A good chunk of runners will say that their dream race is Boston.
Mine is Marine Corps Marathon. Or Leadville but that’s another story.
2020 being what it is, I decided to register for the virtual version of the MCM 10K.
Race weekend dawned and oops, I’d been super lazy. Hadn’t run in almost 2 weeks. Longest run previously was the Giants 10k over Labor Day weekend. Oh, I was totally ready for a 6 mile run. Yep. I really wanted to run it on the actual, original race weekend so I sucked it up.
Thankfully, the weather gods gifted us with some almost fall weather so I was even able to be lazy and sleep in on race morning. Yay!
I headed out in the early afternoon and told myself that I would run/walk 3 miles and walk 3 miles. I could walk as much as I wanted but I could never stop. No breaks. Those are my new “race” rules.
I headed for the river path and what used to be my long run route- in other words, an uphill start but a downhill finish. Woo hoo!
I knew that being out of shape, I would tire quickly so instead of running the first half and struggling to finish the last half, I walked the first 3 miles. So, does that mean I walked the part of the route that was uphill and ran the downhill? Yep!
I even found some crowd support!
Not gonna lie, I was feeling tired towards the end but that was really no surprise. And my shoe was coming untied but I refused to stop. Good thing I didn’t fall on that last half mile. That would have been classic.
I finished and stopped to stretch. Oh, I was going to be feeling that later.
Hey, and somehow I was faster than I was for the Giants 10K! On a much hillier course. Gotta take those wins where you can find them right?
This was not the MCM of my running dreams but it did help me prove to myself that not all is lost. I just need to get out of my own way.
I started running about 10 years ago.
At that time I was very self conscious about what I looked like when running. Do I sound like an elephant? Is my face red and puffy? Do I look like I am dying out here? In fact, there were times I would stop running and pretend to admire the flowers if a car was coming. Ha!
Then a customer mentioned one day while I was at work that they had seen me out running. Wait, what? I used to run directly after work from work as I knew I would not follow through if I went home first. Side note, still true. Side effect of a small town was that I was always running or walking near someone’s home. I started asking where they lived and from then on would always make sure I was running when I went by their houses- even if it was up a hill. Constant motivation, right?
That quasi shame holds true today. I hate being caught walking while out running by anyone I know. Even though I know full well there is nothing wrong with walking. It still irritates me. Unless it’s like 105* outside, it makes me cranky when someone says they saw me walking.
With a day off work, I headed out for an afternoon run. Except I was ridiculously sore from the previous days few track miles. It was 92* and my blisters were screaming. I thought I had taped them up enough but I was wrong. So I was walking. Which again I know is fine.
Then I hear “is that Fallon?”. Oh hell. Seriously?!
I was almost done with my run turned walk and was finishing it down on the river path which rarely has anyone on it. Yet, there was someone I know from work. What are the odds??
Well the town only has 30,000 people so I guess the odds aren’t that high but still. I still felt super awkward. (also did I get that odds statement backwards?)
So, yeah even after 10 years, I still feel like a newbie out there. And I still have hang ups.
I’ve been thinking about time lately. Both present and past.
I started this blog in 2013 after I had been running consistently since 2010. Ok, more like 2012. I loved the community I found both through this blog and other social media. I have made real friends that I would have never met otherwise. Hell, I flew to Vegas to run a race with someone I’d never met IRL and shared my hotel room with someone else who I’d only met at another race. If you all knew me, you would know how much a big deal that was- I’m a very comfort zone kind of person. I haven’t seen either of them in a year and that is sad.
Then as the years went on, I was running more…or less. I was blogging but I’d become set in a pattern. I used to blog whenever the mood struck at whatever time about whatever popped into my head on the run. I miss those days. But I got myself mired into following some of the things the big time bloggers did. Weekly recaps? Why not? But then I was shoving a whole week’s worth of running into one post. If I was my usually verbose self, that post would get damn long. So, I started editing. That’s stupid.
Then 2020 happened. I started the year by running my 40th half marathon. Then lockdown and a crazy world. I will be lucky if I clear 350 miles this year. I am legitimately starting over with running.
So instead of being pissed at how I wandered so far off the path I was on, I am treating it like a hard reset.
