Almost a former blogger

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

An appreciation for Global Running Day, finally

For the past several Junes, I’ve brushed off Global Running Day (some people call it National Running Day… whatever) as just another one of those days that’s stupid and made up.

This year, though, I’m thankful and grateful for this sport and have found today to be a day to reflect on the positive.

So …

  • I’ve had a really good stretch of running for the past 6 months. That includes the marathon and several other “longest since” milestones

  • I’m 10 pounds lighter right now that mid-April. That alone makes running SO MUCH BETTER. I’m much more comfortable in my own body, although I’ve got another 10 pounds to go.

  • I like going to the track again. I’ve got so much I need to discuss with this.

  • My goals feel realistic. The Richmond Marathon doesn’t seem daunting. Doing the Blue Ridge Marathon next year with a goal of being an hour faster seems right.

  • I like talking about shoes again.

  • I like having shoes in my closet that are awaiting runs.

  • I’m finding new meanings in old song lyrics when I listen to music when I run.

  • I think about what I want to do next in my career when I run, thus making things in my life make more sense.

  • I feel like running more when the runs are over.

  • I like cross training and the benefits it brings to my running.

  • I can finally say I love running again …

New goal: Keep doing this

I haven’t blogged in a month - that’s usually a bad thing, but in the case of the past several weeks, it’s actually not.

May was a weird month. The lack of blogging comes after a month in which I was really focused on a race, what was next and numerous other thoughts.

I needed a break from all that though and turned my focus to a few other things to help me out long term.

With a day left in the month, I’ll actually pass how much I ran in April, but I will fall short of my overall mileage goal. That goal changed quickly early in the month as I realized that my mileage total was not important.

I instead focused on three other things:

1. THE TRACK
When I say that I got back on track in May, I mean that both literally and figuratively. I made it to the track four straight weeks for a wide variety of interval workouts.

It was: awesome, awful, dreadful, exciting, weird, eye-opening, motivating … you get the picture here. It was a whole lot of things.

My main goal right now: keep doing this. Get to 6 weeks of a wide variety before switching over to “marathon training mode.” Some Yasso 800s will come after that as I figure out my running schedule this summer.

2. WEIGHTS
I was so on track with lifting weights at least a couple of times a week for a long time. Then early this spring I allowed myself to slip into the mind frame that running was enough for me. What a horrible way of thinking.

In May, I set a goal to get to the gym twice a week to start lifting weights. That was oddly easy, and now it feels normal again.

My main goal right now: keep doing this. It’s as simple as that really

3. NUTRITION
Not going to lie … I gained weight at the end of the winter and into early spring. I looked awful in my Blue Ridge Marathon photos. I don’t want to look like that next year.

I did a cleanse at the end of April and early May and, so far, have stuck well to the eating plan that was a part of that.

My main goal right now: Yup … keep doing this. I’ve let myself have a few moments of indulging, but I have been following that up with 2-3 days of really clean eating. I’ve got to continue this re-learning of it being OK to do that and to not let a bad day or two turn back into a habit.

With these changes, which really haven’t felt all that drastic, I’ve lost 9 pounds. Now I’m creeping closer to my “wedding weight,” and I’d love to get there by my 15th anniversary in July. The only thing stopping me is … me.

So now it’s on to June with a lot of “keep doing this” goals. I’ll adjust as I go along during the month before marathon training becomes important again, but for now, there’s no reason to change anything.

A new beginning

I have hinted several times recently that over the past few years I have written a lot of blog posts or started them, but for a variety of reasons they were never published. 

One of those types of posts was about planning for races and turning things around. Kind of along the lines of being "ready" to put all these little pieces together to get to a fully content state of my overall fitness. 

Well, the time has come for me to type these thoughts out and see what happens. 

This past weekend's Blue Ridge Marathon was something that I've been seeking since early 2018. CLOSURE

A year of injury-free running and doing a couple of races wasn’t enough for me.

Completing that race, no matter how awesome or awful it felt at times, was truly THE END of talking about a horrible period of running for me and THE BEGINNING of a new chapter. 

Of course I know that at any time on any run, something could happen, but I can't have that worry on my mind any more. 

It's beyond time to move forward and make a year-long plan so that I can return to the Blue Ridge Marathon with the intention to knock off at least an hour of my time. 

2020 can't be about "just finishing" ... it's about making sure that it's part of this process that I started this year and in the 26.2 miles on Saturday.

The other things …

Right now I'm in the process of that plan so that I'm not focused on just running. Up until the past month or so, I was pretty consistent about going to the gym and lifting weights a couple of times a week, along with some other cross training. 

All too often running becomes the only thing I focus on and I just didn't go that much in the last 1/3 of my training.  Over the next few months, while I plan on still running quite often, I've got to get back to the gym. 

The running …

I'm not going to say I'm not going to do any races, but through the end of June, that's not my focus. I want to get back to the track several times and focus on my form. 

Some of the early pictures from Saturday remind me of what I looked like a few years ago -- it looks a bit sloppy. I'm extending my legs too far out in front of me. It looks like I'm ready to fall apart. 

While I don't feel like my running is sloppy, I know that being content with running longer and slower distances are the perfect recipe for bad form taking shape. 

If I end up doing a race, so what?

The eating of all the things …

Then there's my nutrition. The problem child, forever and always.

If I get that right, everything else will be perfect. If I get partially right, things will be better. If I get it all wrong for the next 11 months, I'll continue to do a lot of walking in next year's Blue Ridge Marathon. 

The next steps …

Most of these things are just the start of my plan. Where I go after a few runs on the track is something yet to be decided. 

Do I want to get faster and run a 5K again for the first time in four years? Should I run a half marathon or two in the second half of the year? 

All questions I'll figure out as I move forward. The excitement of even thinking about this makes it hard not to sign up for a race or two right away. 

For now, my next step is, quite literally, a few steps with a running motion a couple of mornings this week for my first post-marathon miles. 

Then we'll see what happens ...