Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Plan B

Things have been a little rough around here with my CIM training.  Not physically – the runs have been going great and I’ve been hitting terrific speeds.  But the mental side of training has been harder than I was prepared for.  I was super excited to get started on all of that speedworky goodness, but now?  It’s starting to make me feel like I’m losing my mind a little anxious.  Pressured.  Lacking.  Doubtful.  Exhausted. Other negative emotions that shouldn’t be associated with running.  I hit the breaking point last week when, a mere mile into what was supposed to be a 16-mile trail run with UltraIronHubs, I launched into 4 minutes of nearly-hysterical sobbing for no good reason (well, there were a few reasons, but none of them should have stopped me in my tracks like that).  We cut the run down to six miles and I pretended like it was a recovery week and tried to figure out what was up with my nuttiness.

Oh, and funny story about my mental breakdown:  I was running in front of UIH on the trail and was trying to tell him something when I started to cry.  I came to a complete stop and just let loose with the tears, but before he put his arms around me, UIH paused my Garmin.  That??  Is true love.

speedwork meme

The thing is, I’ve got a lot of other “stuff” going on (work, family, kids going back to school, etc.) that’s sort of crowding my brain lately.  It’s not anything overly stressful, but it’s there and I think trying to focus on hitting a certain speed was like one thought too many.  Brain overload.  And which of these things can I actually control?  Running.

So.  Plan B:

I’m still training for the CIM, of course.  Duh.  I freakin’ LOVE the CIM, even when I’m slow, even when it’s monsooning, even when I haven’t trained for it.  But I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps my PR-ing days are behind me.  Not because I’m old or whatever, but honestly, because I just don’t have the brainpower to care as much as I used to.

I had a lovely revelation while cruising through 16 slow miles this past weekend: I value running happy more than running fast.  When it comes right down to it, I would rather run slowly with a smile on my face than live with the weird internal pressure that I was apparently putting on myself to chase after a PR.

Once my head was on straight, I had the leisure to truly enjoy my long run on the American River Bike Trail:

001Sadly, there are wildfires in the nearby hills that created this gorgeous sunrise.

002This tree totally reminded me of the Sesame Street Martians.  Pretty sure the other runners on the trail thought I was nuts for stopping to take a pic, but oh well!

003So!  Many!  Animals! on the trail Sunday.  This guy was part of a huge flock/herd/family/coven of turkeys.  I also saw a coyote and tried desperately to take his picture, but he was having none of it.  The bunnies I saw were similarly disinclined to have me steal their souls with my magic box, so the photo of this slow-moving turkey will have to suffice.

005One of the many, many things I love about the bike trail is that it’s marked every half-mile, so even when your Garmin craps out, you can tell how far you’ve gone.

001When I got home, I plunked my butt down at the computer and hammered out this guy.

In alignment with my new “Run Slow, Run Happy” program is my plan to run a whole lotta ultras next year.  I think I’m done – for the time being, anyway – with distances shorter than a marathon.  So far??  I am totally loving Plan B!



Also – pretty much entirely unrelated to the rest of this post, but I thought I’d share for those of you who are interested – I’ve put up a few new Follow Along Workouts on my YouTube channel:

I totally appreciated your feedback about my last videos – feel free to share your thoughts!!!


Michael said...

Thanks for sharing the videos. I'll check those out. I love exercise videos on YouTube.

Glad you have a new Plan B.

Why is it as women, I see these kinds of posts all the time. Men never have to tell us about breaking down in the middle of a run to cry. I guess they just aren't as in touch with their emotions as we are :) I think we've all (women) been at this point at some time whether we know why or not.

Love that your husband stopped your Garmin though, now that is true love.

bobbi said...

2 things that 100% STRUCK me:

1. other "stuff" crowding my brain lately. I thought I was the only one COMPLETELY overwhelmed with all of the crap associated with the start of the school year. It gets me every year, but this year with 4 kids in 3 different school districts, it was the WORST.

2. Too old to CARE about PRing anymore. That sums me up perfectly. Love running. Love the idea of ultras. Don't give a crap about my times anymore.

Can't wait to see what next year has in store for you. And thanks for the videos!

Kate Geisen said...

Run slow, run happy!! Yes!! I'm kind of in the same boat. I care about time, but not enough to do too much about it. Life is stressful, I don't want my running to be.

Your husband totally gets it. I love that!!

ajh said...

I'm definitely in the slow and happy camp. Well mostly happy. Although if it's a tri I am working my butt off. Can't put all the time needed into everything so for me these days it's the bike. I've had a lot of GI issues with running so if I run with no major GI issues I'm pretty happy.

coach dion said...

So what I would say as a coach, OK leave the speed work... how about upping the milage! just run more, and who knows you might still run a good time, and you will get to run more happy slow miles. Win Win

Raina said...

I can't tell you how many times i have totally broken down on a run. But usually it's not running related. If it stresses you, I say , "Why do it?" Do the run that makes you happiest ♥

I love that you are doing these videos! Saw them on your G+ page :)

Victoria said...

I have nothing to add except "yip...yip yip yip yip"

Teamarcia said...

I totally get this. I think you're wise to go/train where your heart is. If ultras give you the most fulfillment, ultras it is!
Whoa I commented? I've been trying for eons and haven't been able to. Yay!