Running Seasons

Standard

Workout(s) – and a couple of fantastic ones at that.  Run.  run.  run.  Someone asked me the other day if I really loved to run.  just with my past races and my big disappointments and what not, she said, ‘do you love to run?’  without hesitation, I said why yes I do.  funny question to a runner, but a good one.  I do love to run.  and I do love it more now than I did 3 months ago.  3 months ago when I was running faster and farther and with more confidence.  then, I was broken down with a little shin splint action and a couple spirit crushing races and a little mental/running burnout that called for a little break time.  and that is what I needed.  sometimes you need to be broken down a little bit to appreciate what you love.  sometimes you need to lose a little bit to figure out what you want.  take a step back and realize how something really fits into your life.  and to come back with a different, better attitude.  and sometimes you appreciate it more when you come back with less and have to work your way back to your best.  so yes, I love to run.  and I will really love to run when my legs are moving even faster.  working on that.  slowly.

Yesterday – 6 miles.  no pace.  no stress.  no watch.  no clue how I was running.  I can’t believe I am admitting it, but I am a garmin-less running convert.  It’s a funny thing.  somehow, back in the ancient of days, before the running with a gps idea came about, people were running, and they were running fast.  baffling how they did it without guidance from a gps, but they did.  amazing.  I am getting on the boat.  I will run with my garmin, but I am hoping to run more without it than with it and use it more as a check in.  ditch the watch once in awhile.  it will probably do you good.  I ran 2.5 miles to meet my girlfriend and dragged her along with me for the last 3.5.  perfectly humid, sweaty, early morning run.

and I had energy to burn after that.  so I hopped on the stairmaster for 30 minutes.  even more perfect.

and then my little anna bam had a hankering for Jillian.

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happy to oblige little lady.  get on your gear and get moving.

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she could do more of the workouts than I could with my withering right arm that still can’t lift things.  except little boys named luke because he doesn’t understand that it hurts mommy’s arm when he throws a tantrum in the coffee shop and I have to peel him off the floor and out to the car, kicking and flailing or when he tries to climb the counter at Sweet Frog to get into the toppings and I have to hold him back with a death grip.  love.  where was I.  Jillian.  I sat there and did ab work while she worked it out with J-dog.  and then she ran a mile with the hubs later.  my little athlete.

so that completes the workouts for that day.  no it doesn’t.  the day ended with me sitting on the couch watching a movie that I can’t pronounce, eating these…

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they were 2 for $3.  which means I could have just gotten 1 package for $1.50, but I felt the need to buy 2 packages.  I only had two.  I LOVE anything mint chocolate.  junior mints go down like water.  I have a decent amount of self control when things are individually wrapped.  not so much with a bag of m&m’s, which is why I don’t buy them, or these….

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but I did buy those  because they were buy 2 get one free, so I had to get 3.  I obviously got a discount for that one that is opened.  I actually have pretty good self control with these suckers as well.  My sweet tooth has really tamed down a lot and I only need a little bit to keep me happy.  it’s really only the bag of m&m’s that get me.  again, that’s why they are never in my house.  that was my evening workout.

Today – 7.25 miles.  and still very humid and sweaty.  I love CT weather.  this was my first early outdoor run – feet on the pavement at 5:15am.  regretting going to bed at 10:30pm.  happy I pulled my bum out of bed anyway.  and thanking the good Lord for the early sunrise so I could get it done pre-children rising and attacking lovingly adorning me with their presence and allowing me to cook for and dress them.  I’m going to take full advantage of early days.  7 min/mile avg pace.  rolling hills throughout.  fine.  I did wear the garmin.  and I did push it a little at the end.  6:25 min mile for the last mile.  actually very happy I pulled that one out of nowhere.  I will not feel badly about pushing the pace today.  or about wearing the garmin.  it was the kind of run I wanted to do.  nevermind what coach B said about running easy paces for a few more weeks (technically that should be an easy pace consistently for me.  in time)  but he also said run how you feel.  some days will be great and some days will be not so great, and slow.  today was good.  tomorrow will be slow/easy, sans garmin.

so I thought it would be fun to make this post SUPER long and see how long you can stick with me.  I’m going to continue talking about running, and ‘run’ through a little bit of Katie running history for you newer peeps that are braving my blog.  Get your pens and paper out.  there will be  test at the end.  I am finding that a lot of runner’s go through A LOT of different phases in running.  I honestly used to think that all runners just ran and it was always happy and rainbows and lululemon filled dreams.  not so my friends.  It is rare that things go pretty smoothly all the time where nothing changes, la dee da everything is always perfect in running world.  even with elite runners and olympic athletes, a lot of them have their share of seasons and ups and downs.  Runners go through different training plans, styles, phases.  Runners go through different injury and recovery processes that slow down the running and decrease the mileage a ton.  Runners go through a lot of different seasons of emotion about running, how they feel about it, what their goals are and how and when they want to reach those goals.

I know for me, my running perspectives and feelings have changed a lot over the past 6 months and they continue to change and to teach me about myself.  So here’s a little timeline of ME.

Summer 2011

I wanted to do the VT50 in September 2011.  Was starting to train for it.  not really sure how to train for it.  and probably wouldn’t have been prepared had I gotten in to run it.  Registration was closed, couldn’t run it.  Plan B.  Run a marathon instead.  total gear change from running a 50.  My 50 plan was to run VERY slow, steady, and probably walk a lot.  I just wanted to experience it.  any training I did reflected that mentality.  Marathons were not on my radar at all.

October 2011 – I like to run.  but I’m bummed about the 50.  I’ll just do a marathon for fun.

