Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Summer of Not-Running Ends Now

I've blogged once or twice about how much I have not been running this summer. For a while I just didn't feel like it - I was throwing myself into my yoga practice and strength training at the YMCA instead. Then I wanted to run, but the weather didn't make running enjoyable - 90 and humid is no joke. I feel strange using the weather as an excuse, since my running life started in East Texas, which is even hotter and more humid than Wilmington, but I think there is a key difference. In East Texas, I had to be at work every day at 8:00AM, which meant I ran no later than 6:00AM, which was mostly bearable. Here, I don't have to be anywhere until the late afternoon, and the dogs need to be walked, and the garden needs to be watered, and I need to drink a cup of coffee, and so I don't often start running until around 7 or 8, which is really just too late and thus, miserable. So - very little running this summer. I'm talking one or two runs a week, and weekly mileage in the single digits. Which is why yesterday, when this happened, I was thrilled:


I haven't run six miles sine the 10K in April. And even though it was so hot, and so humid, and everything hurt, and my pace was dismal (for me), I pushed through and finished it. The first long run back is always the worse, and I wanted to get it out of the way. But why, you might be wondering, after a summer of not really caring about how far or fast or often I ran, am I suddenly pushing myself again? 

Because of this:


I officially start training for the Battleship North Carolina Half Marathon on August 1. I wanted to run this race last year, but it didn't work out - ITB issues, and a lack of time and money. My ITB seems to be healed, but I plan to take it easy with training - last year, I did too much, too soon, and I won't make that mistake again. I have the same amount of time and money (IE, not much) but now that I've lived through a year of grad school, I know better how to balance my commitments and keep my finances in check. Yesterday's six miler was a bit of pre-training - getting used to the idea of running long and hard before the real workouts start. It was a bit of a wake up call, but also motivating. Rebuilding my base and getting my speed back will take a while, but I'm ready to give it a shot. I've enjoyed my summer-long break from running, and it's helped me remember that I love to run. I need to run. And I'm excited to get back to it.

Also, in case you didn't notice (because it took me a while, too) this race is the week before our wedding. I can't decide if this makes it better, or worse. Better, because Nathan and I will l both run it, and it will keep me accountable to fitness during the crazy weeks before the big day, and running is the best stress reliever I have? Or worse, because I'll have to skip long runs to make favors and centerpieces by hand? Only time will tell.


At any rate, I'm excited to have something to work toward, a training plan to follow, and a big race to look forward to. I haven't yet decided what my goal will be for the race (my PR is 1:58 and I'd like to beat that, but we'll see). Mostly I just want to stay in shape, challenge myself, and have fun. And after yesterdays slow, sweaty, and painful six miler, I'm pretty sure all those goals will be reached.

6 comments:

  1. Hurray! I love this post because it spoke to me on multiple levels. One of the things I love about running is that it's there for you when you need it or when you are ready to return to it. I always find that comforting, even though of course your fitness will change if you aren't running regularly.

    Also, I chuckled at your comments about low mileage. My mileage is ALWAYS low, by some standards, but I still consider myself a runner. Even at the peak of my half-marathon mileage, I'm probably not running more than 18-20 miles a week. And I'm okay with that because the quality is high.

    Good luck with rebuilding your base! That's definitely my goal this summer, and it feels so great to be getting out there and running. I can't believe I'm transitioning to early-morning running, but it is very rewarding. I feel a lot healthier and happier because of it.

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    1. Yes! I think running is more about quality miles than junk miles. I also like to do a variety things (yoga, weights, spin) so in training plans, I tend to replace things like "3 easy miles," with kettlebells or power yoga.

      And thanks for the good luck! I am trying to get back to early morning running myself. It's much more enjoyable, once you get over the early morning part. :)

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  2. My mileage has been very low this summer - some weeks I haven't even run at all - and I am in a similar boat of needing to rebuild my base for a fall half-marathon. Good luck with the kick off of your training!

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    1. Seems like everyone is rebuilding mileage for fall races! At least we can all suffer together. :)

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  3. Our summers are similar except I wasn't even getting in the 1-2 runs a week. I was reading this and wondering what your goal would be and then you went and said it. I've only ever run one half and the weather was awful and I didn't hit my goal time for that so that's my goal time this time around. Back in 2010 I was just getting into running and I better following a train plan than I did for any of my fulls. We shall see how it goes. I got 2:02 and wanted 2:00. In long runs while training for the marathon last November I'd have 2:02-2:05 splits all the time for halfs while I was running much further so I should be able to do it easily. But who knows.

    I think it's good to do a race the week before the wedding. you will enjoy the stress relief. You will be busy but you will make it work.

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    1. I've only raced one since moving to NC last year, so it'll be interesting to see how I've improved or not improved. And even though I've been running less, I've been doing a ton of strength training - I will be excited to see if that's made me any faster as well!

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