So, in that spirit, I took to the track on Sunday. It’s been years since I ran at the track and it used to be my happy place. Although I don’t think I will ever run a 10 miler on the track again, that was cuckoo.
So I put on new running shoes (which have been in my closet since February) and headed for the track to get back to basics. It was hot but that was not the reason I struggled. I really am that out of shape. I may have avoided the COVID 20 but I lost any muscle mass I had and all endurance between that and all the smoke the past few months. And while I didn’t gain any COVID weight, I also didn’t the lose the extra 40ish pounds from the previous 2 years. Ha!
So, yes, my 3 miles were hard. Even with the couch to 5k app I downloaded. What didn’t help was the blister that formed due to the new shoes either. I really am starting over! There was a lot of walking involved- due to both the heat and the blisters. I also tried out the Track Run feature on my Coros watch. I think it was a little confused. Or I did it wrong.
Struggle aside, I needed that hardness. It was the reality of where I am at and it’s a starting point to build on. I actually enjoyed my struggle run. Well, until a dad and his kids showed and parked themselves and stroller in my lane. Seriously??? What happened to track etiquette?
Anyways…Will you join me as I chase down fitness??
I could tell you about the 2 weeks of non-running- smoke in the air, bad AQI, sinus infections and migraines but instead I’ve had some rambling running thoughts I wanted to share.
I’ve been running less so my toes look so much better this year, ha! No missing toenails! My heels on the other hand look worse. Hmmm.
Anyone else notice that running bleeds over into other aspects of their lives? For example, my least favorite type of running route is an out and back. I much prefer a loop of some sort from start to finish. I’ve noticed I drive like that too. If I leave work for lunch, I inevitably drive in a near circle to get back even if it was shorter going back the way I came.
Without races and races trips to spend money on, I’ve become a little more of a compulsive online shopper. Oops? Apparently I should have bought a treadmill with my hazard pay months ago. Except I have no where to put one. Who needs a bed anyways?
This is the longest my running shoes have lasted in years. Who knew when I bought up extra shoes in January, they would still be in my closet in the boxes come October.
Also I seem to be buying lots of running clothes. Yet, not running. Makes total sense, right?
It’s fall but it doesn’t feel like fall. I am so looking forward to fall running. But maybe that’s me lying to myself? You know, like the “I’ll start on Monday” thing.
Timehop has been full of race pictures the last few weeks. It’s made me so nostalgic. That used to be one of favorite races. I miss races.
And people. I miss people. Which is odd as I see so many during the day.
Has running led to any oddities in your life?
Disclaimer: I received an entry into The Texas Distance Challenge as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
2020 and I have not seen eye to eye. I doubt it had with anyone really.
My motivation to run has tanked. I wish I could say I was one of those people who used the lock down to jump start their miles or start a run streak. The ones who are turning in more miles than ever before. But nope, I have run less miles this year than I have since my first year running. Ouch. I like to tell myself it would be different if I was working from home but am I just lying to myself? I mean going into the office everyday is normal for me, granted we locked our doors for a while but I’ve gone to work everyday and still helped numerous customers everyday. So, it sounds like not much changed… right? But still.
So I needed a kick in the pants. Enter the Texas Distance Challenge.
I’ve kind of always had a slight obsession with Texas… and London. I blame all those cheesy romance novels I read years ago. Anyways.
Did you know it’s further from El Paso to Texarkana than it is from New York to Chicago? And props if you know the completely random way I learned that.
The Texas Distance Challenge went live on July 1, 2020 and continues until April 30, 2021. The Run the Crossing challenge- which I signed up for- is 814 miles. Or as they sneakily tell you- only 19 miles a week.
19 a week?? That sounds totally doable- sign me up!
Except 19 miles is more than I ran the entire month of July. And August. Crap.
I still have 7 months right?? I can do it… can’t I?
Participants get to view their progress on a map as they complete the challenge. Y’all, I’ve barely left El Paso. I have already received some pretty sweet swag and I hope to earn even more as I journey on.
Challengers can also ride the crossing, or ride the loop (all around Texas) and there are various detours. I’ve committed to the run/walk of the crossing, so now it’s time to put up or shut up.
Come join! I need the moral support. I think I can, I think I can.
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