In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a few months since I’ve posted to this blog. This was due to a combination of work getting busier, me getting lazier, and feeling a bit unmotivated. I didn’t want writing this blog to become a burden or just another thing I had to get done. I only wanted to write it when I felt inclined to do so. Unfortunately, that took a few months.
I felt inspired to write now because I’ve officially wrapped up my 2016 running season. The last few months have had some ups and downs. There were periods when I felt extremely motivated and excited to keep pressing on with my running, but much of it consisted of my looking forward to being done for the year, and even contemplating whether I wanted to even continue competing at all. I was “up” when I had good workouts and when I ran a decent half marathon. But I was “down” due to work getting crazier (which meant less sleep), running early in the morning in the dark, cooler weather, and a disappointing 5k performance. I felt that the negatives of continuing this effort were starting to outweigh the positives. In a nutshell, it was becoming extremely difficult to get out of bed at 5:00 in the morning to do mile repeats by myself in the dark. (Doing mile repeats isn’t exactly fun to begin with, but they’re much more bearable when you can at least see.) I knew something needed to change.
Once again, Scott was my support system. He of course left it up to me to decide whether I wanted to stop competing and when I wanted my season to end. But at the same time, he reminded me that it was normal for me to have these ups and downs, and that the road back to where I want to be wasn’t going to be easy. He predicted that I would get injured or at least have pains I didn’t have to deal with six year ago and that it was going to take longer for my body to remember what it was like to run fast again. He was right. I’ve had several pains to deal with (but have thankfully subsided), and even though it’s taken some time, I’ve finally been able to run great workouts again. Not at the pace I was doing many years ago, but at my current goal race pace that I’ve come to terms with. I also made a few adjustments. Scott started doing more workouts with me (yes, sometimes at 5:00 in the morning) and I adjusted my running schedule as much as possible so that I could do my hard runs in the daylight.
After I made these adjustments and as I started doing more interval training, my confidence began to increase because I was running faster and faster and feeling better while doing it. This isn’t to say that all of my workouts went well. There were times when I would struggle through a tempo run, only to feel awesome going a faster pace a few days later. And there have also been workouts when I just couldn’t run the times I set out to do.
This entire “comeback” has been up and down, and I’ve finally realized that this is just how it’s going to be for a while. I basically have two choices. Either I stick it out and see where this all takes me, or let it slip away and always wonder. Before making any kind of decision about whether to keep putting forth this effort, I wanted to attempt to end my season on a good note; I owed it to myself to at least not let the last six months of hard work go to waste. I needed to give it my all in one last race to see what I could do… (to be continued).