I spent last weekend in Florida for my sister’s wedding. Before I go on I’ll share a little bit about the wedding. It was quite an event held at the elegant National Hotel on South Beach. The ceremony took place overlooking the pool with the a view of the ocean in the other direction. It was an extravagant affair paying homage to the art deco era of times past. My sister was a beautiful bride. I was the matron of honor and my son was the most dashing ring bearer. He also stole the show on the dance floor later that night.
I was spoiled with warm sunny runs even as early as 6:30 in the morning. It felt so nice, but it was a tease. We returned home to more snow and it is coming down again. Winter is sucking the life out of me as well as the motivation to run, but I had to make a decision by today whether or not I was going to run the Vermont City Marathon at the end of May. I typically train for 16 weeks for a full marathon. It is what I have successfully done for 3 previous marathons. It gives me a little cushion of time and allows me to make the most of my long runs.
I have exactly 14 weeks to train this time. I have been running for the last few weeks consistently, but without a real training plan. I have been having a really difficult time committing to this race. I know I’m hesitant in part because of the Achilles injury. I feel fine, but I also don’t want to re-injure it. In all honesty, the real reason I have been holding back is because I’m slower now after the injury. I was so proud of my progress in my last full marathon in September 2013. That entire year was amazing. I set PRs at nearly every race. Now I feel like I’m starting all over again as a new runner.
I guess in a way I am starting over. I’m not the same runner I was before the injury. I’m having a very difficult time coming to terms with this. I feel like a failure in a way. Even when I push myself to run hard I’m not coming close to the pace I was capable of sustaining for long periods of time. This is frustrating.
After thinking about it intently I have decided to run Vermont City. I am craving the structure of a training plan. I want to run another marathon this year and after dropping out of Vermont City last year I want it to be the marathon I run. I need to deal with the fact that I don’t run the same. I have to refresh my mindset about why I run…I run because it makes me feel good; I run to clear my mind of all the clutter that builds up; I run for fresh air; I run because I love to run. I want to run for a long time and so if running safely, without injury means slowing down then I have to be ok with that. I’m working on being ok with it.
On Sunday, May 24th I will set a new PR at the Vermont City Marathon. It will be my post-Achilles injury marathon PR!! My clock has reset itself and from here on in I am looking ahead.
Today I ran my first official long run. I ran 8 miles before the snow started. It was a little cold to start and the roads were gross, full of slush. It is going to be a challenging training with this weather, but I’m excited to start and to work towards a successful, injury free marathon.
I hear you re: pacing. I did a 5M race this past wknd and my average pace was slower than my marathon pace from less than 18 mos ago. Frustrating indeed, but I’m reminding myself that there’s more to running than PRs (despite the time, I felt so happy and breathless and excited when I finished), and that the only way to get back is to do the work, pace will come over time if I put in the effort (or it won’t, but I know I’ll at least improve). It’s a mental struggle, but in the end, every point you make is so true, I just need to remember it!
You and Carlos look lovely!
First of all..that picture of you and Carlos is GREAT! You both look so healthy and happy 🙂
In regards to running…I’m glad you are changing your mindset…I know how much running means to you and hopefully you can truly put behind you all the past PRs and focus on you now…like you said, remember all the reasons you love running besides getting faster. Every day you are an inspiration.
I am going to Key West at the end of the month – cannot wait to escape the cold and snow! I know it’s hard to come to grips about not being where you were in September 2013, but I am so proud of you for signing up for the race! That’s the same weekend I do my Spartan race, so we’ll basically both be kicking ass that weekend! Hugs!