I was really making awesome progress with my running. The Hanson training plan was working. I was running more miles than I ever had before. I had my biggest month ever with 138 miles.
And then we discovered that our treadmill was broken. Specifically the deck was broken…cracked, but not all the way through. So what did I do? I kept running on it. My calves ached. My shins started getting nagging little pains in them. And then my left foot started hurting. It felt like I had rolled my ankle, except I don’t remember doing it.
Except I did. When you run on a broken treadmill deck for almost a month, you essentially roll your ankle slowly over time.
I took two weeks off. I was afraid to post that I was injured yet again. I did yoga. I stretched all the things. I did every PT exercise I could find. I retired both pairs of active running shoes and got new ones.
And the pains subsided. Running became good again. Easy again. And yet the FEAR morphed into something else.
Did I miss too much training? Can I still break 2? We are about four weeks out from race day. I had my first tempo run in almost a month this morning that felt good, but the paces weren’t quite where they need to be.
FEAR. I want to break 2 so badly. I’ve ever said out loud that I might take a break from half marathons if and when I break 2. Fear of letting myself down. Fear that I’m doing the wrong thing, making my body do something it’s not ready for.
The benefit of being a data junkie who has only ever worn a Garmin for running? Stuff like this…
Data like this tells a story. These are the six full years that I’ve been a runner…the first two weeks of each year. (2013 data starts in July.) I can see what happened with my paces and where I made mistakes in training.
2018 started with the flu. 2017 was a comeback from injury and a triathlon year. 2016 started with an injury. 2015 saw me as an overzealous beginner. 2014 was my first full year running.
2019 started with a gamble. I already had my training plan written, short easy runs with some tempo speed mixed in with lots of bike XT and one swim per week scheduled. But I was sucked into the FREE training plans offered by First Gear for the Chisholm Trail half and full marathons. I stopped by to grab a copy of the plans. It was explained that this was Hanson’s training plan. Initially I rolled my eyes.
I knew the Hanson plans. Back in March 2016, I ordered their half marathon book. I bought a lot of running books in 2016 when I was sidelined with bad hip bursitis. I wanted to fix whatever I was doing wrong. I skimmed through the Hanson book when it arrived. I saw the mileage expected for half marathon training and immediately shelved it and didn’t even bother reading it. No way could I put down that kind of mileage and not end up injured or burnt out within a matter of days.
But speaking with Raquel at First Gear, my eyes were opened. Most new runners, specifically those who pick up the sport as adults, run their easy miles way too fast. And I think it’s for various reasons: slower running takes too much time, running fast is fun, the way to get faster is to run fast. Or new runners skip the easy runs all together, assuming the speedwork and the long runs will get them to their goal.
The seed was planted. Could I really run 30-40 miles each week? If my pace was slow enough, I just might be able to.
And after two weeks, I think I can! My legs are catching up. My shin splints from 2018 are gone. I have more energy than ever before. I feel like myself again. And more than that, I have fallen 100% head over heels in love with running.
I’m good at waking up. I’m bad at waking up and getting moving. I woke up at 4:55 a.m. when the dog alarm went off. My real alarm wasn’t set to go off for 5 more minutes. Sigh…our dogs are lucky they are cute.
I went back to bed after letting them out and breakfasting them, but I just laid there and checked my email. I should have gotten up and hopped on the trainer. But I hadn’t set it up the night before. It takes less than 5 minutes to set up, but I was so lazy and warm in my blankets.
I think I need to start setting the coffee pot in the morning. I was hungry this morning and opted for breakfast and iPhone staring instead of training. I think if I drink a little coffee and eat half a Picky Bar, I might be more motivated to work out.
I set her up at lunch so I have to get on her when I get home. I’m planning on making BBQ chicken in the instant pot for dinner which should let me get in the 45 minute bike I have on the schedule for the day. Remember…I said I would XT. I can’t let MYSELF down!
Training plan started today. I was supposed to do my first official easy 3, but my body had other ideas. Being a girl is stupid, by the way.
So what am I training for? What happened to my fall half marathon? The answer…no fall half marathon. As hard as it was to admit, my shin splints completely sidelined the second half of my year. I had to abandon a fall half marathon and completing 1000 miles in a year. 2018 was a wash. In so many ways.
So what’s next? I signed up for the inaugural Chisholm Trail Half Marathon. It’s a new race in Wichita, and I’m looking forward to the course.
