A Fall and a Big Bump

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This isn’t exactly how I saw the first week of official training going. In fact, I was pretty excited about the work I put in last week and I was going to cap it off with a 15 miler. I started late after a lazy Sunday morning. The Man and I have been running the 2 miles to the lakefront together as a warmup before our own long runs. It makes the trip to the lake more fun. There’s a section of this street that I’m always careful on. I cross a small set of train tracks, being careful with my footsteps. And, after that, there’s this section of gnarly pavement. It’s been this bad as long as I’ve been running this section (which is about 1,500 times in the past 3 years). I wasn’t paying attention this time. I’ve run it so many times that my brain must have switched off.

My left toe clipped the ledge of this “sidewalk pothole” and, with 100% of my weight, I fell straight down on my right knee cap. Cue immediate pain and lots of tears. It hurt like hell and I was just sitting there howling. Manny said I bounced I fell so hard. And thank goodness he was with me. With all the adrenaline after falling, I thought the best thing to do was to loosen it up… by jogging slowly the 4 blocks back home. I had blood running down my leg and I couldn’t stop crying.

I spent the rest of the day being a big baby, icing my knee, and watching episode after episode of Orange Is the New Black. An hour after the fall, it was really swollen and I had a very, very limited range of motion. Bending it or straightening it didn’t feel good.

Two days later and some of the swelling has gone down. I can bend it very slowly (still painful and uncomfortable) and it feels better when I keep it loose. If I sit in one position for awhile, it gets cranky. A 4 hr flight on Monday was less than ideal.

So, what do I do now? I am traveling this entire week and won’t be home until late Friday night. If it’s still this painful, I’ll head to the doc. I’m encouraged by the fact that my range of motion has improved from Sunday-Monday. I’ve been icing it every couple of hours and taking Ibuprofen regularly. I can’t help but wonder if it’s something serious but I’ll take it day by day and see how I feel at the end of the week.

Note: I find it somewhat hilarious and ironic that a Chicago pothole has caused this fluke injury.

-J

The Beginning of a New Cycle – Monumental 2014

I’ve debated a bit about whether or not I want to post training updates this time around. This seems to be a normal part of a new cycle for me – do I want to share how my workouts are going, even (and especially) on the days when they’re not going well? Am I posting for myself? I’ve certainly had different answers to these questions in the past. And just as before, I’m a bit conflicted. For now, I’ll update when I feel like it. I like being able to look back on past training cycles. It helps put things in perspective, especially when you consider the training-LIFE balance that anyone training for a marathon has to deal with. I’m toying with the idea of posting monthly updates – surely, few people (if anyone) would read them but at least I’d be able to process what the heck is happening running-wise.

Thoughts? Do you read training updates or do you scroll them? What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of sharing?

So, the weekly update!

Last week was a transition week into my training for Monumental. I’ve been ramping up my mileage a bit in the past 6-7 weeks and I am happy that I was mentally ready to start a new cycle.

Monday: REST + taking care of those sniffles

Day 1 of training (although 16 weeks out was officially Monday, July 14) and I woke up feeling like absolute crap. I fought a cold/cough/sore throat over the holiday weekend but thought it had run its course. Turns out Monday was the worst of it and I spent half the day working in bed. I spent the rest of the day being lazy. But hey! I spent 30 full minutes foam rolling and using the roll recovery that night!

Tuesday: [8 easy with 8 x 20 sec surges (7:44 avg) - paced between 5:50-6:10 min/mile] 

After 10 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling human! I took plenty of meds and hydrated on Monday so I’m sure that helped a lot as well. The only time I had to run was during lunch so I ran 8 easy in a nearby park and ran straight to Potbelly for lunch. I took the long way there :). The surges felt great (turnover seems strong lately) and it was a good ‘light speed’ workout, considering the lingering congestion I was dealing with.

Wednesday: [10 miles easy (7:40 avg)]

Easy 10 on the lakefront this morning. It was a “cool” 72 degrees out, so it was pretty enjoyable. Seen on my run: Mr. Bean’s doppelgänger. I’m curious to see how these longer mid-week runs impact my training. Still a bit of lingering congestion, but much better than Monday!

