Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What Running Looks like Now

After finishing the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July, I planned to take a week off from running entirely. Well as it goes, one week turned into two, and then I made excuses to skip my next long run. From personal experience, I knew that I needed to start running again, if only a few miles at a time, otherwise I'd stop running completely, and with several races coming up that really wouldn't be a good idea.

I flew back to Philadelphia the first week of August, expecting to easily fall back into my normal daily routine. However, that transition was so hard and didn't go as planned. I needed more than a few days to readjust to the time change, and my body was out of whack from the huge coffee and no water the day of travel. But knowing how I am, I had to make myself run in order to get back into the habit of doing it. I didn't want to lose all of the endurance and speed I built, and have to start all over from square one again.

Being gone for almost a month, I quickly forgot how humid and muggy the East Coast is in the summer. I much prefer running outside, but the weather conditions were doing more harm than good to me. Sure I was getting all of my midweek runs in, but my legs felt like they were being shredded. My muscles were constantly sore and tired, so I started going to the gym instead. For the past two weeks I've been doing almost all of my midweek runs on the indoor track where there is good airflow and air conditioning. Once the midweek miles start picking up though, I'm going to have to move over to the treadmill because running dozens of circles around a 1/12 mile track makes me pretty dizzy. Thankfully though, the weather should be better towards the middle of September. I'm really looking forward to not having to wake up at the crack of dawn when I want to run outside.

While I've been struggling to get back into the routine of running five times a week, I'm still really motivated. Having races on my calendar that I've signed up for months ago motivates me to get to the gym. I've run a half marathon before without any proper training, and it sucks! I never want to be in that much pain during and after a race again, so I use that horrible experience as inspiration to adhere to a training schedule.

I love participating in races, who doesn't? The race swag and expo are so fun, and I wear the novelty tech tees all the time. But this year, I decided to do less races and instead focus more on the few that I do sign up for. I've been concentrating on training for specific races rather than just running random half marathons because I can. So far this year, I've run a 10 mile trail race and a full  marathon. At the end of October I'll be running the Rock 'n Roll Philadelphia half marathon (on Halloween!), and the Philadelphia full marathon at the end of November. Although I'm missing out on adding more shirts to my growing collection of race tees, I've never been more excited for all the fanfare for one specific race at a time. And just like always, I've set time goals for these next two races that I hope to achieve!