It feels like it’s been an eventful week. But maybe that’s because it’s been a good week. Or maybe I’m just seeing more and more weeks as “good weeks” because I’m happy. And what I learned this week is my happiness is directly correlated to how much I’m running. Lots of good runs = happy. Skipped runs and bad runs = moody, unhappy, anxious.
I wanted this to be a running blog only but I always end up talking about grad school because it’s the #1 thing affecting my running lately. But, according to Lauren Fleshman’s Believe Training Journal, it’s good to write about those things that are affecting your training. It made me feel better to read that because it’s not as if I don’t like school, or anything else that gets in the way of my running! It’s just that… they get in the way of my running!! So I talk about them on a run blog.
That being said, it was exam week. And my spouse was having a really busy time at work too so scheduling was really difficult. Frankly there wasn’t enough time to fit running in there and that left me feeling bummed. I don’t think I even realized it. But then as I’m there studying the day before Thanksgiving, and sinking under the weight of it, my husband comes over and tells me “Ok, put down the books. Why don’t you do your long run today? It’s really cool outside now and it won’t be like this the rest of the week. Just get out there. You will get your studying in later.” This was the BEST thing anyone could have said to me. In south Florida, you can’t take cold days for granted. I threw on my run gear and took off before I had time to over think it. And it was a great run. Well, it was only 13 miles and not 15 but that’s because my ankle/Achilles was hurting and felt like it might tear. When I decided to quit the run I looked at my watch and it said I set two personal records! Fastest 10k and fastest half! And, as usual when this happens, my reaction was “oh no…” Because that’s why my ankle was probably hurting. But the weather was so cool it really changed my pace! It was so beautiful out and I hadn’t run in what felt like forever so I took off I guess.
When I got home from the run, my signed Believe Training Journal had been delivered. I’ve been waiting for it for a while but because of the delay from shipping issues I had kinda forgotten about it. It was a great surprise though. And let me tell you, it’s worth it. I’ve purchased a bunch of training journals, some run specific and some not, and this one is the BEST! I love that it’s a bound journal and not a spiral notebook. It’s got so many little tips written inside that are great to hear right from the source (pro runner Lauren Fleshman). And, unlike blogging and twitter and facebook and all that stuff people use to record their progress, what I most like about this is that it’s a little record of a part of your life that your kids or your family can remember you by in years to come. Oh and it’s got a fun personality test in there to find out what kind of person/runner you are – a worrier or a warrior! And it explains how each affects the way you run and train.
I didn’t run on Thanksgiving. I didn’t run the day after Thanksgiving. Um… I didn’t even run the day after the day after Thanksgiving. But I ran today! I do all kinds of rationalizing in my head about these things but what I told myself this time was that a 15 or 16 miler was better for marathon training than a few 6 or 8’s. Got up early to run and it was freezing. I really wanted to stay under the covers. During the run my ankle or Achilles, I’m not sure which, still hurt and I had to stop and stretch it or give it a break more than a few times. I stopped at 15 miles. I’m ok with that.
Next weekend says 20 miles but I’m not sold. I’m slightly freaked out about it. I sort of wonder if it’s not going to become an 18 instead. If my ankle keeps hurting like this then 18 will be amazing anyway. Then a drop then a 20 the week after that. I still can’t believe there’s only 37 days til Disney Marathon! My husband wondered aloud to me last night, while I was stewing in pre-long run anxiety on the couch, whether he did me any favors by giving me this marathon birthday present. I told him he did. No doubt about it. I told him I’d never be running right now if it wasn’t for this race and I’d lose all the hard work I did all summer. I know I’m going to do another fall marathon in 2015 and now I won’t be starting from zero when I begin serious summer training in 6 months. It’s taken so long to feel this good about my running again.
I can’t wait to start writing my 2015 goals in my new journal! I’m not even sure what they are right now! And it’s hard to plan your marathon PR when you don’t know what is possible over just one more training season next summer. I see people try to Boston PR and it takes years. Not that that’s my goal! I just mean how long would it take to cut 30 minutes even? A year? Two? Five? I hope I can find out.