Thursday: [Bastille Day 5k! 20:32 + 1.67 mi warm-up]

One word describes this race experience: woof. I jumped into a 5k just to see where my fitness is at before officially beginning the training cycle. I thought I could get to low 20s without blowing up. I’ve PR’d at this race the past two years and have liked racing it. This year, the congestion was terrible. The 8k starts 15 minutes before the 5k and they finish together on an out-and-back course. I was on target through 2-3k & felt pretty good – just starting to hurt but knew I could push for another 2k. After the 3k mark though, staying on pace was pretty much impossible. They didn’t put a race official at the turnaround to even let people know that a race was happening. There was plenty of traffic on the lakefront because it was such a beautiful evening. (The course is never blocked off but it’s never been a big problem in the past. In fact, I don’t even really remember any congestion last year.) This time around, there were cyclists on both sides and down the middle of the path – I was basically surrounded by bikes on both sides. And then, you run into the 8k runners that were running a much slower pace by the time the 5k runners were at the turnaround. There were more people running in the grass during a 5k than I’ve ever seen before and you could tell some people were frustrated. At that point, I literally had to stop and walk for a few seconds because it was so bad. Total of two stops probably totaled 15-20 seconds.

Soooooo yeah, it didn’t go well. But I guess it was a decent workout. I haven’t done any structured speedwork since before Boston so at least I know I have a little bit of pep in my legs these days. I doubt I’ll be able to squeeze in another 5k in the next few months, but damn I really want that sub 20 goal knocked down this year. I know I can run a sub-20. I ran 20:05 at the same race last year. It’s gotta happen!

The highlight was definitely hearing some familiar voices with 200 meters to go. Corey, Chanthana, and Manny were definitely the loudest spectators at the finish. We grabbed some burgers and beer after the race. NOMS!

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Pre-race optimism 

Splits: 3:52, 4:03, 4:07, 4:18 (darn traffic), 4:09
9th female
4/113 age group
32/861 overall

Friday: [5 easy + 5 x 8 sec hill sprints, (8:11 avg)]

My legs weren’t sore or tired from the 5k at all. Derp. It felt good to move at the end of the work day.

Saturday: [Long Run - 14 mi (7:52 avg)]

What a backwards Saturday. I woke up to a crazy downpour (think monsoon) at 6:30 AM and the rain didn’t stop until 11 AM. At that point, I was already preparing a late breakfast and debating delaying ’til tomorrow. After the rain cleared, Man and I headed out for our long run at 1 PM. Annnnnd it was sticky. And hotter than expected. If there wasn’t an annoying crosswind the entire time, I’m sure it would have felt much hotter. Ran easy 2 to the lake with Man and then ran 7:40-7:50 for the remaining 12. Stopped at plenty of water fountains and just took it mile by mile. Didn’t have much energy today despite 9-10 hrs sleep. Just happy to get it done and relax the rest of the weekend!

Sunday: [3 recovery (8:10 avg)]

Just a quick jaunt around the neighborhood in the evening. We drove down to 3 Floyd’s in the afternoon to pick up some friends that had biked the 35 miles there. We had a few beers and ate lunch – annnnd watched the World Cup on my iPhone. It turns out 3 Floyd’s has a policy against playing sports on their TVs (they always play movies?).

Totals: 

6 runs, 45 miles

Core x 2

1 “race”

& 1 cough/cold that went away! 

- J

Fall Training & Racing Plans

Fall racing plans are finally coming together. After a disappointing Boston race, I knew I wanted redemption in the fall (despite my best attempts at telling myself I would “only” train for a half marathon). I’m still chasing that sub-3:10 goal that I set for the year and I have a feeling I’ve found the perfect place to do it.

Today is Day 1 of training for…. the Monumental Marathon in Indy!

MonumentalMarathon

There are a lot of reasons why I think Indy is going to be a good race for me. I grew up in the Indy area and there’s a certain hometown advantage that I’m banking on. Having family members on the course will mean a lot and I am familiar with the streets (especially after pacing my friend through the first half last year). Plus, the perks of sleeping in a familiar bed and enjoying a home-cooked meal by my mom are pretty irresistible. Also, the weather tends to cooperate. It’s several weeks after the Chicago Marathon during the first weekend of November. I’m hoping for race conditions just like last year – cool and calm from start to finish. I like cool temps. :) Annnnnd, the course is flat. Helloooooo pancake-flat course! I think we’ll get along well.

I’m planning on racing a 5k and 10k as part of my training for Monumental. I hope I can make both races hurt and PR, but I’ll be happy with a solid effort. The focus is on the marathon. As of right now, I don’t think I’ll race a half marathon this cycle. I normally like to race a half as part of my training but I don’t want to squeeze too much racing into a 16-week cycle. The half can be a confidence boost especially when I really feel like I’m in shape, but I’m going to try to be patient and enjoy the process of training again.

