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Ebb and Flow

July 13, 2010

One month ago, it seemed things were really clicking. I finally felt like I’d acclimated to the heat–the humidity and sweat no longer felt like they sapped all my energy. I was much faster than I expected, with 9:15 to 9:25 splits the norm for my easy runs, even for the few double-digit runs I was doing. Everything was clicking really well, and I couldn’t wait to start training for the next marathon. The idea of gunning for a sub-4 finish was enticing, and everytime I finished a run and saw an average pace anywhere near 9:30 I’d start to dream that, maybe, with a really good training season, I could actually run my next 26.2 at the required 9:10 pace.

Then everything hit at once. I caught a miserable though largely asymptomatic cold, which made me extremely, disgustingly congested, and since I couldn’t breathe anytime I was upright, let alone running, I took a few days off. Returning to the roads was like returning to something I hadn’t done for years–getting up early was difficult, and doubt swirled around my head with the mosquitoes as I laced up my shoes in the sauna that is our garage. I’d set out slowly, trusting my legs would remember how to do this, and stop one mile in, tempted to turn around for home.

I have not, for the most part, thrown in the towel. I’ve managed some decent mileage in the middle of this new running funk. But I’ll admit that continuing to run has been largely an exercise of my stubborness and discipline and not because I’m in love with this sport right now. It’s incredibly difficult to summon the desire to go for a run, even with the prospect of inching closer to the sub-4 marathon this fall.

We’re going to visit my parents overseas in a few days, and finding time and a safe location for long-distance running tends to be a little more challenging when I’m at their place, so I’ve known for a while that the next two weeks are going to be somewhat of a forced rest period. I’m okay with that, and I’m actually thankful to put some kind of bookend to this last, dreadful season of training.

When I come back, Little G and I are diving straight into our 16-week training plan for the  Space Coast Marathon. I’m praying that the forced break from running will work wonders for my flagging motivation and incredibly slow pace. This is how life works, after all, its rhythm not unlike that of the lulling ocean. You hit patches where eveything is swelling, rising on a beautiful wave of satisfaction and contentment, and then there are times when the tide seems to be pulling out–not that things fall apart, but that it’s harder to find your rhythm, like you’re learning again how to do things that felt so natural just days ago.

Two weeks off, and when I come back, I’m planning to create my own surge of energy and motivation.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. missconstrued permalink
    July 13, 2010 5:08 pm

    I hear you loud and clear, lady. I hope that you get some rest and come back refreshed! This too shall pass, RIGHT?!

  2. July 14, 2010 5:20 pm

    i’m so with you! i have been struggling for forever… hopefully the forced time off will bring you back rejuvenated!

  3. run4change permalink
    July 15, 2010 8:10 am

    I hope too that your break will bring back motivation. I have struggled of late with motivation as well. I totally know what you mean about it feeling like years and the perceived effort of running seems so much more intense after not running for a bit. You will move right back into your grove though. Great job. You are a runner. 🙂

  4. the Ringmaster permalink*
    July 19, 2010 6:36 am

    Thanks for the uplifting words, guys. Summer isn’t ever a fun season for my running . . .

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