Feb 10, 2016

My Relationship with Running Lately

It has been a long time since I have hit the "Publish" button on this blog. I post a lot on my Instagram account and have stayed updated and in contact with people this way. To be 150% honest, running has been really rough for me since I ran the Revel Canyon City Marathon last November. I really didn't want to post a bunch of negative things here so I decided to lay low for a while.
 

I started working with a running coach and trained well for the Revel Canyon City Marathon. I was dealing with shins splints going into the race but I was able to get through those on race day. I felt good about the race and then things just really fell apart for me in ways that I never expected. I ran the first half of the race really strong and felt good (8:02 pace) and then when the hills hit in the second half. I had the worst cramps in my calves for the remainder of the race and I didn't really know what to do. I think I walked and stretched more during the second half then I actually ran. I had taken salt pills so I wasn't really sure what had gone wrong. I trained on the downhill portion of the course but not so much on the second half so maybe that is what I did wrong. I wanted to quit so badly but I didn't have it in me to do it. I ran the first half with a friend that I met on social media and I am so thankful I found her because she helped me out so much that day. She went ahead of me at some point and then I found her again during the last two miles of the race and we finished together.
 

I am not sure how I finished that race in under fours hours (3:58:16) but somehow I did.  It was pretty sad and it really affected me mentally. So many doubts about myself and my ability to run crept into my mind and it has been hard to get passed these thoughts.

I was kind of afraid to run because I wasn't really sure what to expect moving forward so I took it easy for the remainder of November and December.


Then my stepdad lost his battle with cancer right before Christmas and that made things even worse. My family was really affected by his death so it was hard to stay focused.

I even skipped my first race of the year in January because I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't have much desire to run so I started riding my bike. I hooked it up on my bike trainer and that is what I started to do. It has been a good thing. I am sticking with it and it is a great form of cross-training for me. My bike is set up in the loft now in front of the TV and I don't have any excuses not to do something because I can hop on my bike at any time. I actually enjoy it and I might even consider a triathlon in the future.

When I ran, I ran just to run. I kept all of my runs in the single digits and didn't put any pressure on myself. I didn't worry about pace or mileage and that might have started the healing process for me. Running is a very mental thing for me so when my mind is not in the right place it really affects me. I think I am still in "run without goals" mode but I am hoping that I start feeling like myself again really soon. 

I also started running with a group out of my local Fleet Feet running store. I have met a lot of new people and I also spent more time running with people that I already know. I was also able to put some faces with names of people that I just knew from social media. It has been a really good thing. Unfortunately we lost Rudy from our group during one of our runs which was very sad. Count your blessings. You never know when you will lose the ones your love.

Even though I skipped my first race of the year, things really did take a turn for the better in January. I went back to my running club and ran with them when I could. I was also invited to join a Ragnar So Cal team in April so that kind of gave me something to look forward to and stay in shape for. 

I finally started to get back into the longer runs in January but stayed away from signing up for any races. I am glad I did that because it kept the pressure off of me plus I don't like the feeling of not running a race that you paid for even if it is for a good reason.

So here I am in the beginning of a new month. I should be starting to train for my 9th marathon that I supposed to be running in May. I love this course but I am still doubting myself and what might happen to me during the race. I am still working on convincing myself that I am physically capable of running a marathon.

I guess you can say that through all of this, a lot of good things came out this for me. I am hoping that things continue to improve. I even ran a half marathon on Super Bowl Sunday and even though I didn't race it, I feel like I had a good run. I even set a small course PR without pushing myself. It was a step in the right direction for me. I kind of needed a sign that I can still do this running thing without failing.

I hope to be back soon and regain the love that I found for running five years ago. I know it will happen. I just have to believe in myself!

So there you have it. Other than this stuff, life is good. I can't really complain. I believe that good things always come out of something negative. Through this running slump, a lot of positive things have emerged and I am looking forward to making 2016 a comeback year for me! Thank you to everyone for all of your support!

QUESTION:

HOW DO YOU PULL YOURSELF OUT OF A RUNNING SLUMP AND BACK IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?


Sep 20, 2015

Training Update: Week 14 (September 14-September 20)

This week was a tough one and all of my runs seemed harder than they should have been. I felt very fatigued after the Ventura Half Marathon last Sunday and did not have much energy at all this week. My IT bands were sore for a few days which was very odd. I have never experienced that before especially after a race that I did not give 100%. I did not even make it to the gym all week and did all of my strength training at home. I tried to stay positive and thankfully things came together at the end of the week.

Here is a recap of Week Fourteen:

Monday: Strength Training: I have all of the tools that I need at home so when I don't feel like driving to the gym I have no excuse!

Tuesday: 3.25 Miles with 30 second pickups: Thankfully this was a short run because I was just not feeling it. I fought through it and got it done.

Wednesday: Strength Training: I did not make it to the gym again and did my strength training at home.

