Why don’t we start with this:
Well it has been practically forever since I posted, and for a number of reasons. I guess the foremost reason for my major blog neglect was just not feeling like a runner anymore (or a corredor) and I was tired of posting my rants and raves about my doctors, or the disappointment and stress of not running, or the side effects that come along with not exercising while continuing to inhale Palermos like Takeru Kobayashi. But one thing is for certain, even though I’ve been on a running sabbatical since September, I’ve learned a lot about running (and all that surrounds it) in that time.
But first, where am I at today? Honestly, as far as running is concerned, I’m not totally sure myself. I know that I started to run again in December, without my Doctor’s recommendation (more on that later), and I had a few good, pain-free runs just before finals. Then finals tied me up, I moved home, then Christmas, ski trip, New Years, then I started work. Contrary to my summer work schedule, I was fortunate to only be working 40 hours per week over Christmas break, but I still couldn’t find the motivation to get out the door and run. I think that if I had been training for a race I would have been much more motivated to hit the cold, dark country roads by myself every night after work, but I wasn’t, so I didn’t. Once, maybe twice a week was about all I could muster up while home on break. No treadmill, no indoor track, and zero motivation. I bought a headlamp the first week in January hoping that would spur my enthusiasm. I ran the night I got it, loved it (more on this later), and I never wore it again. So break came and went, and I still was not running. “When I get back to school, when I get back to school…” I kept telling myself. I’ve been back in Milwaukee for about ten days and I’ve run twice…only two times. What is wrong with me? Yea, I don’t know either.
Right now I want to run, I having running goals and dreams that I want to achieve, but, again, I just don’t seem to have the motivation and I really don’t know why. I have races planned out and times I want to break, but when it comes time to tie up my shoes, I back out. I think losing my mom has played a huge role in this (like every other part of my life) (duh). But seriously, I think a large reason why I ran was to make her proud, and to tell her about all that I had accomplished. The only things that mom knew about running came from me, so whatever I told her was the best she’d ever heard and it always felt so good to tell her. I realize I have dozens of people to tell my accomplishments to, and she still sees everything I do, but we all know that it is not even remotely the same as it used to be. Another reason I think I am struggling to run is I just don’t like the alone time anymore. When I’m alone my mind goes wild thinking about my mom, and what might have been. When I’m busy, my mind is busy, and it is a little harder to get derailed by the pain. The silence and time for my thoughts used to be two of my favorite things about running, but now it seems to be the opposite. Hopefully I can channel this into something positive moving forward. Me running in the future kind of depends on it.
How about we take an intermission to lighten things up a bit:
So the plan moving forward is to keep on trying. I have goals and if I want to meet them, I need to get in gear. What I’m looking forward to right now:
February 11th: Cullen 8k in Tosa - I’ve run this race two years in a row and I love it (free chili). I want to get back into a race a remember why I love running so much in the first place. Most likely won’t PR, but the chili never lets me down.
March 3rd: Point Bock Run, 5 miler in Stevens Point – This is only my second Bock Run, but this race has easily become my favorite. Partly because it is about as close to home as races get for me, and partly (mostly) because there is incredibly tasty Point Beer waiting at the finish. Hometown race, hometown brew, you won;t find me complaining. I’ve had this race circled since last year because I really want to excel here. Depending on my training in the next month, I would really like to stay below 36 minutes. Obviously much work is in store to reach that goal. Side note: Getting over 2,000 runners together in Portage County is almost unheard of, so it’s pretty cool to be a part of the Bock.
May 5th: Door County Half Marathon - Returning to the site of the best race of my life to defend my title against @BradKoenig. Great race, breath-taking views, much more on this later. Definitely plan to PR (again) here.
June 8-9th: Ragnar Chicago - I’ve wanted to do a Ragnar relay since I first heard about them, and thanks to the magics of Twitter, I am now connected with a totally awesome team and I’m really doing it! Again, more on this later. One step at a time…
Wow, I’m getting pretty pumped and motivated (there’s that magic word again) just writing this post! I think the first step was putting all of my races and goals down on paper, and now I can begin to work towards them. I’m done with just floating along, running once or twice a week and being disappointed in myself. It’s go time.
Whoa, I think we just had a major breakthrough. Thanks for being there for me
So what did I learn on my hiatus:
1.) Insurance isn’t free: All of my doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, my x-ray, and my MRI weren’t completely covered (as I thought). So after doing the dance and playing along with an inept orthopedic for three months last fall, I was greeted with $550 in medical bills when I returned to Milwaukee after Christmas break. Not the worst thing, I know, but for care that was not only not necessary but completely not effective, it was pretty disheartening. I think there was a reason why I didn’t go to the doctor two years ago?? Oh yea, that’s it. So lesson #1: be careful with your dad’s insurance card, it isn’t free money.
2.) Headlamps rule the world: After some heavy research and some great suggestions from those that proudly don cranial illuminating devices, I stepped up and bought one. I chose the Petzl E99 PG Tikka XP 2 Headlamp and I am very impressed. Like I said, I only wore it once but running at night under the moon without the fear of opossums, raccoons, or skunks sneaking up on you is wonderful. Lesson #2: if you’re on the fence about night running illumination, take the plunge.
3.) Running never ceases to amaze: The only possible motivation that I had after returning to running in early December was the Icebreaker indoor half marathon on January 21st. Unfortunately, I had to miss this race because I flew out to Washington D.C. an hour after the start time for the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, so I didn’t race and I didn’t train (so you may have heard). I was pretty bummed about missing the race (and the motivation to train) but running through the National Mall and up to the front of the White House was nothing short of amazing. Completely surreal to be in such a historic place, seeing so many incredible sights, and running carried me the entire way. Up to the Washington Monument, past 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Lesson #3: never give up on running, just when you think it sucks, it will always redeems itself.
I think it is about time to put a wrap on this novel. I definitely feel better than I did when I started typing. I’m going to map out my training for the next month as soon as I hit publish, and I’ll check in next week with an update (hopefully good). I believe it is about time for this corredor to stop relenting and start believing again (cheesy, I know). I will leave you with my favorite YouTube video of all time. (even though embedding it isn’t allowed, click through to YouTube)
Thanks for listening.