, and could be in much better shape than I really am. I know this. But it’s a matter of “happy” weight versus “ideal” weight. I can maintain my current weight with little to no effort. This is my body’s “happy” weight. Could I work harder and be in better shape? Sure. But the question is how much harder do I want to work and what am I willing to give up along the way?
Also, I love sleep. Given the choice of an extra 30 minutes of sleep, or waking up early and getting my workout in, I choose sleep.
I’m not perfect. Nobody is. But what makes me stronger is how I choose to tackle those challenges. Some days I do a better job than others. I’m still learning what works and doesn’t work for me. I’m still trying new ways to challenge and motivate myself. Some things that I try are a success, and some are a complete and total failure. But I’ll never know unless I try, right? Heck, the whole reason I started this blog in the first place was to keep track of my thoughts and actions as I trained for my first marathon. And now here I am, a year and a half down the road, four marathons trained for, two completed (stupid injuries and illness…), and just about to begin training for the next round of marathons (I’ve got a couple planned for 2012). I’ve come a long way in that year and a half. But I still have a long way to go in search of what works best for me. So I’ll keep on trying things. Some will work, and some won’t. And in the end, I’ll be a better athlete because of it.
I appear to have lost my running mojo. And I don’t know where it went.
Lately I have had a very hard time getting myself to run. I end up doing two or three short runs a week, and missing everything else. And then I feel guilty and crappy and down on myself. And the cycle continues. I’m guessing it’s because of the dreadful performance at this year’s Adirondack Marathon – stupid cold. Since then I’ve been feeling very down on my running.
So what’s a girl to do? I have absolutely no idea.
I could try taking a few weeks off from running. Although, I’m already kind of doing that – I guess it would just be official. I don’t have any major races coming up until March – I just registered for the DC Rock and Roll Marathon last week.
I also managed to get the unforeseen financial issues worked out (I was being charged a ridiculous amount of money for something that made absolutely no sense) and am once again able to do CrossFit at my local box – which is completely fantastic. So perhaps I’ll focus on that for a few weeks and just run for fun whenever the mood strikes me. I don’t need to start training for DC until early December-ish, so that could give me some time to relax and get back to enjoying running again.
Oops, I actually just pulled out my calendar and counted back 20 weeks from the DC marathon and it turns out I’ll be starting this round of training in about a week. Surprise!
Apparently I’ll just keep going and power through. 🙂 Eventually the runs will get better. Sometimes you just have a spell of crappy ones.
Also, I really need to cook meals more often. I haven’t been doing that much lately and I feel like crap from all the snacky food that I’ve been eating. It’s not so much junk food, but there’s been a severe deficiency of veggies in my diet lately and that needs to be remedied ASAP.
Okay, goals for this upcoming week:
1) Keep enjoying CrossFit! I love the people at my box and as hard as it is to drag my butt out of bed when it’s cold and still pitch black out, it’s so worth it. More to come on this in the future.
2) Cook at least three dinners with fresh veggies. I will feel soooooo much better. I feel so sluggish lately because my eating habits have been so out of whack. And I know that is playing a huge role in my recent spurt of inactivity. When I feel like crap, I act like crap, and make one unhealthy decision after another.
3) Split my short runs in half and do each half with one of the dogs. I can’t run them together because it gets to be a TAD much dog barreling down the road for me to really run properly. But individually, they’re great running partners. I think this will make my short runs much more fun and enjoyable, which is what I really need right now.
Those seem like decent goals. I’ll stick with that for this upcoming week and see how it goes.
Today was good. I took one of my dogs to work with me (the other will go tomorrow – they can’t really go together without driving me nuts all day, but separately they’re angels) and all my students were having a great time cuddling with her. She was having a blast.
I headed home in the afternoon and relaxed for a bit. Once my husband got home we harnessed up the pack, grabbed his bike, and took off for a nice bike/run with the dogs.
It was so nice to just grab the dogs and head out the door. I didn’t take any of my “gadgets” with me. No garmin, no ipod (although I don’t really run with that anymore), nothing. I felt very free. I have a couple loops through our neighborhood that I know the general distance, and that’s all I really needed. It was great to just start out with no goals or expectations for the run. Often I get hung up on my pace, or the distance. And this time I was just out for a nice comfortable run with my pups and my husband. We talked as we went, telling each other about our days, and it was just a great time.