Plan B marathon.  Hartford Marathon.  shooting for 3:15 finish that I very arbitrarily pulled out of my bum.  decided to run with a pace group.  worst decision I made for that race.  It wasn’t MY run.  I will never run with a pace group again.  I was running the pacers run.  horrible race for me physically.  Finished in 3:17.  fine.  I think I never want to run another marathon again.  I was so miserable.  3 hours later….just kidding. I want to run MY marathon now.  not the pacers. signed up for Harrisburg 4 weeks later.

hartford marathon luke

November 2011 – I just love to run phase.  kind of a newbie runner.  I love running.  and I think I could be fast.

Harrisburg Marathon.  Ran my run.  excruciating ITBand pain started at mile 14.  quitting wasn’t an option.  just had to figure out how to finish.  I finished.  painfully.  3:11.  on cloud 9.  Now I want to hit 3 hours.  and I dove right into training for the next one because I am an all or nothing. I want it and I want it now and I’m going to start working for it now.  Big mistake.  I should have taken much more time off from running.  solely to avoid what happened before my next April Marathon.  total burnout.  and injury.  and I realize the competetive in me takes over the ‘I love to run because I love to run’ in me.  and I need to find a balance.

February 2012

Ran a hilly half marathon in the middle of marathon training.  good in theory, but looking back, it threw off my long run schedule, and I missed out on more long miles than I should have for my marathon training.  Got a new half marathon PR.  1:28.  still running good.  injury free.

Speedwork continues.  loving it.  feeling fast.  feeling confident.  injury creeps in…

March 2012

Last minute, innocent little 5k.  gave me a new PR.  18:42.  and it gave me pretty rough shin splints 6 weeks out from my marathon and a handful of long runs and tempo/speedwork to do.  tough place to be.  I was only able to run a handful of times before the marathon.  I should have ADJUSTED MY MARATHON GOALS, to mentally keep me in the game.  but I was a stubborn invincible runner.  and I didn’t.

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April 2012

Gansett Marathon.  3:21 finish.  a debacle.  I lost it mentally.  My shin started acting up as well as my IT Band, but I think I made the pain worse by my really poor attitude during the run.  I could have run a better race, but let myself check out when I realized I wasn’t going to hit my unrealistic goal.  and that was a HUGE lesson for me.  I needed this race to LEARN a lot about who I am as a runner and a person.  it was meant to be this way as a little part of what will make me the runner I am.  Running is not all of me.  I love it.  and I want to be good at it.  but a bad race doesn’t define me.  nor does a good one.  it’s a hobby.  and I will enjoy it first.

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End of April 2012

Nashville Rock and Roll Marathon.  Mentally a better race, physically not so much.  3:42.  you can just read about here, here, and here.  I say I had zero expectation of this race.  but I always go in with some expectation.  and I really need to learn how and when to tone that high expectation of myself down and really just have fun, no pressure races.

USweekly-Nashville2

And all of that put me in to a two week complete running hiatus.  A good friend is going to coach me, more my mind than my running because he says, ‘you’ve got the running part down.  a marathon is 90% mental.  we need to get you back in the mental game of running’  aye aye captain!

and I’m back to LOVING running.  without any pain.  with or without the garmin.  fast or slow.  long or short.  I want to get out and run.  and June is my month of just running.  because before my fall 2011 marathons, that’s what I was doing.  I never did speedwork.  I never did a tempo run.  I never followed a plan.  I never hit more than 40 miles in a week.  and I did a couple pretty decent marathons.  and now I find the balance of running how I know to run, and training to get faster and stronger while keeping the whole experience happy and fun.  while learning how to apply just enough pressure to keep me on my toes, but not so much that I want to lose my mind.  and attempt to remain injury free.  and replace words like ‘doubt’ and ‘I can’t do that’ with ‘I am strong’ and ‘I am capable’ and ‘I can do whatever I set my mind to’.  that’s the season I’m in now.

and that should be it for now.  I can’t type anymore.  and I’m pretty sure you have left the computer by now.  I will chat with you cool kids tomorrow about my ever loving stairmaster.  I’ve gotten a few inquiries as to why I love it so much and what kind it is.  I’ll give you the 411.  but this post can’t handle any more info.

What ‘season’ of running do you feel like you are in?

Who is getting ready for a race this weekend?

What is your favorite chocolate/other flavor combo?

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About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

13 responses »

    • I wonder when people stop feeling like a newbie? And stop getting injured? Never!;-) glad you are on the road to getting better! and I can’t wait to beat that 5k time 😉

  1. I think, right now, my running season is constantly injured. I don’t know why but it seems to be one thing after another. I have a half marathon on Sunday, which I had been really looking forward to but I have been having problems with my right hip so it might be a painful wee race. My fav combination is definately chocolate and mint. I just love the freshness of the mint cutting through the richness of the chocolate; yum.

    • I commiserate with you on the half – my planned goal half is this weekend and I’m not doing it because of all my injuries and lack of training to be in shape for it:( remember, it’s a season and you will figure your way out of it into a new one! Hang in there!

  2. So glad I found your blog! You are such an inspiration! I had high hopes for great summer training for a fall marathon but injured my knee. I am pretty frustrated right now and endure the elliptical as long as possible most days! I have cut back on the chocolate to see if it helps with the thyroid issues as well! Your family is so cute!

  3. I guess I would have to say I am in an “off season” with running right now. It wasn’t planned but with both of my children having been in and out of the ER and hospital with asthma attacks for the

  4. Woops – for the past month, running has totally gone on the back burner. I get one in occasionally and it is a great respite. The world of asthma is new for us so we still have a lot to learn about managing our lives with it. Being a committed runner who has loved it for 15 years, I know it will be time again!

    • Hello my friend! I hope your little family is staying healthy, out of the ER, and figuring all of this new health stuff out! That’s the life of a mom – and I hope you are back to running again soon:)
      xo!

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