So, 16 weeks to race day and today is the day that I woke up with a horrible summer cold. (cue: whining) A sore throat and a stuffy nose aren’t exactly ideal when your motivation to run is high. I think I’ll spend a few days blowing my nose and consuming Nyquil before doing any tough workouts. (I can only imagine how much snot would flow out of my nose if I attempted to do speedwork today.) Let’s hope this cold goes away soon!

… The excitement doesn’t stop there, folks!

Honolulu_Marathon

I’m helping my sister to train for her first maraton this fall with Saucony 26 Strong. Our original plan was to run the California International Marathon in December. We were really excited about it! And then!… Saucony asked each team if they were interested in switching their goal race to the…. Honolulu Marathon. (I feel like I’m kidding, but I’m not.)

We considered Honolulu a few months ago, but thought we’d go with a race that typically has cooler weather. I wanted to find ideal racing conditions, especially for her first. Welp! It didn’t take much convincing to switch to Honolulu considering several other teams will be there with us and we’ll have some fun pre- and post-race activities. My sister has been building up her base for almost 2 months now and her training will officially begin the first week of August. I think we’re both still in denial that her first marathon is going to be in Honolulu.

Between the two of us (and the Man running his first 26.2 at Chicago!), we have a lot of miles to run this summer! I think the rest of 2014 is going to be pretty fabulous. I think today may be the one and only time I register for two marathons within ten minutes — but don’t quote me on that.

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-J

City Slickers Gone Campin’

Last weekend, I….

  • Stayed up until 5 am talking and drinking around a campfire
  • Didn’t shower for 48 hours – and sweat profusely in that time
  • Ate a lot of s’mores and hot dogs
  • Drank more Bud Light & Coors than I care to admit
  • Slept in a tent on a sloped hill
  • Took a nap in a hammock (it was glorious)
  • Hung out with Jedi the Pug (Barklee Ann is jealous, I know…)

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Let’s just say camping was a huge success. It’s been years since I last went camping with my family. I honestly don’t even remember when the last camping trip was but it was likely in Michigan and I was probably in high school. Since then, my brother has been trying to get a camping trip planned. Finally, this year, I committed a weekend on my calendar to making the trip to Bloomington, IN. My brother is one of those people that has ALL of the gear that you could ever need for a weekend camping trip. He fogged the camping site for bugs before Manny and I arrived, brought us a tent to use (cuz hello, we don’t own one), bought the majority of our food along with the utensils needed to cook it, and let us use his air mattress pads so we didn’t have to sleep on rocks for two nights. It’s true camping but with all the things that I would forget if I planned it on my own (related: we didn’t even bring pillows or towels. That’s how unprepared I was and how prepared everyone else was.)

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When we planned the trip we didn’t realize that it was over the summer solstice. It must have been fate that we’d celebrate the beginning of the summer by doing something we did throughout my childhood. It’s always refreshing to get out of the city for a weekend but especially when it’s to get a big dose of fresh air (well except for our B.O.) and time with my family. I think I’ll be camping again sooner rather than later – I’m just going to make sure it’s not YEARS before we do it again.

Running has felt so much more enjoyable lately. I ran 30+ miles last week (baby steps!) and even managed my first real workout since before Boston. I surprised myself in that workout – just 4 x 3 min surges but I managed a faster pace than I thought I would. I had way more motivation to get out and run than I did a month ago. I am still having a hard time switching back to AM workouts and the humidity in Chicago has certainly been something to struggle with. But I still have a few more weeks of easy base mileage before I jump into any kind of real training schedule. Slowly, but surely I think I’m getting my legs (and my fire) back. I’m still working through the details of this fall, but I will definitely jump into a 5k and a 10k this summer to see where my fitness is at. I’m sure it will be slightly humbling but at least I’ll know what I need to work on. I’m starting to get more excited about training, especially now that I’ve taken 4 weeks to just run when I feel like it.

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More smiles lately! (and hey, I can touch my toes!)

Besides, the camping trip was more relaxing when I didn’t feel the need to squeeze a run in. :)

- J

 

True Recovery & A Focus on Strength-Training

A few weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to cut back on miles and focus on true recovery + a decent amount of strength training. And guess what? Since then, I’ve felt much, much better.

