Monday, July 18, 2011

The thrill is gone

Recap of the week:
Tuesday: 7 miles running in 59:30
Wednesday: 5 mile worth of repeats workout. (5 x 800 @ 7:15 per mile pace- with warmup /cooldown)
Thursday: 9.15 miles/ 35 minutes on cycle
Friday: rest
Saturday: 13 miles in 1:52.37 (1st 4 miles at 9:00, 2nd 4.5 at 8:40, 3rd 4.5 at 8:30- 8:00pace)
Sunday: 7 miles , 30 minutes cycling
My new orchid "Chomper 4" bought from the farmers market. Had to replace "Chomper 3" who traveled cross country with me from San Fran to Chicago and recently died due to bugs.

Its the most i've run in months, yet I am disappointed.

I ran by myself on saturday for the long run because psychologically, I am done training for the marathon. Ever since my calf blew up around May 28- after / during the soldier field 10, I have struggled to stay motivated. I have cycled more on the stationary bike than I ever would have imagined.And I created crazy treadmill workouts (like running a 9:30 pace for 2 minutes on a 6 incline, repeat 8 times, with a brisk 2 minute walk in between) because the incline would not bother whatever was wrong with my calf.

I ran by myself this weekend because I have been sick of telling the pacers and whomever else I was chatting with on the saturday long runs, that I would be cutting out to only do 5-6 miles instead of the 10+ miles that were scheduled. I needed to show myself that I could run 10+ miles without my calf exploding again.

The thrill is gone, because I no longer really care about races (Im sure this will change). I thoroughly enjoy reading all of your race recaps- they seriously inspire me,  but I am dreading the Rock n Roll Chicago half (in a month) the Chicago Half (in 2 months) and the Chicago Marathon in less than 3 months. To pay $$$ for an entry, to actually follow a plan to train for the event, and to put so much emotional/ physical time into the event many months into the future only to get sidelined by injury is beyond frustrating. I just want to run, to run again. I would love to just go out and run 10 miles for fun. Or do a speed workout to go fast and sweat a lot without the pressure of being healthy for a race. Maybe focusing on shorter distance races will help with this. I love running. It is my drug, my therapist...

I am disappointed. 

  • Because I paid $$$ to train with the Chicago Endurance Sports group and have made it to maybe 45-50% of the group runs in the past 9 weeks.
  • Because I got injured- out of my control I know. everything had been going so well up until then.
  • Because I could have been doing *more* during the last 6 weeks. More cycling, start swimming, more core exercises, push-ups, weight training...
  • Because I must abandon my time goal for the Chicago Marathon. It was lofty. But that goal is on hold until the next marathon.
  • Because I dont take CB for runs anymore for fear he will get killed by one of the douchebag cyclists on the lake front path. (not all are DB;s, but when they fly by going 25+ mph, its dangerous- combined with the clueless tourists and all the other runner/walkers, its just too crowded) I need to find an alternate place to take him.
I am optimistic:
  • Because  I am almost fully healed. There is some discomfort in the calf/shin, but i can run and the pain is very minimal to non-existent after a run.
  • Because I did the right thing. I MICE'd (movement, ice, compression, elevation) like a crazy person. "Yes, those are CEP compression sox on with my boots." Without the MICE, I would still be in a lot of pain- plus some massages didnt hurt (well at the time they did). And foam rolled, used the stick and the trigger point kit. All life savers.
  • Because I ran this weekend 13 miles in a time that was consistent with my PR half marathon of the "Hypothermia Half" (haha) Chicago Spring Half marathon. Apparently I am back to my pre injury fitness, or even better.
  • Because I can make delicious smoothies and my extreme aversion to pasta is slowly going away.
I am thankful:
  • For the support of my wonderful, wonderful who helps me through these "tough" times when I sound like a damn crazy person because im so bummed about my leg.
  • For you! The bloggy universe who give encouragement and thoughtful comments when I really needed it most. 
  • For my family and the CB dog who always listen to me rant about this crap. 
This week i am looking forward to:
  • Following the marathon schedule this week and going to all CES group runs- wednesday and saturday.
  •  maybe trying out running with another club on Tuesdays near my place.
  • Trying out Bikram Yoga at the studio very close to my place. They have a great special for the 1st month. I have never done yoga in a studio- usually I just use a DVD at home, so I think this could be really beneficial for staying healthy and a great cross training tool to help improve my fitness for running.
Cheers to a new week!


  1. I understand where you are coming from! Remember that it all must be fun so work to get that back and everything else will fall in place.

  2. Your run on Saturday sounds like it went perfect:
    Saturday: 13 miles in 1:52.37 (1st 4 miles at 9:00, 2nd 4.5 at 8:40, 3rd 4.5 at 8:30- 8:00pace)

    This sounds like you are in great shape right now.

    Sorry to hear that your calf injury is still lingering. Injuries are beyond frustrating. Though if you are able to run 13 miles at basically 8:30 pace I'm not sure if I would consider you fully injured as bad as you believe. I mean a marathon is meant as a long distance race.

    Is your calf strain agitated by speed work? Seems like you could just take out all of your speedwork from your training plan, and just do regular runs or long runs according to the training plan. Have you seen a doctor about your calf strain? I forget if you have or not.

    But regardless if you are healthy or injured or not, if your mind isn't into it, then you won't be motivated to run and train. I don't know, do you think you've done too many races? One reason I don't like to run that many races as compared to some people is that every race I do I go all out, and this is hard to take physically and mentally very often. I guess my view is that if you don't race that much then every race means a lot.

    Anyways, seems like you are at a crossroads, and I would just follow what you want to do, and don't force anything in terms of training for something that you really don't want to do.

  3. I am glad you were able to focus on the good stuff after venting out the bad. Running is a mental sport, and when you are down your body goes down with it. I hope you have good luck withe the new running club and that your calf can heal and let you keep pressing forward!

  4. It is okay to feel unmotivated right now. Girl you work hard and it is impossible to keep the mind focused on hitting a PR every race and being in the best shape while keeping your sanity. So it is great to release it and move on with life.

    Keep being optimistic! I don't think that your marathon goal is unreasonable and you have 3 months, that is a long time to make progress. So the road has been a little bumpy, but you are still in awesome shape and your fitness will continue to improve. Maybe you need some pressure free runs. No watch or plan, just running for enjoyment and relaxation. I have been in my own running valley this summer, and I'm confident that it will pass if I just stay positive.

    So keep your head up! I believe in you! You will get past this and your motivation will come back.

  5. Girl, you ran a ton this week, nice work!

    And great pace on your long run, I like how you started off and then picked up the pace as you went on. I don't much, but that seems like a good sign that your body was ready for it.

    I looove the lists. I'm a huge fan of lists, I need to do them more often. Great way to organize a number of thoughts.

    Since you paid for the half next month, you can always treat it as a nice supported long run :) But I have the feeling that you'll be in tip top shape by then. And if your mind isn't into it, no stress. Life will go on!

  6. I totally know how you feel. Sometimes racing can take the fun out of running. I'm glad you were able to end on a positive note.

    Maybe you should run the races without a time goal? Your goal could be to have fun and finish with a smile on your face?

  7. Hold on to that optimism. I know exactly how you feel, especially given the financial and emotional investment you made in an event. Injuries do heal, and enthusiasm for racing, for running and for all the good things in life will return. Embrace the transition into a stronger runner you will be, more seasoned in both mind and body.