Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Downs

I have a confession to make. I guess it's not really a confession but since I rarely talk about how our training goes anymore, since I don't know if people are interested in seeing a daily/weekly "play by play" so to speak, I will admit that running is not going so well for me right now.

Ever since Musselman, running has felt hard. Sure I had a few good runs after our 70.3, including a 5K PR, but the last week or two has felt tough and my paces are indicative of that struggle.

Happy times

I didn't get in to running because I thought it was going to be easy, honestly I just wanted a way to get back into shape and to have something that Mike and I could do together. Now, it has morphed into something more, something that I can't live without just like air.  I get frustrated when every run, or so it seems to me, is tough. And I don't mean 10x800 meters kind of tough or 20 mile run kind of tough, I mean panicking that I might not make it home because of stomach issues kind of tough, legs refusing to work and forcing me to walk kind of tough and struggling to get through a basic 4 mile run kind of tough.

I know that some of it is mental and I also know that running has its ups and downs. I think that since Musselman I have been craving an "up", more than a 5K PR kind of up. I haven't had that run where I felt like I was flying, floating, and didn't want it to end in a long time.  

I think what I am going through is normal. We all experience it, or at least most of us do. Most of us are not naturally gifted and have to work, at least somewhat, to get to where we want to be as runners, and that is one reason I love being a runner and triathlete. That isn't to say that I am a complete anomaly and I shouldn't be an athlete, but most of my "talent" has derived from hard work and dedication rather than the perfect combination of genetics.

Would I love running as much if it came easily to me? Probably not. The best way I can compare what I am going through right now is to compare it to my job as a sign language interpreter. There are days when I feel like I am the best interpreter in the world, somewhat of an overstatement but you know what I mean, and then there are other days when I feel like I don't even know what sign language is anymore. Those days that challenge me as an interpreter push me to get better and to grow, and the same can be said for running.

 A time when I felt like I was flying

Usually when we go through rough patches it is temporary and improvement is right around the corner.  I hope that this time of struggle and wondering if I am really cut out for this is a sign of good times to come.

I can say that I am happy that I can still run and I will always run for as long as I am able, even if it isn't as fast or as far as I would like at that moment.

19 comments:

  1. I have these moments, too! I think it's my body's way of telling me to take it easier and have more fun. You guys are always training so hard and racing so much--maybe your body wants a little break? Maybe leave the watch behind? Or skip some runs for a week or so? You won't lose any fitness, especially with all of the other training you guys do!

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    1. I did contemplate running without my watch, and the trail run was definitely one of the better runs lately! We'll be there next week :)

      And we are going to cut one of our runs shorter next week to get ready for our relay, which should hopefully help snap me out of this funk!

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  2. Usually for me I struggle right before a big break through... It's the part where you earn that break through... :-)

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  3. Running is definitely a sport that ebbs and flows. Whenever I'm going through a tough stretch, I remind myself the challenging runs make the easy, "runner's high" ones feel even better. I also find that if I force myself to run, then it feels harder and isn't as much fun; usually, taking a few days off does the trick!

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  4. I had a super hard time getting back into running after Sugarloaf - pushed through and now I'm injured and haven't run in over 2 weeks. When I get the go ahead - I'm coming back slowly!

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  5. It sounds like you are a little burned out which happens to all of us. This happened to me after my last marathon and it took me a little bit of time to get back into the swing of things. But, I consider it my body's way of telling me to slow down and enjoy it. It's wonderful to have goals of PRs, new distances, and new races, but sometimes the body just needs a break, too. :)

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  6. Completely natural and we all feel that way. I've been feeling that way for months...I finally stopped feeling guilty about it and things are going better!!

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  7. I agree I think it's just your body's way of saying it needs a little break!

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    1. Well that's not really going to happen haha, with marathon training and all. For now it will mean not focusing on the pace as much and eventually things will click again :)

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  8. I've definitely been there before! I can't say what changed, but it did go away at some point. You do have more races coming up, right? Get fired up to kick butt at them and I'm sure the running fire will come back stronger than ever!

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  9. I totally know what you mean!! Every once in awhile no matter how much I love my runs they just aren't going well. I keep focusing on the good and being glad to get out there, but they aren't those magical ahh this is why I do it runs. In fact that's been my last two weeks. I know it always turns a corner though, so fingers crossed that's soon!

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  10. i did a 70.3 a few weeks ago as well and i am so drained. it was my 4th 70.3 and it has kicked my butt. i have a 12.5k trail race on saturday and i have no idea how its going to go.

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  11. This happened to me as I was training for my Ironman earlier this year, although it started with getting sick and just went downhill from there. For me, I decided it was time to take a break and try something new, which seems to have worked tremendously. I'm only doing short runs again now, but LOVING THEM, as opposed to how things were going before. Good luck finding what works for you to get out of this slump!

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  12. I have the same little rough patches, too. I noticed I go through the same tantrum about the same point in my training each cycle. I'm just like, this is not fun, now what? I take a few days off, get my life in order and power through again.

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  13. I am so sorry Jamie. I hate those rough patches. I am hoping you come through it quickly and can enjoy running more.

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  14. It's funny, I've been looking at your runs on dailymile and thinking "Dang, she is running so fast all the time now!" So even though it may be challenging, you are doing amazing from an outsider perspective! Also, do you read twenty six and then some? She just posted about her ironman recovery and how it takes 2 months! I know a half is probably a little different, but it is still a HUGE thing. More than a marathon, more than anything else you've probably ever done. Remember if it were Mike struggling, you would be super positive and uplifting--treat yourself that way too! You would never get down on someone else for going through a challenging time, so make sure you give yourself the same amount of patience. You deserve it!!

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  15. Maybe you just needed some recovery time after your 70.3? :) You definitely will get through this rough patch. That's the beauty of running - it ebbs and flows!

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  16. I just found your blog and I am so glad I did. I just signed up for my first 1/2 ironman (it isn't until June 2014) but I am looking forward to connecting with more triathletes.

    Sorry to hear about the down time in your running... I've definitely been there before.

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  17. I saw the first comment suggest running without a watch. I do it from time to time and find it easier to have a zen kind of run that way. Even when I tell myself not to worry about the pace I still think about it in the back of my mind. I think it's just a huge transition from focusing on three sports to one. I even think sometimes how I will feel about it. I've come to love biking so so much that the thought of reducing it to increase running seems undesirable. I'm sure your running love and "ups" will come back soon!

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