My last post was about two months ago and honestly in that time I've sat down probably 20 times to start this post....to no avail. I just couldn't compile my thoughts. After Chicago I went into a weird place, a place of zero motivation and feeling completely lost. Without my training schedule where everyday it told me how I would start my day (ie what workout I needed to do) I felt completely lost. Kinda sad, right? I worked all year towards a huge goal in Chicago, and I did it! Then I was left with, what's next running through my head over and over. Normally I can easily snap myself out of that but not this time. Over the last almost two months I've realized something, I needed a break. A serious, genuine break...
No training schedules
No mandatory 4:30 am wake ups
No washing 4 loads of running clothes each week (on top of all the other laundry)
No carb counting
No foam rolling
So that is exactly what I've been up to these last several weeks and why I haven't blogged. Chicago training was a grueling 6 months of a demanding running schedule combined with the demands of work and also trying to keep a happy home. When taking a look at the training I've put in this year and the amount of racing done last year, I realized that I've basically been in a continuous training cycle for almost two years solid. That is nuts!
I've also continued to nurse my hip injury that I left Chicago with. It's easily the most persistent and annoying thing I've ever dealt with. The only race(s) I had left on the agenda this year was the New Year's Double which is a half marathon on NYE and then another half marathon on NYD. While I LOVE this race, it is really taxing on the body. I was only running this race for fun, so after a lot of thought I decided that it wasn't worth the risk of re-injuring this hip and sending myself back to square one. I have some big goals for Spring, and that just wasn't worth it. Silver lining though? This race was sold out months ago so my backing out opened up a spot to someone who is going to be stoked to get to run! That makes me happy :)
During the month of November I was starting to run a little bit here and there because I knew I had to have somewhat of a base for the double races. Once I made the decision to back out, the pressure was off and total "no running" mode was back on. Honestly? I was relieved. I knew deep down I needed this rest after Chicago, but being a stubborn runner (aren't we all?) I thought I had to press through for the races. The month of December I've enjoyed getting to embrace the holiday season and spending extra time with friends and family. It's easy to let running take over your life and sometimes we forget that while it is a huge piece of our lives, it is not our entire life. I plan on spending the remainder of the year letting myself live with no schedules or obligations to training.
Spring time brings about a new opportunity to tackle new goals! I've had plenty of time to think about what I want to do for Spring and honestly I'm still not sure. When taking a look back at this year, one of the things I really enjoyed for the first time in my running life was speed work. My track workouts became the things I looked forward to each week! Speed workouts were new to me and I started to love the complete ass kicking that they were. Just about each one left me feeling like I wanted to puke and that's an oddly good feeling. This Spring, I really want to focus on speed workouts and trying to improve my foot turnover. In Texas there is a 5K pretty much every weekend on every corner in Spring so I might make those my new goals. Faster and more efficient with each race! Will I run another half? Likely...but that won't be my focus. My next distance goal is to run a half marathon in under two hours. I feel like putting the focus on speed the first half of the year, will set me up to really go after that sub-2 hour goal in fall.
So there you have it, that's what I've been up to. Here's to hoping for a strong and successful Spring racing season!