Thoughts About Running Lately, Guest Post and Weekly Summary

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First off – thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes. We had a great day of relaxing with coffee, kayaking for several hours on Keuka Lake, then eating at a restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the lake (Snug Harbor in case anyone cares).

Guest Post

On Friday I had a guest post over at Life Between the Miles, talking about being a runner in a non-running family from both sides of the equation. Thanks to Sara for letting me ramble on her blog as well as here! I hope that her and her family are having a wonderful vacation!

Thoughts on Running Lately

There have been so many great posts about training, motivation, and so on lately, and I always feel a bit weird reading those because I am often not sure how I feel or what to say. This Sunday was one of the races I had planned on running at the beginning of the year – the Catharine Valley Trail Half Marathon.

But I am not racing it – and have absolutely no regrets. Why? In terms of non-running reasons, this is our anniversary weekend and we thought we might do a getaway, then there was the possibility of a college visit, so as we went back and forth with what would happen, I realized I didn’t want to be worried about a race over our anniversary, so mentally I pretty much crossed it off the list.

The moment I really knew it was gone was on Saturday when I had the chance to go for a run after Lisa headed to work and the kids were at marching band – and I went for a super-long run. That type of thing pretty much ensures I will be exhausted in general and my legs will be toast in the morning. I didn’t taper, didn’t ramp my fueling, and in general did nothing to prepare for a race.

1. It is Possible I Will Finish 2014 Race-Free … And That’s OK

This was a question I asked myself a bunch this week – as of August 1st there were three races I was thinking about: Catharing Valley, Can 50 Ultra and the Red Baron Half. A charity race next weekend popped up that I might do, but as of right now I am wait-listed on the Ultra and not signed up for anything.

The question? Do I care? And the answer? No. There are other years, other races, other times. Right now I have enough stuff going on that it just doesn’t easily fit in doing races. As I have said, you have to budget AT LEAST 4X the time impact for a race as for a run of the same distance … and often you lose the whole day.

2. I am Not Searching for Motivation

Last week was ‘keeping motivated week’ in the blog work, or so it seems. I wrote a post about it, and so did many other people. For many, they are struggling with motivation as they are working through their training plans – or they are struggling getting up in the morning, or getting in their runs due to weather, or just in some way having a rough time of things.

As for me, I came back after a whirlwind few day college tour, then headed out the next day and ran nearly 19 miles. For fun. You know what they say about messing with people who do this stuff for fun! haha

3. Races / PR / etc Don’t Motivate Me

I can’t say that I don’t LOVE going to races, that getting PRs or just doing well for myself aren’t all great – but they are NOT why I wake up at 4AM and go running every day. I mean, I ask myself the basic question – if I would never PR again, or if I could never run another race … would it impact getting up and running?

My easy answer is no. I would still get up and go every day, would still try to improve, and would still love running. For me, racing and everything associated with it is just ‘stuff’ – and is totally unnecessary … but fun.

4. I Don’t Care About Training Plans

After botching my first half-marathon two years ago, I took advantage of the six weeks I had before my first marathon to do things better. The same is true for my 2013 races – I would build volume, do some speed work, then taper off.

This year? I have set a pretty solid volume, done my ‘runs with purpose’ each week, and tried to hit on most of the things needed to work at my strengths and weaknesses, while still filling most weeks with easy runs. I know I need more track work, and hope to get more in before school starts up again in a few weeks.

But in general I don’t sweat training plans – I know that could limit me in some ways … but as I say, it really isn’t something I care all that much about.

5. I Just Freaking Love Running

This is the bottom line – everything else is secondary to just my pure love of running. Lisa was commenting before she left for work today, saying ‘head out for a nice long run, you could use it’ – she totally GETS me. And when she came home and we had dinner together, she knew I had a great one because I was totally chill. I loved getting out, pounding the pavement, running new places, battling exhaustion as I passed what would normally be ‘the wall’ in a marathon, and just having a great time.

Running and I have a long history – I started more than 25 years ago, while I have never had the passion or drive that I do now, and certainly never put in the hours and miles I do, it is something that has been with me – never out of obligation, always out of my own personal desire.

My Running Summary

After coming back from our crazy tour of Providence and Boston, we were all exhausted and all of us felt a bit under the weather during the week, with Chris getting sick for real for most of the week. I took Tuesday off because I was feeling run-down, and then felt pretty good the rest of the week. But for whatever reason, I was still full-on motivated to get out and kill my runs and felt better every day for doing them – but paid in exhaustion at the end of each day! How did I do? Let’s take a look:

Sunday: 18.79 miles
Monday: 9.75 miles
Tuesday: Rest Day (sickness prevention!)
Wednesday: 10.5 miles
Thursday: 10.1 miles
Friday: Anniversary – about 3.5 hours of rowing on a kayak!
Saturday 23.43 miles on a flat course

Um … yeah. So I clocked 72.57 miles this week. Highest volume in a while – and I guess based on this it makes sense that our kayaking against the wind felt like just another workout. Lisa gave me crap, talking about my planks and so on. And I guess it is true – I am benefiting from the non-running work I have been doing (thanks Megan for the challenge!)

How do YOU feel about races compared to just running? How was YOUR week?