A non-running Summer nightmare

I can talk all day about the why’s….. I could make up a thousand excuses… I can ponder reasons and doubts and probably come up with a very long list.  Plain and simple, the Summer of 2016 has been a tough running season for me.

 

Normally, every year my racing season ends with a short race, typically early in June.  The Summer is then spent rebuilding sore muscles, recovering from marathons and halves, taking some time off, and then building back for a Fall racing season packed with great races.

This, in part, is very true for the last few months with one exception.  I’ve been on the verge of injury, the brink, since starting back.  I’ve never felt quite right.  I’ve had PF in the past, a bout with it that lasted about 9 months.  A painful injury, but one I ran through causing it to linger way longer than necessary.  I learned my lesson.  Back then, I took a month off from running.  No running at all.  It seemed to do the trick, and when I returned to running slowly, the problem never came back.  The summer of 2016 has been a reminder to me of that pain, that desire to fun free and feel good.  I just haven’t been feeling right all summer.

What running I have done has been short, agonizing at times, and most certainly slow.  I feel like I’ve aged ten years the past four months.  I see all these people posting mileage for the summer, long runs, race prep, etc… It has been painful just to see that.  I want that!  My feet tell me no.  Not yet.

So?  What to do?  I’ve barely even been reading blogs this summer, much less write my own.  I haven’t had really any running news to share, so I just haven’t.  I’ve missed it for sure, but needed to focus on other aspects of my life that needed attention.  But here we are, heading into Fall, so what is my plan?

I didn’t enter the Chicago Marathon lottery this past Spring, so for the first time in three years I will not be heading to the Windy City in October.  I did enter the Berlin Marathon lottery, and I guess fortunately considering my injury status, didn’t get picked because that race is days away.  Marine Corps though, that’s another story.  I did enter the lottery, DID get chosen, so I have one marathon this Fall at the end of October.  I’ve debated over and over again if I should defer, but haven’t decided yet.  Why?  I think I’ve decided to give at least one race a shot and see what kind of condition it leaves me in.  Once that’s over, I’ll know.  I’ll know for sure.

So, without further ado, I AM RACING this weekend.  My body has been in preservation mode, and now needs to quickly flip to racing mode.  A half marathon this weekend should let me know once and for all, if indeed I am either in or out this Fall.  Why you ask, am I racing?  I just need to know.  I need to have a clear direction for this running passion I have for the next several months.

With a pacing gig lined up for mid October, and Marine Corps a few weeks later, and one last Half locally a couple weeks after that, I just need to know if I am back on track or not.  If the race goes ok this weekend, and recovery isn’t bad, I’ll know.  If the race is an epic failure, I’ll know.

So, wish me luck!  I promise to post a recap with all the details, good or bad, next week.    I’m either going to stare injury in the face and beat it, or I’ll be down for the count until 2017.  Should be an epic race either way.  ;). Here goes nothing!

Marathons Are Tiring – Run or Rest?

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A week has now passed since running the All American Marathon.  My body is still recovering.  My legs are still sore, and I have this overall sense of just being battered and worn down.  Marathons are not easy.  Marathons are taxing on the fittest of bodies.  I have to remind myself over and over again that feeling worn down is normal.

The problem is that I don’t like feeling worn down.  Like today for instance.  It is a beautiful day, I have the day off from work.  I should be going out for a run today, and be looking forward to it.  I will run, but I know that my legs will not be happy.  Knowing that sort of impedes my desire to get out and do the thing that makes me feel renewed and rejuvenated.  It’s a quandry.

To rest.  To recover.  To run.

It’s maddening.  The very thing that makes me feel alive, is tiring me out.  It’s probably why I have been in a fairly constant bad mood the past few days.  I need that exercise to get the blood pumping.  I need that freedom that running gives me to make my mind sore.  To uplift me, to free me from the doldrums.

What do you do when you are tired, or sore, or injured?  Unable to run, or run as much as you would like to.  How do you get through recovery without going absolutely batshit?  You would think that I would be better at dealing with this by now, I mean, I have been running for a few years now.  I should have a pretty good grasp on this by now.  Quite the contrary, at least this week.  Help!  How do you manage recovery?

Cold and Rainy and Restful

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The kind of conditions that came in last night, and are looking to stay through the weekend.  Yuck!

I went from wearing flip flops and shorts, to long sleeves, and socks in one day!  That is so not cool.  I want the beautiful weather from the past couple of weeks to return.  It looks like I will have to wait several days though, so I am going to try to look at the positives….

For a runner like me, who has been doing a lot of distance racing, I am going to rest.  Yep, a break in training, even though I have more racing to do in the next month and a half.  This goes against my earlier plans, and really goes against everything I want.  For some reason though, I think I need the rest.  I ran the last two days and the runs were not that great.  My legs are tired.  I even feel a bit of soreness in my hamstring, a possible result from this past weekend.

With any training regime, we need rest.  Time for our bodies to recuperate from the stress.  I will be the first one to tell you that I probably don’t rest enough.  I get there are tons of us faithful runners who run on rest days.  I told myself I would not overtrain, and give myself ample opportunity for race days.  This I must abide by.

So, rain if it must.  Be cold, and dark and dreary, if it must.  I am going to take the day off.  I’m going to take tomorrow off, too.  I might even take the whole weekend off.  I kinda scares me, knowing I have races coming up, but I must listen to my body.  I may fight it at times, but I have to relax, and rest.  Maybe the Sun will return on Monday, just in time for me to head back out on the roads and get a few decent runs in before racing next weekend.

Do you stress about overtraining?  Do you often run when you are supposed to take a rest day?  I get very nervous about possible injuies.  Do you?

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Go ahead and rain, I will be inside on the couch, with me feet up.