Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mostly Dead Is Partly Alive

Since my last non-crew-report update, nearly 5 months ago, I wish I could report a running and fitness renaissance, but that is not the case. In general, I've either been running a little, reinjuring things or struggling with new injuries. And, for the most part, I've had a general disinterest in running. It still wasn't fun. Of course, even when it wasn't fun, I'm still competitive as hell. I was trying to get back in the game, but that was a mistake. August started to look promising, but the classic too-much-too-soon came back to bite me, and I couldn't run. I spiraled even further downward mentally. I barely ran a step in September, and I didn't care. An attempt at an 8-mile run at the end of the month nearly broke me. Nothing was working.

Looking back, it's clear the hurdle has been as much mental as physical, perhaps even more so. To illustrate that point, I started to feel a renewed interest/less hatred with the notion of running after the day of the Baystate Marathon had come and gone. That was to be my goal race for 2012, and I was going to absolutely throw down. It was never meant to be. But, in the days following the race, I began to come to grips with the fact that I wasn't part of that race. It was history. If I had raced, it would have been time to look forward, and I found myself in a similar mindset without having raced. Additionally, I'm wrestling with my inner competitive demons and have drastically scaled back my expectations. The result has been two-fold. First, it's taken a huge amount of pressure off. (All of that pressure being internal.) And, second, it has allowed me to take a rational look at how I train. And, as a result, things are looking up.

My current running has been nothing more than relaxed, 5-mile runs. I've mixed up road and trail, and I'm actually enjoying it. As a normal person, everyday life also affects running, and I recently started a new job. I've gone from a run-whenever-I-want-working-at-home-self-employed consultant to a regular-nine-to-five guy. In September, I told D that if I did get a "regular" job, I couldn't possibly see myself getting up in the morning to run. I don't believe in mornings. I figured my running would be over. Much to my (and her) surprise, I've done an amazing job of getting out the door around 6:00am most mornings. (Yesterday's sunrise was incredible.) I'm generally running 3 days on, one day off, not caring about the weekly mileage. And, if I feel like taking another day off or adding another run, I'm doing that. It seems to be working. I'm going to continue in this vein and start to mix in a little speed and hills because that sounds...well...fun. My only goal is to be healthy for snowshoe season this winter. It was really depressing to miss out on it last year. Even if I'm not in shape, I hope to at least be able to participate. I need to just put in a base of consistent, healthy running. I feel like I'm doing that. Or at least not get fat...

7 comments:

unstrung said...

"Chocolate coating helps it go down easier." Glad you are not hating running now. Next time your body asks for a little time off, I heartily recommend not beating the crap outta yerself because of it. Welcome back.

Sparkplug said...

Hurray for a post and attempting a reasonable and healthy comeback. The fact that you're up 3x a week at 6:00 am to run speaks volumes. I think you're headed to something good :)

Jamie said...

You're on the right track. 'Nuff said.

Scout said...

I hope you are able to keep your demons at bay. This post sounds healthy as hell!

mindy said...

What the rest of them said! Looking forward to hearing how the new adventure comes together.

pathfinder said...

Sometimes your body..and your mind will force you to do the right thing...and in your case it sounds like they both needed a break and a new beginning. I too am in heading into the "run by feel stage" and it actually is quite enjoyable having no short term goal to worry about..glad things are looking up

Jeremy Bonnett said...

Good that you're back in the game and smart that you're just starting from scratch and finding the joy in running. Looking forward to hitting the hills with you soon.