This is the shortest weekly summary I have ever written as a runner:
Total for this week: 0 runs, 0 miles, 0 XT
Total for November: 6 runs, 40 miles
Today marks 56 days until the Chevron Houston Marathon (boy is that getting close!) so I am revising my numbering system to reflect the day I post rather than the week that has just passed – sorry if this confuses anyone, but it will make more sense as we draw closer to THE DAY.
This week continues my layoff from running, and in fact from nearly ALL training; I had been hoping that the break would give me some relief from the nagging ankle pain I have been experiencing – which is the whole reason I decided to stop training – but so far this has not been the case. It’s not debilitating pain, but it’s always there…which is not doing any good for my confidence level, as you might imagine. I believe that much of it stems from my work boots, so I will be experimenting with different insoles to see if I can find the proper cushioning and support. I have also not yet made an appointment with a sports-med doctor, but plan to once the financial wolves quit baying at the door; one good paycheck is hardly sufficient for that, but more are on the way, and we have worked out a payment schedule that gets us there soon enough.
I have tried to remain optimistic during this layoff, but after becoming accustomed to running, I find that not running absolutely sucks. I fill up the time doing stretches and strengthening exercises, and reading an endless amount of articles online, and trying to reconcile the goals I had set previously with the body I apparently have now…the process has been good for me, because I am forced to examine my motivations and expectations in the harsh light of reality. Here is some of what I have decided:
- I will continue running, at whatever level I can maintain, until and unless I physically can no longer do it – even if I manage no more than a brisk walk, I will be doing it!
- There is nothing wrong with having time-based goals, or the pursuit of new PR’s, but that is not the entire reason I run, it is only one aspect of it.
- I am not dropping down from the full marathon to the half, because that choice comes with more regret than I am willing to accept. This may be the only marathon I ever run, but I have not worked and planned this long to lose hope now.
- That being said, I am no longer committed to a sub-4:00:00 race…finishing 26.2 miles under my own power, doing the best I can, will be enough.
- Ditto the sub-25 5K…some day that may happen, but if achieving it on the day before CHM compromises the marathon, it’s not worth it. I will run both races, and get my triple medals, and be satisfied with that.
My other 2014 goals – Half-Fanatic and Spartan Trifecta – remain unchanged; in fact I have received some great news about one of these! I have been talking with the people over at Inov-8, and they have agreed to sponsor me for at least one, possibly all three, of the Texas Spartan races this year – I will be the Masked Mudder this May 17-18, at the Spartan Super; the Sprint is tentatively scheduled for the following weekend (!); and then the Beast is in December. Inov-8 had offered to sponsor me for this year’s Beast, which is coming up in a few weeks, but when I explained that a 12-mile obstacle race was not a part of my marathon training plan, they agreed to defer until next year 🙂 As a bonus, I will be receiving a pair of Inov-8 Mudclaw 300 trail shoes in the very near future – I will be reviewing those once I get some miles on them; I know these are not a “new” shoe, and there are plenty of other reviews online, but they will be new to me, and maybe some of you, Constant Readers, would be curious to hear my opinions.
To make sure I get some muddy miles, I took a leap and signed up for my first ever trail race, two weeks from now: a local event sponsored by the Houston Area Trail Runners (which I just joined), the Ho Chi Minh 6-Hour Race – beginning at 6am, run as many laps as you can on a marked 5-mile course through the hike-and-bike trails of Houston’s Memorial Park (known locally as the Ho Chi Minh trails, hence the name) within a six hour time limit, with prizes for most laps and fastest lap. (I won’t be winning any prizes, I’m going for the experience.) I ran these trails a few times back in the spring, and they vary in difficulty from fairly easy to fairly challenging; add in the cold weather and frequent rains we’ve been having, and this should be…interesting! Plus I get to make friends with another group of local runners, and that is always a bonus.
I will be starting back to serious running right after Thanksgiving…I plan to eat enough to NEED some running afterwards 🙂 Between now and then, I will be hitting the gym to log some hours on the elliptical and weight machines – finally putting the cross-training plan into motion! I have been researching CrossFit boxes, and once we get some of the financial issues around here under control, I will be signing up for the Intro and Basic courses, to get my foot in the door; we will see how it goes after that. I think that I may be seeing the light at the end of this (brief) tunnel, and I am pleased that it does not come with the sound of an oncoming train!
See you next week, good running to all, and have a Happy Thanksgiving, whatever your plans may involve!