I’ve been slacking on tracking my half-marathon training progress, mostly due to being crazy busy with work, grad school, and mothering. My last two long runs (over a week ago), I ran 7 miles – a HUGE accomplishment for me. I struggled through that seventh mile, and my pace slowed way down, but I made it. I felt so confident about my progress during those runs. Then, the flu hit. For two days, I was completely out of commission. Then, Pittsburgh winter reared its ugly head. It’s been snowing off an on like crazy for about two weeks. One week, we had single digit temperatures with well-below zero wind chills.
But, I have had running on the brain. I had a dream last night that I was running a race. I got a bit lost at the starting line and was in the port-o-potty when the starting gun went off (this actually happened to me at a race in December, but I was able to jump into the pack in no time and run a good race), and it turned into a muddy climb up a mountain. Towards the end of this fictional race, I came towards the finish line and saw my family there, cheering me on (something that has never happened! They need to work on that…) with signs and everything! I was so excited and pushed up my pace to try to PR, only to be thwarted by my overly-enthusiastic mom. She came running out into the road, pulling me into a full, pace-crushing hug, exclaiming how proud of me she was. I was so, so angry with her, shrugging her off and trying to make up for lost time and cross the finish line. My husband stood by her, scolding her on race etiquette.
What this bizarre (and freakishly real-seeming) dream has taught me? I’m not running enough. I need to make running a priority and find time to fit it in, regardless of the weather, job, and home life. I can bundle up, get up earlier, stay up later. Something’s got to give!
I do have a treadmill, but I have a sort of love/hate (mostly HATE) relationship with it these days. But in my desperation to get back on the running wagon, I’ve found a way to use the dreadmill and not want to claw my eyes out from sheer boredom – interval training. I’d never tried it before, but I got desperate yesterday and hopped on for 25 minutes of sheer craziness. I like that every minute or so, pace changed. It kept me focused and engaged, and feeling a little less like a lazy slacker. I’ve realized I might want to hold off on selling that treadmill for a little while longer.
I also tried to mix in some cross training work, which those in the know say is crucial to strong running. I am clearly NOT in the know, because I did a bootcamp work out for my core and arms, and I pretty much can’t move. My abs feel ok, but dang – I did it two days ago, and my shoulders and arms are still feeling the burn. I guess that’s a good thing, though, right? The realization here? I am old. And out of shape.
I have high hopes that I will snap out of this winter funk and be able to make time for running more consistently. Since we had a regular heatwave today – 32 degrees and no snow! – I went back outdoors for a run after school today. I only did 3 miles, but I felt like I was re-establishing my routine, and that, I realize, feels damn good.