|April 2, 2013||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun|
A brain dump update. Because life lately has been filled with more ‘living’ than blogging.
And life lately…
Has been changing. Maybe not as quickly (or as much!) as I would like, but it’s happening. And that’s a good thing. I love the feeling of forward progress. Of taking concrete steps toward a goal. This winter I felt a little like I was stuck in limbo. It’s nice to be walking forward again. I’m sure it helps that I can finally feel the season changing around me (despite the current sub-freezing temperatures and high winds).
Celebrating spring…and birthdays!
Evan and I are moving at the end of this month. We aren’t going far, but I’m anticipating the move with that strange mix of dread and excitement that happens when you have a lot of unpleasant tasks to complete before you get to a really exciting outcome. I love the tiny touristy town in Southern Vermont that we’ve called home for the past year. It’s the town that inspired our move north, the town where we were married, where we had (have) our first house together…where we fuel our addiction to cheddar cheese and McNeill’s beer. The village is quiet and quaint and truly everything you would picture a Vermont postcard to be. With white houses, covered bridges, a stately inn, a post office that also serves as the town hall right in the center, and a handful of residents that know everything about everybody else. It’s been a fun retreat, but we’re ready for a change.
And the unfortunate truth about it all is this: no place on this earth is as perfect as the pictures make it seem. When you live in a teeny tiny picturesque place for awhile, some of the magic starts to wear off. And you start discovering layers and politics that you wish you never knew. This place will forever be one of my favorites on this earth…but some of the shine has worn off (if that makes sense). Which is totally fine and expected, but I’m ready to move to a community with just a few more people.
I won’t be leaving this town behind completely though, because Girls on the Run is starting this week! We’re a little late to start in Southern VT, but you can blame all the snow for that. I’ve been wanting to get involved in the program for a long time, and started the process of becoming a coach as soon as we moved to Vermont last summer. This will be my first year coaching and I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a fun couple of months.
In other running news…
Training finally feels like it’s coming together. I’m not at the downhill section yet, but I’d like to think that I’m getting closer and closer to the top of that hill. I finally came to the obvious and important realization that the biggest thing holding me back this training cycle was my mental game…not my lack of physical strength. This is not rocket science or a new discovery, but it’s really a game changer when you finally accept it. More about that later though.
That being said, it’s not always a steady climb. Last week I had the best long run of this training cycle – 18 strong and hilly miles that I was able to finish fast and with energy left in the tank. The kind of long run that gets you excited about marathon training and does wonders for your confidence.
This was sandwiched in between two of the best workouts I’ve had in a long time – a tempo run where I felt like I could run faster and go forever, and a fast hill workout that gave me the type of runner’s high usually only reserved for a goal race.
But then, because running isn’t always easy (and sometimes the universe is cruel), I was hit by a nasty cold that just about knocked me out at the end of last week. This happens fairly often around the time the seasons change, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I know the standard advice is to run when the sickness is above the neck and rest when it’s below but seriously — it’s hard to run long when you can’t breathe. So between that and a packed Easter weekend with my visiting parents, I turned this last week into a cutback week. The goal was to run 14 – 15 easy miles. 10.6 miles of struggle later, I deemed it a “super cutback” and called it a day. Sure, I maybe could have pushed through for a few more miles (or at least another 0.4 to make it an even 11), but to what end? Although my legs felt okay, everything else just felt really off and I spent the entire run counting down the miles until it was over. Sometimes you gotta know when to fold them. This weekend I’ve got 20 miles on the schedule — time to look ahead and focus on that.
Even with this little setback, I find myself excited to really dig in to these next few weeks of training. That’s how I know that things have really turned around. I’ve got a few hard weeks coming up, including my first race of 2013 (finally!!) sandwiched in between two 20-milers. It’ll be tough, but I find myself eager to tackle it (instead of being swallowed by fear and dread). I’m ready to push my body. I’m ready to feel the fatigue of heavy marathon training. And most of all, I’m ready to race again. I can’t wait to feel the pain (and that is how you know that running has made you insane…)
I’ll be running the Half Marathon Unplugged on April 13th – the same weekend many of you will be heading to Boston. It’s a relatively small race and promises to be both scenic and flat. While I’m not really expecting to be PR-ready, I am excited to put my training to the test. I wanna make it hurt.
Plus, you really can’t beat a $30 entry fee for a half marathon.
8 weeks until VCM. Let’s do this.