Feb 10, 2016

My Relationship with Running Lately

It has been a long time since I have hit the "Publish" button on this blog. I post a lot on my Instagram account and have stayed updated and in contact with people this way. To be 150% honest, running has been really rough for me since I ran the Revel Canyon City Marathon last November. I really didn't want to post a bunch of negative things here so I decided to lay low for a while.

I started working with a running coach and trained well for the Revel Canyon City Marathon. I was dealing with shins splints going into the race but I was able to get through those on race day. I felt good about the race and then things just really fell apart for me in ways that I never expected. I ran the first half of the race really strong and felt good (8:02 pace) and then when the hills hit in the second half. I had the worst cramps in my calves for the remainder of the race and I didn't really know what to do. I think I walked and stretched more during the second half then I actually ran. I had taken salt pills so I wasn't really sure what had gone wrong. I trained on the downhill portion of the course but not so much on the second half so maybe that is what I did wrong. I wanted to quit so badly but I didn't have it in me to do it. I ran the first half with a friend that I met on social media and I am so thankful I found her because she helped me out so much that day. She went ahead of me at some point and then I found her again during the last two miles of the race and we finished together.

I am not sure how I finished that race in under fours hours (3:58:16) but somehow I did.  It was pretty sad and it really affected me mentally. So many doubts about myself and my ability to run crept into my mind and it has been hard to get passed these thoughts.

I was kind of afraid to run because I wasn't really sure what to expect moving forward so I took it easy for the remainder of November and December.

Then my stepdad lost his battle with cancer right before Christmas and that made things even worse. My family was really affected by his death so it was hard to stay focused.

I even skipped my first race of the year in January because I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't have much desire to run so I started riding my bike. I hooked it up on my bike trainer and that is what I started to do. It has been a good thing. I am sticking with it and it is a great form of cross-training for me. My bike is set up in the loft now in front of the TV and I don't have any excuses not to do something because I can hop on my bike at any time. I actually enjoy it and I might even consider a triathlon in the future.

When I ran, I ran just to run. I kept all of my runs in the single digits and didn't put any pressure on myself. I didn't worry about pace or mileage and that might have started the healing process for me. Running is a very mental thing for me so when my mind is not in the right place it really affects me. I think I am still in "run without goals" mode but I am hoping that I start feeling like myself again really soon. 

I also started running with a group out of my local Fleet Feet running store. I have met a lot of new people and I also spent more time running with people that I already know. I was also able to put some faces with names of people that I just knew from social media. It has been a really good thing. Unfortunately we lost Rudy from our group during one of our runs which was very sad. Count your blessings. You never know when you will lose the ones your love.

Even though I skipped my first race of the year, things really did take a turn for the better in January. I went back to my running club and ran with them when I could. I was also invited to join a Ragnar So Cal team in April so that kind of gave me something to look forward to and stay in shape for. 

I finally started to get back into the longer runs in January but stayed away from signing up for any races. I am glad I did that because it kept the pressure off of me plus I don't like the feeling of not running a race that you paid for even if it is for a good reason.

So here I am in the beginning of a new month. I should be starting to train for my 9th marathon that I supposed to be running in May. I love this course but I am still doubting myself and what might happen to me during the race. I am still working on convincing myself that I am physically capable of running a marathon.

I guess you can say that through all of this, a lot of good things came out this for me. I am hoping that things continue to improve. I even ran a half marathon on Super Bowl Sunday and even though I didn't race it, I feel like I had a good run. I even set a small course PR without pushing myself. It was a step in the right direction for me. I kind of needed a sign that I can still do this running thing without failing.

I hope to be back soon and regain the love that I found for running five years ago. I know it will happen. I just have to believe in myself!

So there you have it. Other than this stuff, life is good. I can't really complain. I believe that good things always come out of something negative. Through this running slump, a lot of positive things have emerged and I am looking forward to making 2016 a comeback year for me! Thank you to everyone for all of your support!