Please forgive my atrocious lack of posting lately. When you “write” for a living, it makes it harder to also still want to write for fun when you get home. That’s the excuse I’m going with, anyway. (I recognize that it’s actually a terrible excuse, but the alternative is to be totally honest with myself and admit that my lack of writing has a lot less to do with the lack of motivation to write and a lot more to do with the lack of doing anything worth writing about. But that sounds a lot more depressing. So yeah, I think I’ll stick with excuse #1.)
Anywho, this is what’s been going on the last few weeks…
FIVE WEEKS AGO: I started “training” for a marathon. By now, you probably know how I feel about training plans (I generally hate them) and you also know that I suck at following them (which is most likely the reason I hate them, as I tend to hate anything I’m not good at). But when I found out that I might be able to get into the Marine Corps Marathon in October due to Katie’s roommate maybe not being able to do it, I figured I should probably train at least a little bit.
So I created a plan using the Runner’s World Smartcoach and vowed to do my best to stick to it. I even devised a plan to pay myself (how pathetic!) based on how much work I put in, and calculated that if I did everything the plan told me to, I’d be able to save up enough money to buy myself some dreamy new Newtons by week 12 and have enough time to break them in before race day.
I started off kind of strong, except I focused more on riding my bike for the first two weeks in preparation for the century ride. There was a 5-mile easy run, a 4-mile tempo run (which was supposed to be 6, but it was hot/humid as balls out and I’m a wimp in the humidity), and 65 miles of bike riding during week one. Then there was another easy run (4.3 miles), 6 miles of speed work (though not quite as speedy as the plan wanted…again due to the disgusting drink-the-air-instead-of-breathe-it humidity), 108 miles of bike riding, and a lovely hour or so of SUPing (what better way to recover from a century/celebrate your birthday?) during week two, which was…
FOUR WEEKS AGO: The Ride to End Alzheimer’s was just two days after my last post, and I definitely could have written an entire post about that. I actually tried on a few occasions, but each time I just wound up in tears thinking about my grandfather…so instead of manning up, I just decided to not post anything about it. But I did it, and it was a great experience. The organization of the event was nearly flawless, the people I met were amazing, and even though I had only been trying to raise $750, I ended up raising over $1100! (If you donated and you’re reading this now, please know that I can’t thank you enough!) Also, I was expecting to see my mom and grandmother at the final pit stop, but all the parents ended up coming to see me! So that was pretty great, too.
THREE WEEKS AGO: Anytime I complete a somewhat “big” event, I find that it takes me about a week to get back to normal. I wish that finishing something like a 22-mile trail race, 220-mile relay, or 100-mile bike ride motivated me to do more and work harder afterward, but instead I pretty much always just feel like being a blob for a while. So the week after the Alzheimer’s Ride was a little weak. The plan called for a 3-mile easy run (I did 3.57), another 6-mile tempo run (I managed to squeak out a 4-mile progression-ish run before retreating back to my desk to melt into a giant puddle–see below), and a 14-mile long run (I rode my bike 40 miles instead, oops).
“Don’t worry about it,” I told myself. “This is just what you do after big events! You’ll get back on track next week…”
TWO WEEKS AGO: My friend Jess and I were bridesmaid-ing for our best friend’s wedding, and had tried on dresses a few weeks prior. We had to order them in our size, and when they came in and I tried mine on, I had a brief panic attack. Neither of us had taken into consideration the fact that the dresses you try on at the store have been tried on and stretched out by lots of other people, so the try-on size 4 isn’t really a size 4 anymore. The new dress still fit, but barely. I boldly proclaimed that I would run every day until the wedding, and stop eating so much. I mostly did neither of those things.
On Monday (week four of my training plan), I was supposed to rest (because, presumably, I had done a long run the day before). Instead, I did 2 miles worth of hill repeats. It sucked. When I got back to my desk and started whining about how much I hated hills and how I wasn’t going to fit into my bridesmaid dress, a coworker suggested I just invest in some Spanx. Which I did. That afternoon. And then proceeded to not run at all the rest of the week. (I did get in a nice 30 mile bike ride, though, so that was good I suppose.)
LAST WEEK: The aforementioned wedding was in Florida. Nicole and her fiance are both runners as well, so Tim and I made sure to pack a few sets of running clothes for the trip, thinking we’d be able to run with them. We failed to realize just how hot and humid and miserable Florida is in August, however. Just thinking about running made me sweaty. I honestly don’t know how anyone there does it.
So instead of running–or doing anything healthy, for that matter–I drank a lot of beer and ate only things that are terrible for you. That counts as training, right? We walked around a lot one night, though. And I do vaguely remember Nicole and I running for a while (probably only like, 100 yards, but it felt like a lot at the time) because the cabs were expensive and we thought we could make it back to the hotel on our own. (We definitely wouldn’t have made it, but don’t worry–everyone else had piled into a cab and made the driver look/wait for us.) I guess technically I also swam once. And danced a few times. But there was definitely no real activity of any kind. Wah.
THIS WEEK: I was feeling really bad about myself for having two pathetic weeks in a row, but then I realized that feeling bad about yourself doesn’t fix anything. Doing something about it is the only way to solve the problem. Tim and I got home after midnight on Monday night, so we slept late on Tuesday, went to the grocery store and stocked up on only healthy foods, and went for a nice 25-mile bike ride in the afternoon. Yesterday, I went back to yoga for the first time in far too long, and it felt incredible.
Today, I ran for the first time in more than two weeks. I was supposed to do speed work (6 miles), but there was no way that was going to happen–A) I was on a self-imposed time crunch, and B) I would have died if I tried to do 6 miles, 3 at a sub-8:00 pace. Instead, I went out for a super-easy three miles and tried to just focus on how my body felt. It may not have been what the plan called for, but something is better than nothing and it felt good to finally get out again.
Soooo, I’m going to try my hardest to get back into a routine as quickly as possible, and follow the rest of my training plan as best I can. AND I’ll try extra hard to not go so long without writing so that my posts don’t end up being so overwhelmingly long (a sincere thank you to anyone other than my grandmother who made it this far!).