A New Challenge

I’ve been struggling with one fussy left hip the past few weeks. I can feel it ache when I lay on my left side in bed, it’s vocal during portions of easy runs, and it, in general, feels like it needs some TLC. Like most runners, I don’t like to rest. I feel like that’s all I’ve done since the Twin Cities Marathon over two months ago. My mileage is somewhat laughable and enormously inconsistent. All I want to do right now is jump into a solid training cycle and challenge myself again. My heart says yes but (right now), my body is saying no.

So, this week. I am going to NOT run. I am going to cross train and strengthen. I went to a 90 minute vinyasa yoga class during lunch today and felt incredibly challenged. Lunges that I did two days ago are still locking up my quads and there are definitely muscles that needs to lengthened and strengthened. I feel like I’m going to go stir crazy, break down, and hop on the treadmill for “just a few miles”. I don’t want to. I want my hip to be kind to me and stop bumming me out.

I foam rolled and stretched right when I woke up this morning. Foam rolling the area seems to help for a bit, but then the muscles lock up again (I sincerely hope this is a muscular issue, as opposed to a skeletal one). I’m more conscious about how I sit when I’m working. I’m hoping this is something that a deep, sports massage can take care of.

Ok, I lied. I might go for a birthday run this weekend. But it definitely won’t be the 12-13 I was hoping to log.

Self-imposed challenge accepted.

Here We Go Again!

Today marks the first day of a 15-week marathon training plan toward Twin Cities on October 6th. It will be my 2nd marathon. I’m going to force my head to sit straight on my shoulders and do the following starting today:

I’ve been playing games with myself since Memorial Day weekend when I didn’t run the race I was hoping to run at Bayshore. I missed my goal by 1:16. It was the first half marathon since last April that I didn’t run a personal record. I knew this day would come. Before each half marathon, I’d ask myself (and others), “what’s going to happen if I don’t run a personal record this time?” and “how am I going to feel?”.  Yes, I assumed I’d be disappointed and that the first post-race beer wouldn’t taste quite the same if I failed. Bottom line: I knew that I’d get down on myself despite knowing that every race is a different beast to conquer and you never really know how the race will turn out despite a consistent training plan and whole heck of a lot of determination.

These past few weeks, I threw an internal temper tantrum and the only person it affected was me. I was bummed. I ran but I wasn’t happy about it. I went through the motions but didn’t enjoy the miles. I rarely experienced a “runners high” and my disappointment carried over into my work. Easy runs seemed really difficult because of my bad attitude. I found reasons to be unhappy about other things because running wasn’t giving me the kick I needed anymore. I’ve learned a lot about myself since running Bayshore.

I know this post probably sounds dramatic. So what if I missed my goal by a minute?! I still ran a great race! Jenny (Version 2010) would have smacked me in the face for not celebrating my accomplishment. But we all go through these highs and lows. It was just the first time that I experienced a “low” that caused my motivation to waver. I allowed my disappointment to get the best of me, but  I always know that I’ll get myself out of the funky part of not performing well. I’m hardwired to get back into action and stop pitying myself.

It just took time and a pep talk to make sure I’m ready and willing to have fun again. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ll run my first speed session of the training cycle tonight and see what my legs (and heart) are made of. I’ll push myself because I know that I can. And I’ll celebrate those small victories because they are what make the big ones possible. I can be an extremely impatient person, but running makes me patient. I’m going to “exhale ‘can’t, inhale ‘can’, and LACE UP” because I’m happier when I do.

When was the last time you were in a funk? How did you get out of it?

-J