So the good news: 1. I have a plan. I used a combination of all of my favorite running plans. I’m focusing on heart rate and making sure the easy runs are EASY. 2. I am going to XT. I have a duathlon and at least one or two triathlons on the plan for the summer. This will force me to swim once a week and bike at least twice. No excuses. 3. Nutrition will play a role in my success. I am determined this time to get rid of the grief weight. I don’t need to treat my runs with food. I can treat myself with yoga, stretching, or some time with my family. Changing the mindset. 4. MEDITATION! Mindfulness is key to successful running. I’ve lost a bit of the passion for running, and I think it’s because I think TOO MUCH about it. I need to get back to the basics and run for the love of it, which means zenning out during the easy stuff.
I’m a librarian. I love to read. This is no secret.
I’m an avid GoodReads user. I track the number of books I’ve read and have participated in their yearly reading challenge since 2013. Back then I would try to be ambitios and read 50-100 books in a year. The most I ever managed was 71.
This year I decided to be conservative. I set my goal at 24 books, knowing that two books per month in addition to grad school was more than enough for my brain to handle.
After Mom was gone, I found comfort in scrolling through her social media. I stumbled upon her GoodReads account. It was a stab right to the gut. Most people don’t realize how quickly she went in the end. In January, she set a goal to read 12 books in 2018. She still had a book in her currently reading status, American Gods by Neil Gaiman. She was on page 44. Back then, she didn’t know she would leave us in March and would never finish that book.
I decided that I would read her 12 books for her. I’m sitting at 35 for my year with number 36 in my hands. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. A favorite series to end the most challenging and hardest year of my life. I read my books and I read hers too.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for teaching me to love reading and for saying to me, “It was about time!” for me to pursue my Masters in Library Science. You’ll be there when I walk and get hooded in May 2019 and when I finish up my last course in August. I think of you each day I walk into work and can picture you sitting in your papasan chair reading a book in the sunshine.
I have run a grand total of 3 miles in 17 days. Why? Shin splints. I thought I was on top of them, but I wasn’t. After my mile repeats on August 22nd, I limped through 2 miles the next day before calling it quits. I took two days off, stretched everything, and did strength exercises. My long run was supposed to be 12. I barely made it 6 before throwing in the towel.
Coach said two weeks off running and to XT like there’s no tomorrow. So I did. And then I tried to run 3 miles last Thursday. Nope. Pain returned and made me think maybe I have a stress reaction in my left shin.
In 17 days I have ridden my bike 133 miles. So there’s that. I’m going to give running another attempt tomorrow. Fingers crossed. If that run doesn’t go well, it might be doctor time. Sigh…
All I wanted to do was run a sub-2 half. Is that too much to ask, running gods?!
What’s the lesson here? XT, people. Strength train, people.
I love intervals. I’ve said this before. Mile repeats…yes! 1K repeats…yes! 800s…yes! I get the greatest sense of accomplishment. Even if I have to DRIVE to a bathroom in the middle of a run because I didn’t make one more pit stop before starting my workout. Ugh. The pains of running in a small town before dawn when the gas station is on the opposite end of town as your favorite running path.
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcast episodes about nutrition lately. I’ve really enjoyed Tina Muir’s Running 4 Real. I recently added a calcium supplement and a super-B complex supplement in the mornings. Since I eat vegan most of the time and am lactose intolerant, I figured the calcium would be a good decision. So far, I’m not having any stomach issues like I have in the past. I’m still amazed that I would blame so many things on my wacky stomach, when it was probably just dairy all along!
I had to go make a purchase last night that I didn’t think I would ever make. I had to buy short sleeve running shirts. Say what? Yep…before yesterday, I owned ZERO short sleeve running shorts. I’m normally either tank top or long sleeve…no in between. I blame the treadmill and not running outside in the cool or cold unless I want to. But the broken treadmill (yep…still broken) is forcing me to run outside and it is starting to get a bit chilly some mornings. Enter the short sleeve shirt. Thankfully, I was able to find some at Target that I LOVE. Semi-fitted and SOFT.
I had one of those mornings with the boys where I wished the three of us could have just stayed home all day together. Runner Boy practiced his saxophone this morning before school (huzzah, late start!). He’s really getting good at it! Those private lessons with his teacher really paid off. And Tiny Boy’s sunflower that he planted from a seed finally bloomed. I just love them. My BroTatoes.
I’m reading Kara Goucher’s Strong, a confidence journal. I realized that I do some of these things in my running log. I’m inspired to keep a separate written journal in addition to my training log. Do you all keep a written training log or just online with Garmin or Strava? How about a confidence journal?