April 7, 2016

I just want to run fast

It's been a really long time since I ran a new PR. Most recently, I ran a 10k PR at the Enchanted 10k last February. My half PR is from the 2014 Shamrock Half Marathon and my marathon PR is from 2014 Richmond Marathon. My 5k PR is from December 2013! I couldn't even remember when I ran it...that's how old it is! Oof. It kind of feels depressing sometimes.
So very cold after Richmond Marathon
Ever since I have been able to run again, all I can think about is going fast. 2015 was about so much more than running for me. It was about racing in some "for fun" races, getting married, and leaving my job. 2015 just simply wasn't my year for fast running. Really, I was (and still am) ok with that. I often think about life having seasons and it wasn't my season for fast running.

Sometimes though, I do wonder if my "fast" days are behind me. Am I just a washed up married woman? Yea, that made me laugh as I typed it...sometimes writing things out makes you realize how ridiculous your thoughts are. Rationally I know that my legs still have some get-up-and-go in them, but it's been a long time since I've tested myself through a fast training cycle and race.

I recently read something from one of my favorite bloggers, Jes at Runladylike, that haunted me with similarities and parallels to my own running life. It rung true to me on so many levels and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who wonders when she'll run another fast race.

"Part of the journey of running is going through our relationship with it. Highs and lows. Ups and downs. Life’s curve balls and requirements for us to step away. We can always come back. It’s there and will be. The best is yet to come. I still believe that. I’ll be back. Until then, this is where I am."
from Jes's post on Where I am

I almost felt as though I could have written these words, although Jes is so eloquent so I won't step on her toes and pretend I possess that trait with my writing.

Right now, I need to focus on a healthy, safe approach to running again. It's not about speed or PRs. My upcoming 10k will not be a PR attempt despite all my daydreaming of a sub-50 time. I'll get there...someday. I don't know if 2016 will be a  PR year either. But there will be fast running and more PRs, just not today.

{Christine}

22 comments:

  1. Life is definitely a roller coaster, and we all go through various ups and downs at different points in our lives. I sincerely doubt that you're a "washed up married woman," but as you said, there were other priorities in 2015 outside of your running. No matter how hard we try, its pretty much impossible to give 100% of our focus to everything going on in our lives simultaneously, and even though you're focused on your return to running now, you certainly don't want to push yourself too hard too soon and risk re-injury. You'll get your speed back, and in the meantime, keep you head up high. :)

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    1. Thanks Kathryn. Very true! And good point about putting 100% into everything...I recently read a great article that generally we can only give a good effort to three things (including work and family) so that only leaves one "extracurricular" activity persay. Pretty interesting concept.

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  2. There is most definitely a time for everything! My half, 10k, and 5k PR's were all from 2013 (before I got pregnant!) In the past two weeks I have broken my 5k and 10k, but half won't happen until next fall b/c half marathon season is over down south as it's already getting too hot. It was very humbling coming back from having a baby trying to get speed back and it has taken me awhile, but it's finally happening! I know you will PR again!

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    1. You've had some great races lately - congrats Heather! :) I'm definitely getting antsy to see some new PRs but now just isn't the right time. Funny how timing and our brains can be so far apart.

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  3. You've definitely got more PR's ahead of you! I know I do as well since I started running so recently. But I'm also trying to make sure I keep getting different types of gratification from running because I know there will come a day when I don't get PRs any more and I want to still keep running after that.

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    1. I loved your thinking on finding joy and gratification in running. So important as it can become a chore or a bore...hey that rhymed! ;)

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  4. You're so so right: a season for everything. So many variables in running, age being just one and a sometimes insignificant one at that. My current half PR came 6 days after a full marathon. You just never know.

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    1. Wow, that's amazing! Timing is important as you said...someday there will be more fast times (yes, I keep repeating that to myself). :)

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  5. I know what you mean. When I was out of running, I was grateful to be back but then impatient to get back to where I was. it took awhile but eventually I did PR.

    You are young. You will rebound faster than I did.

    GL on your race.

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    1. You spend so much time in recovery that when you finally do come back, it's like ok, let's go now! Thanks for your kind words, Darlene.

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  6. I'm sure some of your best races are still to come! I can totally relate with you though, after having been sidelined with my injury I know my upcoming 10k will not be a PR race. If anything I'm hoping to simply finish it. I originally signed up for this race in hopes of running a PR, so it is disappointing to let that go. You still have plenty of PRs in your future, just worry about getting back into the swing of things for now!

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    1. Yes, I think the races after injury are best with "show up and finish" goals rather than time goals. Sorry you've been dealing with an injury too - totally sucks!

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  7. I've learned that fast is relative. Also that my body doesn't handle it that well. I tend to break if I try to go fast. Or, faster. Every time that I say I want to try for PRs, I fall apart! But we are always capable of surprising ourselves. Just don't do what I did at Chicago! At least, not at that distance!

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    1. It will be a long time before I run a marathon so for now, I think I'm safe to avoid your Chicago strategy ;)

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  8. Oh you had me chuckling, washed up married women, LOL I think that is the furthest thing from the truth!!!
    Quite ironically, we are in similar situations and I have had similar thoughts to yours which drove me to write a comparison post on not beating myself up about things running related and re-evaluating which goals are achievable and not.
    Like you I am coming back into the running world again, fingers crossed the work injury stays a thing of the past. I can't tell you how often as I go out training and doing the slow build thing to build it back up my mind hits that "will I ever get it back."
    I know I will, but I won't lie I'm not a fan of the building process and since my body hates shorter distances it throws so many of these own thoughts into my head.
    We will both get there someday, just like you said! In the mean time, I tell myself try to be positive and enjoy the journey. My years off have taught me so much and it's time to use them to my benefit! Good luck my friend!

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    1. The building process is hard! Right now I'm adding 2 minutes or 0.2 mile per run. Talk about feeling like the mileage build-up is turtle-like! I think I'm just kind of ready to stop thinking about the injury too. That adds a layer of mental complexity - fear, timidness, frustration, etc. - to the each run it seems. Hope you're back to 100% soon too!! We'll get there! :)

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  9. I have no doubt you will continue to PR, but I hope that you (and all runners) continue to find joy in running regardless of time because there may be a time when running just become "consistent" and that's all that you can hope for. My sister and I were just talking about this same thing recently. Best of luck to you in your training!

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    1. You are so wise, my friend. I am so glad you made that comment because you're right, simply getting out there is awesome even if it doesn't mean it's fast. Grateful for your perspective! :)

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  10. I don't PR a lot, although the last couple of years have been kind to me. Still, when you're in your mid 50s, you know that a slow down at some point is pretty inevitable. And yet you continue to believe you can improve!

    I guess being a slower runner sometimes is a blessing, because you don't have as far to fall.

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  11. I PRed a ton in 2015 but I believe it's because I had lost weight and started my run streak. Now...it's a lot tougher to beat my speed. But I have had ups and downs with running through the years. Some years I was fast and others I was slow. The most important thing to me is enjoying the journey.

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  12. I try to remember the moms or masters ladies I follow online that are kicking butt and running circles around me. And you have your own mom as a constant reminder that running fast is in your genes! Once you're back full time with 0 pain, you'll get those PRs!

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