March 25, 2014

Training Tuesday: What am I training for?

Ever since Shamrock ended, I've gotten a barrage of questions about my next race, my next goal and my next marathon (ok, this really started after Dopey but it's still real).

Which fall marathon are you running? 

Did you put your name in the lottery for Marine Corps/NYC/Chicago?

What other spring halfs are you running?

Quite frankly, it's making me crazy and I'm partially to blame. My thoughts are slightly of a schizophrenic nature where one minute I want to be lazy and the next, sign up for 100 more races. Can't a girl run a (fast) race and take some time to regroup and recover?! 

In January, I talked about the pressure to race and I believe it's real.  Don't get me wrong, goals are great, but there's a difference between goals and racing and I think this line is often blurred. I tend to race with a goal in mind, so for me the two aren't mutually exclusive. And sure, I'll race for fun every now and then but generally speaking, I'm all business when I race. Usually I've trained with a level of intensity and I'm looking for a new PR. That's me and that's my preference…doesn't make it right or wrong.

After my 1:51.17 finish at Shamrock, I immediately started thinking about getting under 1:50.  And I started looking for local half marathons in April and May.  The only one that would likely be PR-worthy is the Dismal Swamp Stomp half in mid-April.  I ran this race last year and it's definitely a fast and flat course but I'm not sure I want to run it again.  It's a very nice race but it's on a closed (paved) trail, so it's very quiet.  I know that I feed off the crowds during a race, so this might not be ideal for another PR attempt.  I haven't decided if I want to commit yet.

And umm hello, do I want to jump back into grueling pace-based workouts for another 4 weeks?!  Nope, not really.  I ran on Friday afternoon after work.  My pace was pretty quick - 8:35ish but I wasn't really into it.  My left calf felt tight so I ended up walking the last 3/4 mile home.  Normally I would have felt defeated and frustrated but it didn't bother me.  I would attribute my ability to shake it off to the fact that I'm not on a specific training plan and I wasn't endangering a time goal by cutting a run short.  And it hit me - I can still run and enjoy running even though I don't have a training schedule.  Heck, I might enjoy it more!

So until I find the fire to race again with a new goal, you can find me running around the neighborhood with Paddy by my side and fiddling with my new Garmin.

What are you training for?
{Christine}

25 comments:

  1. I think we all fall prey to this "must PR" mentality at times. While it can be fun, it can also suck the joy out of running. Even though I'm running Chicago in October, I hope to take a break after Boston.

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    1. Absolutely! While I'm not burned out, I definitely need to take my foot off the gas pedal a bit.

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  2. I think everyone needs a break from training every once in a while! Keeps the love for running alive in my opinion. :0) If you just want to run for the run, then that is definitely what you should do until you are ready to race again!

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    1. Absolutely! I'm still into running...just need some more just for fun runs :)

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  3. I hear ya Christine. I have my next major race in two weeks, which is also my first 10 miler, and then I want a small break. This is part of why I'm having trouble committing to registering for Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach or picking a specific fall half marathon. Jeff Galloway's 19 week plan that I followed for Disney World was successful, and if I follow the plan again for Virginia Beach that would have me starting to train the week after the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. But I'm also asking myself if I need to follow a full 19 week plan since I ran a half two weeks ago. So many factors to consider!

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    1. The racing cycle is tough because it's easy to end up with races far into the next season/year and I struggle with rest when a race is looming! Would love to see you in Va Beach if you decide to race here :)

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  4. You totally deserve a break! Take some time and enjoy running just for running!

    I always say every race I do has a purpose - it's either for a PR attempt that I feel ready for or it's a race that's on my "to-do" race list. I don't really sign up for races just to do races (because frankly I don't have that kind of extra money lying around).

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    1. Amen! I have a very similar approach with races.

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  5. I train so hard until the summer time. It's too hot to train hard then and I enjoy those runs with no goals. The ones where I go as far as it takes me and just enjoy it. I think that's important.

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    1. What great input, Mindy! I am definitely in that mindset now!

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  6. I don't have a race til Dumbo in August. I am kinda relieved about it. No more pressure to get in a certain mileage. Just whatever I want to run. And I hope to be getting a Garmin for my bday!

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    1. That's exactly my plans for a few weeks...just do what feels and sounds good. You'll love dumbo! :)

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  7. I'm taking a break from running and focusing on strength training. Once summer's here, I take my foot off running anyway because it's so hot.

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    1. I'm hoping to focus on strength and other types of workouts...with some running but I like trying new things too.

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  8. I had hit a running funk and so took too many breaks from running. But I actually just found my desire to run/train again! It's great that you're enjoying your runs right now. You should take your time and just keep enjoying it and then when the right race comes up, you'll know it and sign up for it! :)

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    1. That's my plan, Kellie. I kind of feel like a bad runner (at times) since I'm just going with the flow now.

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  9. Right now I'm training for the Country Music Half next month, and while I have a time goal, it's not a PR so I'm not feeling as stressed out about it. After that, I'm off until October - which will be nice!

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    1. Summers are so tough for training bc of the heat. It will take me a while to forget the pain and suffering of marathon training in late summer

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  10. I think it's totally fine not to have another race on the calendar right now and just run for awhile! Especially after a marathon and accomplishing such a huge goal :). Pretty soon it will get hot anyway and we will throw lots of expectations out the window until the Fall. I know in the summer my goal is mainly to survive, lol. You did a great job with Shamrock, enjoy a little break :).

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Amy! I'm really enjoying my guilt-free, workout-free evenings! ;)

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  11. I am still up in the air about what i'm gonna do about the spring races i've registered for. If I don't run them then I officially have nothing till September and that feels amazing! Of course I might do some small races over the summer if I am up to it. Having goals to beat is great but just being able to enjoy it is better. I bet you are enjoying your runs with Paddy! -M

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    1. Thanks girl! If I add anything to my race calendar, it will be some short races

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  12. No training for me right now, just recovering.

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    1. Smart move! I'm trying to focus on the same and let my body rest a bit

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  13. You've been working your behind off, you deserve a break (and Pam too)! Hopefully you find some fun races to enjoy.

    Lauren

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