My legs felt dead, heavy, and sluggish. My form felt ‘wonky’ and it took a lot of self-talk to get through even the easiest of runs. I had little niggles that just didn’t seem to want to give up. I felt a twinge in my left quad (helloooo old injury) and my right calf wasn’t having much fun. (Note: I’ve experienced burnout. This didn’t feel like that. It just felt ‘blah’– and when running feels ‘blah’, you must learn to cool it. It’s possible that I recognized the symptoms of burnout before burnout actually happened. Hey, I’m learning!)

Week of May 19th: 4 runs, 30 miles (Soldier Field 10) including: 1 spin class + 1 ART session

Week of May 26: 4 runs, 15 miles including: 2 hours spin, core + leg + hip strength routines x 2, 1 Bodypump class

Week of June 2: 4 runs, 21 miles including: 2 hours spin, 1 hour vinyasa yoga, core + leg + hip strength routines x 1

I keep a paper training log (I know. Weird, right?). Four short weeks ago, I wrote this at the bottom of my weekly log: “I just want to enjoy running right now. Cutting back!”. It took me a few weeks to let go of a redemption dream after Boston. After busting my a** all winter and enduring some seriously horrible training conditions, I was more than eager to get to a 26.2 finish line in my goal time. But my body (and likely, my mind) was not ready for another 26.2 mile beating and it finally dawned on me that the rest of this year will be a success if I take it easy now. I am setting my sights on a fall marathon – and recovery and having fun right now is all part of that plan.

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My favorite place lately.

So, the week of May 26th, I got seriously about doing some strength training. And lemme tell ya, when you haven’t used your upper body in any other way than to pump during speed intervals, said upper body can go into complete shock after a single Bodypump class. I’m not kidding. I was pretty much sore from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday morning and I only loosened up after a Vinayasa class. Clearly, focusing on strength is a good idea before I really begin to commit to a training cycle again. I did two full strength workouts and 1 Bodypump class that week, which is approximately 2 more strength workouts than I do during a good (i.e. normal) week. Each run was 3-4 miles and I felt like I finished each one feeling like it was just right. I didn’t feel like running any longer. Motivation to run was lowwwww. (I can only imagine what this week had been like if I decided to get back to some serious mileage. Crash and burn comes to mind.)

2014-06-05 19.13.23No workouts = more exploring.

The next week was full of some more cross-training – 2 hours spin, 1 hour yoga, + another strength routine. Note: upper body fully recovered from Bodypump. I am LOVING spin class lately. I’ve officially found my favorite instructor yet. She’s “no nonsense”, tough, and plays great music. Another bonus is that she teaches a noon class on Friday which is relatively easy for me to get to. It’s my Friday treat. Plus, it’s the closest I’ve been able to come to a runner’s high – sunshine and rainbows after 1 hour on the bike lately! All of the running miles this week felt easier than the previous week (i.e. I didn’t feel like I was running through sand) and I was even able to “run long” on Sunday. I went for a 8.75 mile trot on Sunday. It felt so good to feel good again. And I couldn’t pass up a recovery run with Kristy who was in town for Marron’s wedding. I’m not sure if it was just the distraction of chatting with her, but I felt better than I have in weeks on that run. Plus, no run can go poorly when it’s followed by brunch with the gals.

2014-06-08 12.52.02-2CT, Liz, Leticia, me, Kristy, and Corey (they waited many cold months to wear those white pants!)

So, two weeks after making a conscious decision to cut the miles and add in some fun strength & cross-training, I’m feeling MUCH better. I haven’t taken note of a single mile split in the past two weeks – it’s refreshing to just run. I haven’t felt any painful twinges and my form feels stronger than it’s felt since before Boston. I doubt I’ll ever be the type of runner than can jump into one training cycle immediately after another. Taking the time to rest and recharge between cycles works for me. Besides, I’m beginning to become aware of my biceps and triceps! Who knew those muscles existed?!

Fall marathon plans to come!

- J

 

 

Saucony 26 Strong: A ‘Vet’ and A ‘Cadet’

I’m really excited to announce that I’m representing Saucony as part of their 26Strong program this year! On a frigid February morning, I received an email from Saucony asking me if I was interested in helping a first-time marathoner to the finish line of her first 26.2 this fall.

It seems that just when you make a fairly firm decision to take a season off marathon training, the universe conspires against you and presents you with a pretty cool opportunity! 