Thursday: 6.23 Miles: This was my toughest run of the week. I had the day off so I went to the track early and had the toughest time hitting my goal paces. I stopped a few times because I was so frustrated. I finally pulled it together and finished it because quitting was not an option.

FridayREST DAY: I really needed this day off. I felt like my body needed a day to recover and get back on track.

Saturday: 17.25 Miles: After having such a bad week, the negative thoughts were already stuck in my mind. I also knew it was going to be a hot day so that was not helping my negative thoughts. I started while it was still dark out and finished before the heat set in. This run turned out better than expected and the last three miles were the fastest. I needed that!

Sunday REST DAY: Definitely needed this day to relax and that is what I did. We went to the beach and enjoyed the day. I also worked on my compression sock tan which is much needed. I know..it's pretty bad! I am working on it.

TOTAL MILES26.73

2015 MILES: 941

This week I really need to focus on getting my mind back in the game. Thankfully it is a easier week and my long run is only ten miles at marathon goal pace. I think I can handle that but if the heat would let up that would make it that much better.

Sep 1, 2015

Training Update: Week Eleven (August 24-30)

Another week of pain free running in the books! I have been trying something different this week that I wanted to share. I have been setting up all of my runs in Garmin Connect and then transferring them to my Garmin 620 because it really helps me hit my target paces and I don't have to keep staring at my watch. I seem to do much better with the help of Garmin beeping and screaming at me when I am running too fast or too slow. It also stops me from throwing in the towel and just going for a run versus finishing the planned workout!

Here is a recap of Week Eleven:

Monday: Strength Training: I love squats..they are my favorite!

Tuesday: 5.5 Mile Threshold Run: I went to the track at my regular time but noticed that it is starting to get dark a little earlier. I try to get there as late as possible to avoid the heat so a break from the heat is much needed if I am going to have to start getting there a little earlier.

Wednesday: Muscle Imbalance Strength Training: Buster kept me company while I squatted my life away. I am getting better with the Bosu Ball so I am excited to see some progress here.

Thursday: 4.35 Miles: I took this run to the track because I didn't feel like dealing with all of the traffic lights and extra stops. My runs seems to go a lot better without all of the unnecessary stops.

FridayREST DAY:  This was a working Friday for me so it was nice to come home from work to relax and prepare for my long run in the morning.

Saturday: 20.15 Miles: This was a tough one because of the heat. The last three miles were really ugly and I took way too many breaks! It started out great but at the temperature rose I wasn't feeling so great. I have not been feeling too positive about my long runs lately.

Sunday: Strength Training: My legs were feeling great after my 20 mile run so I decided to go ahead with my strength training. I was finally able to handle some 45's on the leg press so I was pretty happy about that! 


TOTAL MILES: 30

2015 MILES865

Aug 27, 2015

Training Update: Week 10 (August 17-August 23)

The heat has been so horrible for the past few weeks but the positive thing is that I have not had any hip pain for ten weeks! That is truly a blessing and when I think about that, the heat really doesn't bother me anymore. There is always something to be thankful for and life is so much better when we try to see the good in everything. 

Here is a recap of Week Ten:

Monday: Strength Training: My day started out with Jury Duty. I seriously don't think I would be good on a jury so I spent most of the day praying that I would be excused and I finally was!

I wore my Mountains 2 Beach shirt to celebrate the fact that I just signed up to run the marathon again in 2016. I love this race. If I ever BQ, I would love for it to happen on this course because I love it that much.


Tuesday: 6 Miles: Speedwork: This one did not seem too bad until it ended with two miles at tempo pace instead of a nice and easy cool down. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it but somehow I did.

Wednesday: Muscle Imbalance Strength Training: I felt a little better on the Bosu ball this week. I was sore from all of the body squats so I guess it is working!

Thursday: 7 Miles@8:21: This was a really tough day for me because I could not sleep. I ended up getting three hours of sleep and then going to an all day training for work. I could barely stay awake and had already decided to put my run off until the next day. Once I got home and rested for a couple of hours I decided to go to the gym and run on the treadmill. I haven't done any of my runs on a treadmill unless my coach actually tells me to so it was a good change. I did take two breaks because my IT band started hurting a little bit and I had to stretch it out.

Friday: REST DAY: It is always nice when my Off-Friday and Rest Day fall on the same day. I slept in until 7:30 am, spent some quality time with the furkids and ran some errands.

Saturday: 15 Miles:  The weather was perfect but my energy level was low. I am getting so used to slowing these long runs down that when I have to run at endurance pace it seems hard. That is the only thing that scares me about running my long runs at a much slower pace.

Sunday: Strength Training: I didn't feel like driving to the gym so I decided to get my sweat on at home with my Bosu Ball and other tools that I have at home.

TOTAL MILES: 28

2015 MILES: 835