The fall season that wasn’t
“Have you ever felt frustrated with running?”
The writer interviewing me for a local publication was surprised when I answered a resounding “yes.”
“Let me introduce you to the fall of 2018,” I said.
This is the season that wasn’t. It’s nothing tragic, I’m not heartbroken, and really, it’s not even an interesting story. If I had a good (well, bad, in this case) story to tell, I probably would’ve posted it already.
My plan was to run the Monumental Marathon again. It’s a great race, a great course, great weather, my coach is there, we go every year. It’s my PR course, I get elite perks — everything about it is great.
Except … I was never excited about it. Normally leading up to a marathon I have a routine — I read Once a Runner and How Bad Do You Want It. I write verbose training logs and race reports. I visualize my races. I run a lot.
It’s hard for me to say if my life got in the way of training, or if I let life get in the way because I wasn’t motivated. Likely both. My big training months should’ve been August, September and October. I had a major work event each of those months, put in 60 hour weeks, my boss had surgery and was out for several weeks, and my colleague who works most of my client accounts left for a new gig. Running seemed like another thing I had to do, and I just couldn’t. I missed some runs. I felt tired all the time. Bone-crushingly tired.
There were glimmers, though. Good workouts. A 20 miler at 7:30 pace. A 70-mile week. But then I’d crash out and need a 50 mile week with days off to recover. Every race I ran was disappointing, including the time I got out-kicked at the line by a 12-year-old. In late September, I headed up with a friend to Indianapolis for the Indy Women’s Half, one of my favorite races and I place where I had a competitive breakthrough a couple of years ago. This year, I tanked. My friend and I started off together and I watched her glide away as she picked up the pace halfway through the race. I fell apart. I got passed (by several teammates who went on to PR and I am SO happy for them). A couple of days later I emailed coach and asked for confirmation I could actually run a marathon in four weeks.
He sent me for blood work and pulled my mileage down. After some consideration, I decided to drop to the half at Monumental and see if everything would come together. I made tentative plans to race St. Jude Memphis Marathon Dec. 1 instead, if things were going well.Surprise, they didn’t. I ran almost the exact same time at Monumental as I did at Indy Women’s (albeit a much better paced race). I didn’t feel excited for Memphis.
I did, however, feel excited about some trail races in November (report coming soon) and December (Otter Creek).
Instead of peaking for a marathon, coach put me on a recovery block as if I had just run one. (November monthly report also coming soon with those details.) We made a plan for 2019 (also, coming soon!) that I’m excited for, and talked about some strategies for better work/life balance in the spring.
And that, my friends, is why I haven’t posted in forever. There simply hasn’t been much to say and I haven’t been motivated to find something.
But I’m back.