Since my pups haven’t been running in quite a while, I stopped and gave them three quick walk breaks (about 30 seconds each), but they had plenty of energy, so when they seemed alright, we would start running again. Jade (my roughly 7 year old lab mix) did way better than I expected her to. She hung in there the whole time, and even had a little burst of speed every time she saw a squirrel in front of her, or another dog, or my husband on his bike. And of course, Rocket (our 2 1/2 year old border collie) wasn’t even phased. It takes a LOT to get him tired. But he was having a great time just trotting along with all of us, checking out the neighborhood.
We ended up running about 4 miles, and it was great. I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.
When we got home, I got the dogs a big tray of ice cubes (their favorite), and did my Crossfit for the night – a squat ladder. My legs were a little tired from the hills in our neighborhood, so I didn’t get as far as I have in the past, but it was a good start. It’s hard to push myself at home like I would at the box. All those people there supporting you really makes a difference. But I suppose doing something is better than doing nothing at all!
I had planned to go swim tonight. The pool opens for laps at 8:30. But it’s getting to be almost that time and I still need to practice my viola for my orchestra rehearsal tomorrow. But that’s okay. I’m glad I got my run in today. Just getting back into a routine is going to help a lot. It’s taking those first steps that’s always the hardest part.
All in all, I’d call today a success.
After a big race passes, I always like to look back and learn from that round of training. This time is no different. Even though illness struck at a very inopportune time, I can still reflect on the training that lead up to that day, and of course, my mindset the day of.
Once again, I didn’t train well. My conditioning was alright enough that it wasn’t a factor in my big old DNF this year, but it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be, and really, honestly, where it should have been. I realize now that I get sucked into complacency and end up skipping way too many runs to be competitive when race day finally rolls around.
So why do I do this?
I think when my fitness level is high enough that I can go run 16+ miles at the drop of a hat, I get lazy. I find myself thinking, “oh, if I miss this 14 miler it’s not that big of a deal…” And then another week passes, and another, and suddenly it’s been two weeks and I haven’t ran a step. And then race day is looming and I’ve barely done any long runs. And that’s never good.
The thing that frustrates me is, if I can run a marathon with not that much training, how competitive could I be if I really committed to training and improving?
I don’t want to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-marathoner. I want to be proud of my runs, and my times. And it’s time to take a step back and build up my basics. For me, that means letting my distance conditioning take a step back and focusing on shorter and more consistent runs, working on building my strength, and including some cross training and stretching. I also need accountability, so I’ll post the weekly plan and daily training recaps here.
So what’s the plan for this week?
- Run 4 miles (.25 miles in vibrams and will increase by .25 miles every time)
- Crossfit (on my own – I absolutely LOVE it, but needed to switch around some stuff in our budget and can’t do it through the box at the moment – hopefully sometime in the future, because they are AWESOME) and stretching
- Swim 1150 yards
- Run 4 miles (.5 in vibrams)
- Bike 10 miles
- Run 4 miles (.75 in vibrams)
- Run 4 miles (1 in vibrams)
- Bike 10 miles
- Run 4 miles (1.25 in vibrams)
- Swim 1150 yards
- Run 4 miles (1.5 in vibrams)
- Bike 20 miles
- Run 4 miles (1.75 in vibrams)
- Swim 1600 yards
I also need to make sure to log my food for a while while I readjust to my new schedule. I always end up with an out of control appetite whenever I ramp up my activity, so that will help me make sure I’m on target (not too low, not too high).
I really want to be one of those people that just LOVES to go out and run, or work out. But if I’m being perfectly honest, most of the time, I really hate it – when I start out. But once I get going, it’s great and I feel awesome, and I’m so glad I did whatever it is that I did that day. But most of the time I definitely don’t have that internal drive. I just have to force myself to do it. But that’s the hardest part.
At the end of the day, whenever I don’t work out, I always feel a little listless, frustrated with myself, and sluggish. When I do work out, I feel great, and energetic, satisfied, and proud of myself. So why is it so damn hard?
No idea, but I’ll just keep pushing myself one day at a time. Eventually it will become a habit, and get easier to get going. Until then, I just need to keep reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes:
You rarely regret the run you did. You almost always regret the run you didn’t do.
Looking for other good quotes? There’s a whole bunch here.
See you tomorrow!