Bear with me on this post – lots of words, not many pictures.
So my training this past week was pretty much non-existent. I told you last Sunday that I had decided to take a step back in my training and that has continued through this week. And since I got a text from a good friend the other day asking me if the step back was because I was pregnant let me just start by saying that that is NOT the reason! (there are still a few years before that will be the case 😉 )
I have been trying to put my thoughts about this topic to paper (or I guess keyboard) for a few days but words have been failing me. It’s hard to admit, to yourself most of all, when something that you’ve made your goal for the past few years isn’t what you really want, or maybe isn’t the best thing for you.
In college I ran steeplechase – not because it was the best event for my body – hello stress fractures – but because I thought that I had a higher chance of succeeding. I loved the 5K but if I ran steeple, where the talent pool was much smaller, I had a better chance of qualifying for Regionals. So I ran steeple. I got hurt. And I spent the next year kicking myself in the behind because I had let the desire to be good (at whatever) win over my passion (for the 5k). I thought I had learned from this experience. I was never going to let the same thing happen again, but a few years later here I am. In what feels like a very similar situation.
In 2012 I ran the LA marathon. Going into the race I had every intention of getting back into 5Ks after LA but…… I had BQ’d. I ran well and all of a sudden it was “I could be good at the marathon”, “I can break 3-hours for sure”, “Maybe one day I’ll run in the Olympic Trials marathon!”. I immediately signed up for a fall marathon and planned to sign up for Boston AS SOON AS registration opened. I had lost sight of my passion again. And again I got “hurt” – no stress fractures this time, but anemia is no joke. I pulled out of the fall marathon telling myself I’d get that sub-3 at Boston. Well, we all know how that went. After Boston I hit training hard (probably a little too soon), hired a coach, and set my sights on Chicago for that sub-3 that I wanted so badly. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I came to a crazy realization. Are you ready for this? Don’t hate me…
The marathon isn’t what I want right now.
It took running the 5K in June for me to finally sort out my feelings and realize this. I was somewhat surprised but the truth is my inner dialogue was more or less “no duh”, because if I’m honest the main reason that I wanted that sub-3 marathon so badly was because I made it a goal at the beginning of the year and I didn’t want to feel like I had “failed”! The 5K has always had my heart. I love that the distance is challenging but that you need some speed, I love 13-15 mile long runs, I love intervals on the track and weight training, and hard hill repeats. I love everything about the 5K but I’ve forgotten about the past few years. And that’s about to change.
If you are observant you may have noticed that the “USMT Project” button in my sidebar disappeared a few days ago. This is because I made the difficult decision to stop working with that coach. It is nothing against him at all, his training was great but his main focus is on the marathon.
Since it is hard to train for competitive track races all alone I looked around at a few running clubs in the area and last week made the decision to join up with NB Boston. I went to one of their practices last week and I absolutely love the runners, coach, and can’t wait to be a part of a team again! They run the three seasons – XC, indoor track and outdoor track starting September 1st and ending sometime around the start of summer.
So this little reprieve I’m taking from running is two fold – part physical and part mental. Physically, I jumped back into training too hard, too soon after Boston and I need to refresh and recharge my legs. I also think that my iron levels are too low and taking a little bit of a physical break in addition to adding more red meat and liquid iron supplements helps to jump start that whole healing process. Mentally, it’s a big shift to transition from marathon goals back to the more traditional XC/indoor/outdoor track seasons. It’s a change I’m excited about but I also think it will be good to take a bit of a break so that I’m rearing to go by the time labor day rolls around and XC season starts!
So what have I been up to during this time of rest. Well, not much this past week… just lots of sleep, light yoga/stretching, walks with the dogs, and quite a bit of pool floating.
Training Summary (as of 7/13)
Monday – 30 mins of yoga/stretching
Tuesday – AM: 30 mins of yoga/stretching PM: 9 mile run with NB Boston to meet the team and chat with the coach about joining!
Wednesday – 2 mile walk with the pups
Friday – 30 mins of yoga/stretching
Total Mileage: 9 Average Weekly Pace: 7:30 Total 2014 miles: 1,494.58/3,000
I have no doubt that someday, a few years down the road I’ll be all about the marathon, but for now it’s back to my first love – 5k! 🙂
What is your favorite distance to train for/race?
When you take a break from running what do you do with your extra time?