Saucony 26Strong

The program consists of 13 ‘vets’ and 13 ‘cadets’ from across the country. It’s a smaller group than Saucony had last year and it’s especially exciting for me to be a part of the team this year because it consists of all WOMEN! I’ve met a few of the other vets IRL (Jess, Dorothy, Michele, and Lora) and know a few through the Twittersphere – I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone a bit better!

When Saucony told me that I could personally select my ‘cadet’, I immediately sent an email to my sister, Brittany. It was a no brainer to reach out to her.

The email exchange went something like this:

Me: So ummmmm…do you want to train for your first marathon? I’ll run it with you!

BrittanyI would LOVE to do this but I don’t think I can commit to it until school is over. [Note: she's finishing her MBA while working full-time. No small potatoes.]

Me: We can do this! As long as you have a decent base, we can begin a full training cycle in August for a December marathon. No pressure…. But if you’re game, I am too! 

Brittany: When do you need to know by? (I knew I had her hooked!) 

Me: Next week?

….Followed up by a phone call a few shorts days later. I can’t remember the details exactly but I think I screamed in her ear something like:

“OH MY GOD ARE YOU SAYING YES?!”

and, after asking a few questions, she responded with something coy & calm like ,”I think I’m saying yes.”

Guys, she said yes.

The truth is that Brittany isn’t really a ‘cadet’ and I don’t quite feel like a marathon ‘vet’. Brittany is not new to running and my 4 marathons hardly make me a vet in my mind.

Brittany is more like a ‘vet‘ than a ‘cadet’, to be honest. She is two years older, approximately 6 inches taller, and has quite the athletic background. Brittany was one of just two girls in her high school graduating class to commit to 12 sports seasons within 4 years…..which means that she never had an off season in her entire high school career. I’m not sure how many people can say that but I think it’s pretty darn cool. She played basketball and ran track all 4 years, played soccer the first 2 years, and ran cross-country the last 2 years. I’m tired just thinking about it. Aren’t you? She’s badass, guys.

2014-05-30 07.31.30

Exhibit A: I stalked my own sister on the interwebs and stumbled on some of her track records from her junior year… (I was aware at the time that she was fast but I don’t think I was able to truly internalize how fast she was running until just recently.)

BrittPooreHSTrack

NBD right? Just a 64.30 personal record in the 400 m and some crazy fast relay times with some speedy ladies. [Brittany contests that "this was a decade ago!", but I know better. I'm convinced that her legs still have that speed in them and she's going to completely shock herself in training for an entirely new distance this year.] I was only behind her by two grades, but I was lightyears behind her when it came to athletic prowess. I remember Saturday afternoons when she’d collapse on the couch with a towel wrapped around her head just to nap for a couple of hours (either before or after a practice). I’m not sure I understood that level of exhaustion until I started to train for my first marathon. I remember the excitement of watching her run in the state track meet finals with my parents and twin sister, Lindsey. There was always a basketball game, soccer game, track meet, or cross country meet to go to. Thinking back on Brittany’s 4 years as a high school student athlete, I wonder how she just seemed to get it all done (see napping talent below).

Needless to say, Brittany is prepared for the challenge of running 26.2 miles in more ways than one. (Because, she’s like…really, really, really, good at napping. I’ll have to ask her to share some tips for napping like a pro with us all.)

She’s incredibly determined, hard working, and disciplined in everything that she does. A few weeks ago, our family attended her commencement ceremony to see her receive her MBA diploma. Afterward, we joked that it’s probably a good thing that she has a marathon to train for –otherwise, she wouldn’t know what to do with herself without the obligation of classes (along with a full-time job, duh). She’s always working toward a goal. And it’s one of the things I love about her most. She’s always made the time to commit to things that are important to her, whether they lead to accomplishing professional, academic, athletic, or big LIFE goals.

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It’s a big year for this woman! 

I’m really excited to help Brittany train for her first marathon. Although, in reality, I don’t think she will need much of my help. I’ll just be there to kick in her in the butt when she needs it.

Sooooo what marathon are we running, you ask? The California International Marathon on December 7, 2014! To those of you who’ve run it, tell us all your tidbits, stories, and tips!

 If you want to follow along…

Here we gooooooo!

-J

A Small “Aha” Moment

I’ve done a bit of thinking this week. I’ve realized a few things:

I’m not really that jazzed about running, training, or racing lately.

