July 4, 2018. I didn’t feel fast, after mile four I actually felt like throwing in the towel. My breathing shallowed, my quads were on fire, and the finish felt so far away. Never imagining what lie on the other side of that finish line. A top 30 finish in the largest 10K in the country, less than one minute away from being considered “elite”, and the impending weight of massive expectation.
July 14, 2018. A last minute 5K in support of an incredible organization: Back on My Feet. At 2.8 Kada collapsed on the ground, unable to move her legs, the pleading of help in her brown eyes. The fear sinking deep to the pit of my stomach that I might lose my pup (I didn’t).
Not a word that is unfamiliar, but one that has been largely tied to the physical aspects of running, but in this past season there was a different type of recovery that had to be done. Mental. The Peachtree Road Race left me numb and unmotivated because the pressure that I allowed to mount was unbearable for someone who was still on the tail end of the greatest mental, physical, and emotional battle of my life to date.
So the races stopped, the high mileage felt far too daunting, and it scared me to feel stuck in the unknown. There were a few races that I was able to help pace and push-assist and support over this season, but I was never myself, and the community helped keep me going in whatever form that took. My friends and training buddies were with me in whatever way they needed to be and it really was key in keeping me in the game. So I looked at 2019 with open eyes, not really knowing where I was headed, but knowing that I still loved this sport I had found a home and community in.
Now in the remaining few days of January, new wind has blown in my sails, and that smile has crept back onto my face. During December I had to learn to let myself back off without guilt, something I resisted for the first 5 months of this journey. Guilt of letting people down, and even more pressing, letting myself down and not stewarding the gift I had been given had begun to become a banner, and it just couldn’t. So I picked up more cross and weight training and stuck to under 5 miles not sure if that would actually help where I was other than maintaining a base layer of fitness, but I finally learned to be okay with sitting there for whatever amount of time it took. I also found that my people cheered me on regardless. AND THEN in the past two weeks that spark has started to reignite, the excitement for runs has increased, the training runs with my people no matter the weather seem more enjoyable than feeling like a job. However, it’s listening taking the time to listen to where I am mentally and physically every single day that sets the tone.
So, now as I get excited for what’s in store here is a little bit of my training schedule and where I am headed the first part of this year with a smile on my face:
Mon – Cross-training/3 mile shakeout
Tues – 10K: 10 minute warm up, 5 minute progression, 30 minute intervals
Wed – Mobility and Yoga
Thurs – 5-7 mile tempo run
Fri – Mobility, light body-weight circuit, shake out (sometimes just an easy run, sometime striders).
Sat – 10-14 miles steady pace.
And this week we get the bonus of having back to back 5Ks in the mix! Feel free to hop in!
Fri – Super Bowl VII 5K – medium-quick tempo
Sat – Hearts & Soles 5K – quick-sprint tempo
On The Horizon:
Well besides the two aforementioned 5Ks to work on speed, here are a few things that are slated for 2019:
- Road to Gold Test Event (March) – 8.2 miles on the Olympic Marathon Trial Qualifying course
- Publix Half Marathon (March) – Pacing with my girl A @ 1:45
- Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon (April) – This will be my first trained for half in over a year!
- Peachtree Road Race (July) – The 50th anniversary and excited to see what I can do this year, without feeling the weight of expectation
If you have any questions, or want some race or training recommendations please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org ! I would also love to put my nutrition certification to work so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thanks for reading friends,