Run!, Slacker

Hell Y….eah????

I am a runner.

Or am I?

On Thursday evening I went for a run around the lake path, a route I’ve probably put hundreds of miles on over the years.   Some short, some long; it’s still home to my fastest unofficial 5K and once held a race that actually gave me my one and only first over all female win.

However that was years ago and this was not a race.  All my runs start with at least a 1/2 mile walk.  I know it drags down my overall pace but it’s how I warm up so I don’t care.   Much.  On this night I passed a woman running that I had never seen there before but let’s be honest I recognize the dogs more than the people.   We passed each other going opposite directions during my warm up walk.  We later passed each other again once I had started running.    Only this time she yelled “hell yeah” and gave me a high five.

At first it made me smile… then I started to wonder.   Was it a “hell yeah” in runner solidarity or do I just look so damn new out there? More like a newborn fawn these days than a runner?

I’ve made no secret that I’ve been riding the struggle bus since Big Sur.   First my back and hips were causing issues then my left foot has been a jerk for the last month.  Motivation has been lagging. Hell, the scale has hit the highest number I’ve ever seen. Oh and random asthma attacks have joined the party.

I don’t really feel like a runner anymore. I feel like a fraud.

Running is hard. Getting out the door is hard. Not giving up is hard.

I think that’s part of why I like the medals so much even if that seems petty. They remind me that I can do harder things. They’re a visual I can hold onto when I’m struggling through a 4 mile run. But then that also frustrates me. Why is it so hard??

I don’t want it all to be easy just a little less huffing and puffing would be nice.

I’m not new. But I am. I’m a runner… even on the days I’m not.

It’s one foot in front of the other, right? And repeat.

Run!, Slacker, Training

On the Marathon

Slight left turn here, my weekly recap will be up next post.

I said I would never run a marathon.  Never had any desire to.    Vehemently shot it down every time someone asked me.    Thing is, it’s not even the marathon itself that deterred me.    I mean I am the queen of stupid stubbornness, I figured I could drag myself through one if I had to.  It wouldn’t be fun, wouldn’t be pretty, would take 10 hours, likely break me and turn me off from running forever.  Like I said, queen of stupid, I totally realize I was underestimating the thing.

What scared me was the training.    Who in their right mind signs up for marathon training?   The mere idea of a 4 hour long run at the ass crack of dawn on a weekend morning almost gave me hives. I mean have you looked at some of those training plans?  Who has time for all that?  Don’t they realize I have Netflix to watch?!    Doubt’s a nasty companion no matter hard you deny hearing it.

I am a self proclaimed slacker, laziness is my strong suit.  Just ask my mother.   I’d never stuck to a training plan for a half, how the hell would I stick one for a full marathon?   Throw in long work days and a commute and it seemed even more unlikely and I was fine that.  Until I wasn’t.

The hunt for a training plan began.  It’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of them available.   Some looked scary, some looked doable.  How do you know what to choose?  How do you know which one works for you?  For me, a person who loves sleeping in on the weekends.  For me, someone can find the simplest excuse to skip a run?  For me- who still feels like a poser sometimes?  There was one that kept jumping out at me…but it was for serious runners, not slackers like me.   That would be crazy.   But then I read the book and it didn’t help prevent the crazy.  I’ve never shared what training plan I am using because I know all you real runners would think I lost my damn mind.


So yeah, Hansons.   You know the one all about cumulative fatigue and hitting paces and no super crazy long runs?   I can hear the “WTH’s” now.   I blame Colby.  And then Allison.  ☺  Anyways, I read it cover to cover and then parts again. I stuck stickie tabs all over it.   Suddenly the crazy seemed doable.   The beginner plan looked like a chance I could take.   So I took pen to paper and mapped everything out on calendar pages.  April to race day.  Then I only looked at each month at a time.  April- nailed that.  May- I knew this was where things got intense so I made an adjustment- I dropped Friday’s run.   So, I guess this is technically no longer Hanson’s.  I Slacker-ized it.  But 5 days a week with 2 planned speed/ strength workouts was still such a huge step for me, I figured I would be sufficiently fatigued.  😛 My hope for June was to add in that 6th day.

Then I got hurt.  And it wasn’t the mileage that did it.   I only missed 4 runs in May and 3 didn’t happen until after I jacked up my shins.   I think I figured out what did me in- I ended an easy Monday 5 miler with some butt kicks and high knees.  Why? No real reason other than I watched a video on running form over the weekend.  People- if it’s not breaking you- don’t mess with your form during training!  After Tuesday’s 800 repeats, I did some more high knees and butt kicks.  By Wednesday I could barely walk.  That Thursday’s attempt at a tempo was laughable.  Everything since then has been some odd combination of the Just Finish version of Hanson’s and rest.   And I am pissed.

I was actually doing it- I was following a training plan.  Yes, it was kicking my ass but in a good way.  Tempo’s were growing on me and I was so stinkin’ proud that I was following through.  That is what this marathon training has taught me.    Doubt can shut it’s ugly trap.

There’s this tv show that I watch and there’s a character on it who says something like this-

” the souffle is not the souffle- the souffle is the recipe”

Which is finally making sense to me.   The marathon is not the prize- training for it is.  If I can train for a marathon and actually follow through with something, well, then I can do anything.  At least that’s what it feels like.

Who knows what the next 48 days will bring?  Not me, but until then I am going to #justkeeprunning.