Running doesn’t really feel that great (but the fresh air does).

I have 7 weeks until a fall marathon cycle absolutely needs to start.

I really really enjoy a good spin class and reacquainting myself with some strength work is refreshing.

I’ve never been the kind of running that exclaims “oh my goodness, I LOVE LOVE LOVE running!”. I do love it, but I’m not bubbly about it. I truly enjoy the miles and the work that goes into training for a race. The process of training is rewarding because, as long as you work hard and stay disciplined, you almost come out of the cycle with the feeling like you could conquer the world, or at least run as fast as you possibly can to that darn finish line.

Last Saturday, I ran the Soldier Field 10-Miler. It was my first time running this race and, having no races on the horizon, I figured “why not?”. I’m definitely not in race shape and I didn’t really have an expectations going into it. I thought ‘yeah, maybe I’ll tempo a few miles and just see how I feel’. It turns out that’s exactly what I did. I felt fantastic in my runs the week beforehand, but still not strong. It was a beautiful morning, the Man was running it at a solid effort, and I figured I would earn the beer that we would drink at the beer fest afterward.

I was pretty excited to race. After dabbling in some marathon redemption ideas post-Boston (and realizing that my body was definitely not ready for that challenge just yet), I felt like racing anything would make me happy. I was excited to get to a start line. I haven’t run a true ‘workout’ since two weeks before Boston (ha, that feels like a long time). I started conservatively– the course is a bit crowded in the first 2 miles and, because you enter the dark stretch inside McCormick Place fairly soon in the race, there is a lot of jostling (probably because we were scared to face plant in a dark tunnel). My first mile was was 7:45. Once there, I felt like I could pick up the pace.

I settled into 6:50-7:00 pace (basically long tempo pace right now). I felt like I started to tick off the miles. Mile 2 at 6:59. Mile 3 at 6:49, Mile 4 at 6:48, Mile 5 at 6:47, and Mile 6 at 6:49. I felt like I was a running metronome for the first time in many weeks and it felt darn good. Near mile 4.5 (maybe closer to 5?), Manny and I passed each other. He was on Lakeshore Dr. and I was on the lakefront path headed back north to Soldier Field — out and back course. At this point, even though the pace felt decent, I didn’t feel the need to ‘race’ the remaining 4 miles. I was laboring a bit too much on my right calf and my form didn’t feel all that great. Clearly not in racing shape, people! Those little twinges can be serious if I don’t listen to them. The beauty of going into a fun race with absolutely no expectations is that you can do whatever you want – see where it goes. Once I reached mile 6, I decided to stop and wait for Manny. Yep, never done that before! He was excited to race and he’s really getting fit in advance of his Chicago Marathon cycle starting soon. He didn’t need my help but I figured he might want some company. He saw me on the side of the path and said “what the f&*% are you doing?” as he ran closer. I laughed and just told him to keep running, that I’d help pace him. He hated me for approximately 3 miles. (I always feel like if I don’t feel some sense of hatred for my own coach during a workout or race then I probably didn’t race hard enough. So, I’m considering this a success!)

We paced evenly to the finish and he ran toward the 50-yard line in flying airplane fashion. You know, for a badass race photo. Exhibit A:

AirplaneManny

Impressive, no?

Annnnd, after immediately collecting our things from gear check, we were one of the first to enjoy a Goose Island beer…at 8:45 AM on a Saturday.

2014-05-24 09.04.01Beerz. Sunshine. Running.

Last week, I thought I’d be ready to get back to some decent base mileage. I wanted to start putting in the work. But my legs haven’t really felt that fresh and I’m not mentally ready for a training cycle to begin. And, for once, I’m listening to that voice in the back of my head that says, “hey, Jenny, it’s not all about running!” I’ve been happier going to spin and yoga in the past few weeks than I have been running. If my body doesn’t want to run 50 miles a week, I’m not going to make it … at least not right now.

I read this quote today and it practically jumped off the page at me:

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I am choosing to be smart and happy for the next 6 weeks. I have the opportunity to be smart and I’m taking it. I’m not obligated to run high mileage weeks and it won’t get me anywhere right now. I keep reminding myself that it’s not all about the numbers and that taking a few weeks of relatively low mileage won’t hurt me. I’m excited to focus on getting (and most importantly, feeling stronger) so that I’m ready to run (and race) my heart out this fall.

Do you find it difficult to take time off? What prompts you to take a step back?

- J