Saturday, September 10, 2016

Less Is More

I'm going to bookend this blog post with the happy news, and sandwich the unpleasant news in the middle.

Yay for 6K
I hit 6,000 lifetime miles on my long run this morning. The achievement came at Light #52 on Electric Avenue.  Most of my runner friends I know are well beyond 6,000—I mean, Larry Moffat has more than 10 times that amount—but I'm still kind of excited. Round numbers are fun.

Abort! Abort!
Training Wheel... get it? I tore
two-thirds of the 18-mile tab. :-)
This morning, I was supposed to run 18 miles.  I planned to do "laps" of sorts up and down Electric Avenue. I've had the sniffles, and I figured if I felt yucky, I could abort the run at almost anytime. I took it super easy, but I just felt so. so. so. tired. Just before I hit 9 miles, I thought, "This is crazy. You are doing laps so you can abort at anytime. Abort." So abort I did. I ended up with a nice little 12 mile run.

Those of you who know me know I rarely cut a run short, so when I do, it means I probably needed to do so. Sure, I'm a little bummed, but I'm not mad about it. In June, I honestly couldn't run three miles without stopping to lie down and cry a little, so a non-stop 12-miler is cause for celebration, even if it was a slow, aborted 18.

Big Running Decision
I promise I'm not writing a blog post solely to inform the Interwebs about the termination of a long run. I've (almost) made a big running decision, and I feel like I need to write it down to make it real, and to organize it better in my mind.

I am 90% sure I'm going to drop to the Half at Monumental this year.

Writing that statement makes me feel sad, even though it shouldn't. I know a half marathon is an important event that takes focused training; but when you'd planned for twice that, it seems like a cop out.

This has nothing to do with me hurting anywhere. With the exception of some gnarly toe blisters, my legs are good to go. Here is why I've 90% come to this conclusion:

Every run is an effort. This time last year, I was running marathon pace 18s and progression 20s like no big deal. I'm running about a minute-per-mile slower this year, but even then everything feels more laborious. I had a rough spring and summer. Maybe that's why, but it doesn't really matter why. I just constantly feel like I'm overdoing it.

Pretty sunrise on an August long run
I'm not having much fun. I always end up picking the full over the half because, "I LOVE marathon training!" Yeah, well, I don't this time. I mean, I love to run, but I'm not looking forward to the runs—especially the long runs—like I usually do.

The thought of running 26 miles is soul crushing.  I promise I'm not being histrionic. Soul. Crushing. Last year, I was tenacious for those miles on that course. I couldn't wait. This year, I'm dreading it.

The thought of dropping to the half relaxes me and makes me happy. I'd still get the whole Monumental-weekend experience without taxing myself to the limit, in the race or in training. Running could be all fun again. I would look forward to the race.

It would make my family happy. They worry about the distance. This way, they wouldn't have to.

I won't have to cancel all November running. My doctors get all bent out of shape about marathons and make me do zero running for two to three weeks after a marathon. I would take time off after the half, of course, but I wouldn't have to drag my sore body around for days, wondering how close I was to some devastating injury and when I would be able to run a little again.

I am honestly so thankful to be able to run AT ALL—really—that I can't be mad about dropping to the half. I know "injured and devastated." This is not that feeling. I can run. I am happy!

However, I have worries, mostly about what people will think. What will they think when I've dropped to the half? What will they think when I run it slowly? What will they think when I run my slowest Bedford Half Marathon Limestone Capital Half Marathon ever? What will they think when I don't reach my annual mileage goal? What will they think when I haven't run all the mileage on the tabs on my cute little training wheel?

Turns out they don't care, Jo.

I want to have fun running again. That means less distance, slower paces, and shorter races. Fine. Let's do it.

The 10%
The only thing keeping me from making this decision is the weather. If this godforsaken heat and humidity end, and I am suddenly feeling like rainbows and lollipops, I can reassess then. At this point, writing this blog has convinced me that I'm dropping to the half.

It's also convinced me that maybe this news isn't so unpleasant after all.  Maybe it's the best goshdarn news I've had in awhile.

The Torch
...except for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay, because that awesomeness is happening on Wednesday. I was featured in a cool article by Bob Bridge of the Times-Mail on Thursday, and my family, friends, and I are FIRED RIGHT UP to be part of this historical event next week. I even get to sing downtown with Ed at the celebration.

Life is good, and it's better when you're having fun. :-)

Having fun at the Claude on 9.3.2016

No comments:

Post a Comment