I thought it was about time for a post half marathon running update so here’s what I’ve been up to running wise:
…(cue chirping crickets and other sounds of silence)…
That’s right, a whole lotta not much has been going on between me and running lately. I’ve been on a couple (literally two) three or so mile runs and one six mile in the past two weeks. Three runs in two weeks, it’s an all time low for me. There have been some good excuses not to run (I’ve been busy, it’s dark outside, it’s raining, stuff like that) but really what’s going on here is a slump. A big fat slump has definitely set in complete with slug-like laziness and bad eating habits.
Crap! Half the point of doing that half marathon when I did was so that I’d look really good for my little sister’s wedding. It’s next weekend and now I’ve gone and slumped all that hard earned sleekness and svelte muscle tone away in just three short weeks. Blerch!
Shame on me!
They felt like long weeks though. Long, mid-semester weeks where I’ve been just barely keeping up on the schoolwork and the house work, where I fell into a bad cycle of caffeine consumption and sleep deprivation for no good reason. Weeks where I spent too much time in my own head avoiding the things I need to do and wallowing in self pity. Weeks made up of days that ended with coffee ice cream mixed with vodka and a little milk…Don’t knock it until you try it, it’s like a White Russian milk shake.
Somewhere in the past few weeks the very delicate balance of my crazy-busy life got out of whack. Come to think of it, maybe not running has something to do with that. It’s Newton’s laws of motion at play: when I’m active I tend to stay active and keep on top of things, when I’m at rest I will be likely to stay at rest until an outside force pushes me into gear. I’m not sure what it was that caused me to loose momentum. Burnout maybe? Maybe a little slump after a big event like that is normal but it’s a slippery slope especially this time of year when the days are darker and it’s cold and damp out. I started to slip and slide on down, now I’m looking for something to grab onto to make it stop.
Maybe I need a new goal or just some motivation to maintain.
The week after the half I felt like I was wandering around a bit wondering what to do next. I wasn’t sure if I should run or not run for a few days.
And then I just kept wandering around in a disruptive funk.
This past Tuesday I did go for a six mile run. It was getting close to dark when I started so I wasn’t sure how far I’d go. I decided to just run and see how I felt. Running at dusk in the fall is one of my favorite things. The cool air,colorful leaves swirling around making it feel like you’re running through a fall themed snow globe, the first few stars twinkling as the horizon goes from a dim orange to purple to grey and then dark:there’s nothing quite like it. It was calm, refreshing, and relaxing so I went up through town and around one of the longer blocks to make a six mile loop. On the back side of the block my right arch started hurting the same way it did in the last three miles of the half marathon. I thought maybe I should just run through it but it didn’t stop hurting and when I got home two miles later the pain was reaching up my ankle too.
Other than some wicked shin splints a few summers back I really haven’t experienced pain from running. I’m not sure what to do about this. Do I run on it and see if it goes away? Do I rest it and hope it goes away? Do I need new running shoes? This is the worst time of year to need new anything. The uncertainty and worry about making it worse made it even more difficult to pull myself out of this slothful state and get some regular running going again.
You know that saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”?
My grandma had a needlepoint picture of that saying hanging in her den. I used to stare at it and wonder what the hell it meant. Now I think I get it. And today it’s sunny and pleasant outside so I think I’ll act like this is the rest of my life and get out for a run while I contemplate what to do next.
And meanwhile here are some running memes to help with the motivation shortage: