In the past I always thought of myself as a runner then I began to think of myself as a triathlete but I like to think of myself as a runner but actually I just pretend to be one. AND lately that pretending has been a struggle. Running use to be effortless for me and most work outs always felt easy and doable. The run and I have not been friends lately, in fact it has made me down and out grouchy. I really would like to start seeing some improvement in my fitness so during a longer run the other day I began to contemplate why I was having so much trouble?
The first reason and the one that seems so easy to blame is I am carrying 2-3 lbs more than I normally do during running season. I know this seems like nothing but when you are my size, this can be a lot. When I am weighing lighter, I just feel effortless. Not so much lately. I thought about what I needed to do to drop these pounds and feel like my eating is fine it actually has to do with my alcohol consumption. I really shouldn't drink wine every night and then some nights If Stewart and I are out, I may throw in a couple of cocktails. I definitely am not getting any younger and these drinks are adding up. I decided to only drink on the weekends and I think that decision held until about 6:00 on a Monday night.
The second reason that popped in my head was that I have not been using my inhaler. This drives Stewart crazy as I am a huge self medicator and am always playing doctor. I decided a while back that I was tired of the inhaler and just was not using it. Well lungs need air to breathe and even more so my muscles need oxygen to work. I have since started using the inhaler again on a daily basis. I love playing doctor, I convinced Stewart to quit taking his cholesterol medicine. He goes for a physical next week and I am sure his doctor is going to agree with my decision. :)
The third reason is most of my runs are done with Stewart and they are never easy. I think I began to get grouchy because I know I am never going to get to go out and run a 9 minute pace at a leisurely stroll no matter how tired my legs are and my legs are tired. Some days I just want to run easy but then I just run by myself for the WHOLE run rather than HALF the run. Then I get grouchy if Stewart stays back with me because I definitely do not want to effect his training. The other day we ran 16 miles and I saw him the first mile. With about 4 miles left, he stopped to ask if I was going to be ok to finish my run because he was running on... not sure what he had been doing the rest of the run. In fact some days we start together and then we just run in totally different directions and meet back at the car.
Fourth - I want it to feel easy - just for a couple of runs. I just need that motivation that I am making progress. I had a treadmill run the other day of 7 miles with 5 at my half marathon pace and it was so hard. I kept trying to figure out how I was going to run 13.1 at this pace as I was struggling with 5! I am hoping it was the treadmill that was mentally draining. I do have some bright moments when I surprised myself on my mile repeats (they could be faster) or when I finished my last mile up hill of my longer run at a 7:50 pace but those moments are few and far between.
Fifth - my legs are tired. I love 9 rounds and think it is making my legs stronger but it also leaves them tired and sore every time I go. I hope when I back off and then taper for one of my upcoming halves, I will gain some benefit. Right now they just are tired.
Sixth - I need speedwork and I miss the track. I just am having a hard time getting there between kids and coaching. Fortunately coaching is over soon and I now have another driver in the house who on most days I can convince to taxi some kids around.
Seventh - I need to race to see my progress but then I also need to rest. I have two half marathons planned but then I am back to taking a break and adding back in some biking etc to refuel and be ready for the training for Boston Marathon and if the mood strikes next weekend I will be signing up for Ironman Chattanooga 2015
Eight - I am getting older - accept it and most importantly I should be happy to be out there physical able to do something I love! On days when I am up in Mont Eagle or the trails and it is just so beautiful, I know it really doesn't matter if I ever run close to my half PR again. It is just a beautiful day and I have a life full of many wonderful things. My life is complete and crazy and fabulous. I have a Great Husband, let me repeat that a Great husband, super kids who are growing up to be great adults who still leave me little love notes around the house and tell me they love me on a daily basis multiple times in front of friends etc., great stepchildren who are such fun to be around and we are becoming such good friends and a life full of adventure... .
But a few mile repeats in the mid 6's wouldn't be so bad either..... hell maybe even one mile in the 6:xx's....