Friday, January 28, 2011

12 weeks to oz. tough choices and sweet relief.

The past few weeks I've been struggling in running. Even though I took a break through most of December, I simply haven't been able to get my groove back in running. Yoga? Spinning? I'm back on my game as the numba' one stunna'. Running? Not so much. Honestly it's been awful the past month. I haven't been able to string decent miles together, I'm exhausted, burnt out... you get the idea.

Enter the fleeting thought at the start of the year that maybe I shouldn't do a marathon this spring. Fleeting thoughts banished, training commenced, but thoughts kept returning. As of Monday the thoughts were so strong I had to stop and pay attention to them. I started seriously considering dropping to just half marathons for the entirety of spring, but was wrestling with the decision. I just couldn't convince myself that it was okay to forgo a spring 'm' without feeling... well, like a failure honestly. Which is ridiculous. It's a marathon for goodness sake, not a life or death situation!

Until last night, or three o'clock this morning rather. When I was still wide awake pondering all of my life dilemmas and frustrations. When I realized I am just not interested or committed to doing long runs. I'm loving my weekday mileage, and the training of hills and speed. But my thoughts kept going to this: if I could successfully train for a marathon by running 12-14 miles every Sunday? I would do it. Which is of course asking for marathon disaster in my book. And to the fact that I was so dissatisfied with my 'm' training plan that I had already changed it a number of times. When really perhaps that dissatisfaction wasn't with the plan, it was really over running another 'm.' It sounded so daunting. And exhausting, especially considering how busy the next few months are going to be for the Edder and I. So at three-thirty a.m. I decided no 'm.' Then I rolled over and fell asleep. It felt blissful.

I'm sure over the next few months I'll wish I would have stuck it out in 'm' training every now and then. I'll get a bit sad I'm not conquering that PR 'm' goal in the next few months. But as of today, I feel nothing but sweet relief. Honestly, I am excited over the prospect of training really hard for three spring half marathons, shooting for my ultimate half PR goal (more on that in the future). That feeling alone is what solidified my decision to drop from the 'm.' It didn't sound fun, at all. It sounded miserable in fact. While going balls to the wall in multiple half marathons sounded like a blast. Because clearly I'm a sicko! I felt like I was running an 'm' this spring because that's what I was supposed to do. Because that's what runners do. We run marathons. And that's the only thing that proves you are a 'real' or 'good' runner. At least that's been my screwed up thinking. What? It's no secret I have issues!

But that thought is total crap, it just took a lot of talks with those closest to me and some enlightenment to realize that no matter what, running is running. Which is an amazing thing. It's so personal, so gratifying, if you let it be... It's just easy for me to get caught up in the 'keeping up with the joneses' aspect of running. I got caught up in it and it clearly made me miserable. My running is nothing like anyone elses. Period. As a dear friend pointed out to me, it shouldn't be stressful to run, it should help relieve the stress. Excellent point. Running and I, we go through fights about every six months, so really we were due.

So. Here we go folks. The FWR is going to embark on a journey to destroy some half marathons over the next four months. It's like my love and passion for running has returned just thinking about working hard on half marathons. And while I realize the blahgesphere couldn't care less if I run a marathon or a half marathon? I just had to get it all out there on my little blahg. Emotional vomit complete. And hey, what is my blahg if it isn't there for me to vomit all over? I mean really?

Moving on.

Week 1 Training (starting over, this was last weeks training):
Monday = Spin class
Tuesday = Yoga
Wednesday = 5 Miles Easy & Yoga
Thursday = 7 Miles Easy (split between the TM/Joggers & Lagers)
Satuday = 5 Miles easy (during which i stopped to whine to multiple people and cry a little)
Sunday = 13 Miles (all while whining to the lawyer about not wanting to train for an 'm', i was a bag of chuckles)

Lastly, all of the above said. I absolutely intend to destroy a marathon in the fall, and hopefully building a great base with halves and working on speed will just be a catalyst for me to do that! Wait. Not hopeful. It WILL be.


Angie said...

Sounds like a great plan! Getting some good halves in this spring will definitely help for a fall marathon if that's what you decide to do. Good luck! :) Will you be running the half at Oz?

Hannah said...

Loving you.

Lora Abernathy said...

Yeah, that sounds like a great plan to me, too. Best wishes in your journey! :)

- Lora

Lisa said...

i think too many runners get caught up in the idea that they are 'supposed to' do a marathon.


you are supposed to love running. whatever distance you choose. :-)

RunnuRMark said...

Good plan, Robinson. Good plan. Way to listen to those friends! I'm sure you'll be ready to kill any half marathons you do this spring. They should all seem easy compared to T2A, right?

Indi said...

Running should help and heal and not hinder and I think as long as you are doing what feels right in your heart, you are good!! I love you and know you will kill that 'm' in the fall!!

Marlene said...

That feeling of relief right there? THAT'S how you know you are making the right choice! And FYI, half's are kind of a big deal too! I think this plan will keep you happy and bring you much closer to your rockin' 'm' PR without forcing yourself into something you are just not up for at the moment.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Pretty sure we are in the same boat, only Boston does not have a Half, so I am stuck... I wish I could find a way back to being excited for the training but I cant...

3 months then I can REST and focus on killing my half PR..

Congrats on making a great choice for you and your life.. I wish I had listened a bit more to my emotions and less to the "You must do Boston you qualified" inner voices..

Angie said...

I'm actually not running the half at Oz.. I want to!!! It's the same weekend as the Trolley run though and I get a free entry because my workplace is sponsor. Hard to turn down a free race!! Plus I LOVE the Trolley run, it is so fun! :)

Marci said...

I think you are being smart, listening to what your current motivations are, a half is a big deal too!!

Katie said...

Sounds great! Due to injury, illness and just general blahness I am skipping Little Rock... Since oh it's the end of January and the longest I've made it is a disastourous 14 since December? I have a trail marathon in April that I am excited to train for though! I'm DONE racing as in I never want to race again maybe do some trail races, but I don't consider them races races so much as organized fun runs. I'm so burnt out on the speed aspect some days I want to talk a large majority of my miles or shuffle along and you knwo what? I'm damn well OK with walking up the hills ;) So I get where you are coming from girl! Good luck!

Jesse - Run To The Border said...

Sounds like a smart choice.
I've always told people that the half-marathon is a fantastic distance to race, because it still takes training and dedication to complete the distance, but you don't lose the rest of your non-running life to prepping for long runs, doing long runs, and recovering from long runs.

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

FWR, pick your cliche: "You gotta do what you gotta do", "Life is too short", "A day without sunshine is like, well, night". (OK, maybe ignore that last one)

Sorry about your dilemma, running should be gratifying, and it sounds like you're working that out.

Good luck with your modified goals, and PR some halves!