This could be the title of a post about any of my weekday morning runs, but this morning I was feeling especially nostalgic and sentimental about this favorite hobby of mine. It started when another headlamp-clad runner did the thing I love most, gave me the silent wave of solidarity that can only be exchanged between crazy runners in the predawn hours. It’s not so much a wave as a hand raised in recognition, much like I imagine a cheetah would do upon seeing another cheetah in the Serengeti after only crossing paths with elephants for three weeks. (I mean, right?) I was a little tired this morning, but still glad to be out and moving, and I was also feeling a little more adventurous than I usually do when choosing my morning routes. I found myself going in new loops, connecting favorite spots with new side streets. I started to think about all the miles I had already covered, the parts of town I had already seen, before my day had even really begun, and, I don’t know. It was a great feeling.
In the spirit of this morning’s slow recovery run after yesterday’s effort, I thought I’d take a few minutes to pause and reflect on my training last week. I keep forgetting that I raced only a week ago, which does not bode well for my perceived length of the past week, so hopefully this one will be a little less hectic. Here’s a brief run down of my runs:
Monday: 8 mile recovery run
Tuesday: 80 min. easy run
Wednesday: 7 mile easy run
Thursday: 8 miles total, 5 x 1K at race pace in the middle
Friday: day off
Saturday: 6 mile easy run
Sunday: 12 mile long run with some 10K effort surges
TOTAL MILES: 50
Let’s just get this out of the way…I’ve missed two days this week of my writing challenge, yesterday being another. While I’ve failed to write every day, I’m writing a heck of a lot more often than before, so that’s something. If in the end of this whole shebang I end up slightly under 30 consecutive days of writing, but I’ve still got 5-7 blogs posts here a week, it will be a huge success in still creating this as a much more active space for myself. Okay, phew. I feel so much better for having cleared the air. You? Now onto more exciting things, like mini golf and long runs.
You guys, I failed to write yesterday, which I suppose means technically speaking my 30 day writing challenge was a bust, but like anything else (especially running), I’m picking myself back up and keeping this thing rolling. This is day 12, but I missed day 11 (in case you’re keeping count too). Yesterday, well, I don’t even know. It was busy, I got home from work and was so relieved that this week was almost over and that I would be sleeping in this morning that I created my only little party. By that I mean, I excitedly curled up on the couch to stay up a little later to finish my book. I live on the edge. At any rate, taking a few minutes out of this wild night to blog completely slipped my mind.
This is day 10 of my writing challenge, and I’m pecking this out on my phone with a glass of wine, so you can judge for yourself how this day has gone. Some small frustrations, and one emergency turned avoided crisis, But hey, all is well now and I’m prepared to enjoy the rest of the evening drama free.
This is day 9 of my 30 day writing challenge.
Yesterday, I was reading a blog post about what to do when your performance stagnates, and after a laundry list of ways to shake up your training, the coach/author said something like “unless it’s time to accept that you’ve peaked and there are no more gains to be made.” Gulp. This hit me surprisingly hard. What if that is me? How will I know? Don’t worry, I don’t actually think this is me, and have concluded either way that I’m still going strong and want to try to kick it hard, so I brushed off this dismissal and went about my merry way. Going after a specific goal can be a vulnerable thing, no matter how loose or specific your goal is. It requires you to acknowledgement it in some form, even if it’s only to yourself, and then proceed as if you can achieve it.
The post did, however, make me think of all my own secret running fears, the things that tend to crop up after a bad workout or race, or also possibly when you’re tired, hungry, or having a plain old bad day. Perhaps some of them are more justified than others, but here are some things that commonly rattle around in my head.
Perhaps it was a bad idea to hope for a larger improve at a race dubbed the No Luck Run, but hey, I gave it my all. Yesterday I ran the No Luck Irish Run 5K, and I while won’t say I had no luck, I think I’m realizing there is no luck to be had in the 5K’s, i.e. it comes down to blood, sweat, and tears (or at least sweat and possibly some tears). My official time was 21:01, which was a 6:47 pace, and a 16 second improvement over my February race. Was I hoping to knock down my time more than I did? Sure, but realistically I know I did the best I could. These two 5K’s have played out the same way: fast first mile, second mile probably where I’d want to be, shitty third mile. My splits from my watch from yesterday’s race were 6:28, 6:44, and 7:07. Ouch. While this race felt less worse than last month, that last mile was a struggle. I did end up as second place overall (which was also second place female), so that was a nice, fun bonus.
This is day 7 of my 30 day writing challenge.
Hello from the other side of my race! I just wanted to write a quick note to say that I survived, the race went well, though not quite as well as I had hoped, but realistically I’m new to the 5k game and have to take it in stride that short and fast is a new feeling for me. Having said all that, I finished in 21:01, which is about a 16 second improvement over last month’s race. If in the grand scheme of things I simply chip away at my race times little by little, that’s a-okay. I ran my PR this past July (20:50), though to be honest I think the course may have been a little short if my watch was close to accurate. Performance aside, today’s race was a lot of fun. Hats off to the organizers for creating a very energetic atmosphere.
This is day 6 of my 30 day writing challenge, and day 6 has been, well, just a day. I slept in, which for mean means anything after 7 a.m. I rolled out of bed around 7:45 and headed out for an easy pre-race 4 miles with some strides at the end to wake up my legs. It was a little warmer this morning, high 30s versus the teens and 20s earlier this week, so if this is any indication of tomorrow’s weather, it should be pretty ideal for racing.
This is day 5 of my 30 day writing challenge.
It’s race weekend! Even though shorter races require less prep and travel, they’re still exciting and I’m starting to really enjoy them. So, Sunday morning I will (hopefully) be bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to run my ass off. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the slowness of Friday and the lazy evening I have in store.
This week has been a doozy at work, and I think part of my race excitement is using it as an opportunity to literally work out some of my pent up frustrations. Sometimes this backfires; if you’re too stressed you shut down and burn out, but lately I’ve found running to be the perfect catharsis. I’ve been sleeping well, so I am able to slough off the residue of my daily grind, but still. Not an ideal situation, and one that I’m working to remedy.