In A Running Rut
Ever since my half-marathon in Nashville, I’ve been in a bit of a running rut. I was totally burnt out on the sport, and even though I pushed through plenty of other workouts (spinning and weights for the win!), I lost that urge to pound the pavement. I was perfectly content laying in bed for an extra half hour or so, nabbing some desperately needed shuteye and then heading to the gym or SoulCycle after work.
Some people might knock it, but I love evening workouts. I’m not a morning person, so I get the sleep I need and am productive at work, and if I force myself to change and head out once I’m home, I feel relaxed yet productive in my out-of-the-office time. If I don’t have a workout at night or plans to meet up with friends, then you’re likely to find me immediately plopped on the couch or bed, unwilling to move the rest of the night.
When I was at the expo in Nashville, I knew I would take a break from running, but I didn’t want to prolong it longer than usual. So I did the most logical thing I could think of: I signed up for another half-marathon. Samantha, you’re headed to Disney for the Wine and Dine in November!
In the meantime, I focused on work and logged a few other short running races, like the Chase Corporate Challenge and Fifth Avenue Mile. I did both of those races with co-workers and had so much fun! I love the level of accomplishment that I feel after completing a half-marathon, but short races are thrilling and perfect to do with friends. I like to think for a small amount of time that I’m a speed demon, so laying it all out there for one mile gives me that rush.
Hanging out with real speed demon Kara Goucher for a bit doesn’t hurt, either.
Oh, you’re wondering how I did in those races? Well, the Chase Corporate Challenge was back in June and I ran that 3.5-mile race in 32:24. That was actually the first time I went running after Nashville, so I was pretty pleased with those results. I ran the first mile with my co-worker John, and he did a great job of pacing me for a faster finish without burning me out. By the time we parted ways, I wanted to keep working hard. And since there were only 2.5 miles left, I knew I could push it!
I did more casual running over the summer, but never felt obligated to head out in the crazy heat and humidity. I felt slight twinges of longing when my Twitter feed started blowing up with all of the excitement of people logging their miles for the Marine Corps Marathon and New York City Marathon, but not enough to lace up my sneaks for more than 5 miles. I call it “running in moderation.”
The Fifth Avenue Mile was just as fun as last year – a big group of FITNESS staffers got together to race down the famous street, and although I didn’t run it as quickly as I did last year (7:39), I still had a blast. Bonus: I finished at the exact same time as my boss – we didn’t realize we were next to each other until they were announcing us together. Accidental collaboration for the win!
Official training for the Wine and Dine half was supposed to begin the first weekend of September, but that happened to be the exact week that I left for my cruise. So running wasn’t a major priority. But I still give myself props – while on the cruise, I squeezed out a 4-mile run, an 8-mile run, a lot of walking and tons of fitness-y activities. Oh, and since Dustin and I are both super impatient, we took the stairs every time we needed to move from deck to deck on the ship. We took the elevator a total of 3 times. Our room was on the second deck, the pool and food were on the 10th and 11th deck. You do the math.
Ever since, I’ve been logging two to three runs a week – one short run during the week, a long run and recovery run on the weekend – and a spin class on Thursdays. Weight lifting is mixed in during the week, too. But my heart really hasn’t been in it. I’ve had sparks of intense motivation the last two weeks (running on the beach doesn’t hurt), but I’ll be headed into my fifth half-marathon with the least amount of training under my belt. I’m excited to race again and hope that will spark my running fire again, but am not going into this race with any expectations.
With 11 days left until race day, do you have any suggestions for how I should tackle this thing? I’m going to have a newly amped up playlist shortly (and will share), and plan to stop and see all of the fun Disney characters, but that’s all I’ve got. Should I be nervous about not being able to finish? Share your wisdom!