Ever have those times when you’re moving along toward a goal and you question your sanity? You start to question if the pursuit is worth it. You wonder – briefly – if anyone else would understand what is driving you to reach this goal. Then you come to the realization that maybe you’re not insane, you’re just being stupid.
In my last post, I contemplated working toward my mileage goal for 2013. I can report that I nailed it exactly, but it came with a price.
The disappointment of training (and tapering) for a marathon I didn’t get to run, bundled with the major ice storm drove my need to accomplish one of my big goals for the year. I reasoned that I was “too close not to” run toward my goal of 2000 miles for the year. While most people struggle to find time to run during the holidays, I feel blessed that I don’t have to run at 4:xx to get home before it’s time to get kids ready for school. I was able to sleep in until 6 most mornings and still log high miles. But with the addition of more double run days, running crept into family time more than I wanted it to.
By Monday the 30th, I was reminded of the importance of knowing how your body responds in different situations. The higher mileage took its toll on me. The week before, I managed with foam rolling and extra rest. When it came down to the last three days, I was just trudging through the miles. I ran back to back (14 mile) long runs paying little attention to nutrition. I was filling my body with sugar laden holiday treats because I was burning so many calories. I was hungry, but I wasn’t fueling properly. On Monday evening I was running a fever, but by Tuesday morning I felt okay. I reasoned that if I just went slow…
My last run of the year was slow and mentally painful. I took inside water breaks every two miles. I no longer wanted to run. I didn’t feel good at the end of the run. I hit my goal – whoohoo – but I didn’t care anymore. I lost joy by checking off the miles.
New Year’s Day I couldn’t have gone for a run if I wanted to. I woke up sick and barely left the couch or my bed all day. I couldn’t handle solid food and went the whole day without any Diet Coke. Gasp!
It took me three whole days to get my energy back up for a run. The desire to lace up wasn’t there either. Saturday morning I slept in, but I finally headed out the door for a medium length run. I needed my routine back. My first run of the year was not long or fast, but I felt great when I finished. The joy was back.
I finished my long run on Sunday, in the cold and wind. What a difference a week makes! I did come to the conclusion that perhaps I should invest in full length pants. My Nike capris are the warmest tights I have. Any suggestions? My confidence is back along with my joy of running. I’m feeling good about Houston on the 19th.
I did not set a mileage goal for this year. In fact, I really have one main goal for 2014 at this point. I’m going to run a 4:00:00 marathon. If that happens in Houston, I will be ecstatic.