Writing and running in Austin, TX.
There’s a reason I’m writing this post now, and it has little to do with a sudden longing for the good old days of a semi-popular blog. Although…I did just apply to be a contributor to Book Riot. I have no idea what my chances are there – other than “not great”: they had 700 applicants last time and took 20 – but writing even a fake blog post made me feel just a little bit of longing.
Nope, I’m writing now because yesterday my trainer asked me what I would do if I wasn’t training.
You see, it’s like this. When you spend +/- 10 hours a week running and another 40 hours working in a running store, you generally aren’t all that excited to come home and write about…running. My stack of “to-read” running-related books continues to grow for similar reasons. I even have 8 or so back issues of Running Times collecting dust in the living room. I don’t feel up to tackling them, but I can’t bear to recycle them unread.
But I do still love running. The truth of the matter is that running just doesn’t love me so much right now. Since my hard-fought 4:09 in Chicago last year, I have failed to achieve any significant running success. Sure, I eeked out a 30-second PR in the half marathon, and a personal course record in a recent 10K, but both of those efforts were intended to be 2-3 minutes faster than they were. And so I’ve been floundering in a pit of frustration, loving running less and less and flogging myself through workout after workout, hoping to recapture the magic of that endless string of PRs that was 2014.
So far, not so good. I feel tired on long runs of just 10 miles, my 5K pace is currently unachievable, and I ended my last hard workout in tears as the group pulled away a little bit more with every lap. Chicago is once again my main goal for the year, and I am determined to make my dream of a sub-4 hour marathon a reality. Yet it would appear that’s not the course I’m currently on.
And so, I’m doing the unthinkable. For the first time in 3 years, I’m taking a week off from running.
Will it help? God, I hope so. The real build for Chicago starts in May, and I want the hamstring that’s whined its way through 10K training and cost me $200 a visit in PT appointments to shut the hell up.
And while I never really realized it, it is pretty crazy to think that I haven’t taken more than two consecutive days off in 3 years. Yes, even after a marathon. Race Sunday, rest Monday and Tuesday, back at it on Wednesday. Even to me, that sounds…stupid.
But I’m the kind of person who takes pride in never missing a workout. Which also means I’m the kind of person who goes absolutely crazy after missing two. So basically, I really needed someone else – the trainer in this case – to just flat out say, “What do you mean you haven’t taken a break in three years??? That’s crazy!”
So, this morning I took the dog for a walk, and tonight I’m contemplating a bike ride. (Which she would tell me is still not taking a break, but remember, crazy.) I’ve managed to distract myself this long, though.
And it’s really interesting. The answer to that original question? “What would you do if you didn’t have to spend hours running?”
Well, I guess I would write about running.