Finding my Inner Fish

I’m not quitting running or anything crazy like that. I’m just not running the marathon. I’m switching things up a bit. I’ve been talking about and thinking about getting back into the pool for quite some time. I finally just went ahead and registered for masters swimming for the fall. I signed up through our rec sports and decided to do it two days a week. They have a nice option where you can pick which two days you want to do. They will be my non-running days.

I love the pool. I love the smell. I love being in the water. I love it all. I used to get myself to the pool. Then I quit the gym and had no access to a pool (not that I was using it anyways). Turns out masters swimming is much more economical than joining a gym. Plus I get to swim with other people. Other fish. Other people who like to be in the water.

I don’t know what will come out of this. I don’t know what I want from this. I just need to do something other than run. I won’t stop running, I am just adding two days in the pool. Maybe this will be my way back to triathlon. Maybe this will just be a break that I need. Maybe this is just going back to where I started. And now I can’t wait to get in the pool.

Of course my next step is to find my suit, cap and goggles that have been in hibernation for well over a year. Details.

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The Marathon Journey

Training for a marathon is a journey. A very different one for each and every one of us who decide to register for 26.2 miles. My journey has been full of ups and downs as I already wrote about. The Lakefront Marathon is six weeks away. That’s not far at all. I registered in February. That seems like a million years ago.

I had some simple goals this time around like have fun and don’t get injured. I am very excited that I have not sustained any injuries or visited an orthopedic doctor in a long time. This is big people. What has happened is I am not having fun. I’m getting increasingly worried that marathon training is going to make me hate running. And while I know a lot of the shitty runs I had this summer were weather related, but that doesn’t change how demoralizing they were.

I do not doubt my ability one bit to finish the Lakefront Marathon, what I doubt is my desire to do it. And there is no way I will be able to run 26.2 miles on October 7th if I don’t want to be doing it. Two Saturday’s ago I ran through Madison on my way to another half marathon finish. Of course I somehow managed to get the summer plague (or just a cold) the day before the race and wasn’t able to have the race I wanted, I did still finish. I remembered how much I enjoy racing the half marathon.

This weekend is my first scheduled 20 miler and I will not be running it.

My marathon journey has come to an end.

I will not be running the Lakefront Marathon this October.

And I’m okay with that.

Madison Mini Goals and Thoughts

Race day is in two days. The Madison Mini, a race that didn’t exist until I moved away from Madison. And now I finally get to run it. I have never run a half marathon in Madison. This seems to shock some people, but I wasn’t a distance runner when I lived there. For most of the summer I was thinking this would just be a fun long run through Madison, especially after I registered for Lakefront. But now we are two days away and we have the most perfect magical race weather forecast ever. Seriously, we are all giddy about it.

Goals

And we get this!
  • Run another fun race with Sara
  • Don’t Die
  • Crazy over the top Goal: PR – I can’t even write what crazy number that is without causing myself anxiety.
  • A Goal: 1:53:xx
  • B Goal: Sub 1:55
  • C Goal: Sub 2 hours

This is going to be a great weekend. I get to see lots of friends, meet twitter friends, and spend a weekend in one of my favorite cities.

The emotions of marathon training

I had one of those terrible horrible make you question why train for marathon runs this weekend. I know those are bound to happen. I know it’s the weather, but it is so defeating. I was mad. I was upset. I wanted to get to my planned mileage. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. It just wasn’t going to happen.

Now I expected there to be ups and downs during my marathon training. That is bound to happen. This is the third time I have trained for a marathon. I kind of know what to expect. I also know to expect the unexpected and that so much is out of my control. But I wanted this to be different. I foolishly thought it would be easier. I have no idea why, but I thought it was going to be. I have the experience of having run a marathon and having not made it to the starting line. I know the good and the bad. That doesn’t make it any easier. Not even a little bit. I wanted this to go smoothly.

I was supposed to be training with Sara, but it’s summer and life happens. We are both really busy. We still get to do a lot of out weekday runs together, but we have barely been able to match up any of our long runs. We did have one totally amazing run on what can only be described as a magical day. It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t humid, it was actually nice running weather. I want that all the time. I know that’s unrealistic, but it’s what I want.

I never expected the summer from hell. I know summer running isn’t easy, but this is horrendous. It’s killing my spirit and my desire to run. But I am not ready to give up. I still want to run the 26.2 miles. I still want to cross the finish line. I still want to do it all. I want to do the 20 mile training runs. I am prepared for the ups and downs that will come over the next few months. And on October 7 I will toe the start line with Sara by my side and we will both cross the finish line with smiles on our faces.

July in Review

I think mother nature won this month. It’s good to know it wasn’t just me though. Turns out it was the hottest July ever on record in Wisconsin. I never actually threw a tantrum, but I sure got close. And I definitely bitched a lot.

Total Mileage: 78 <— Yuck
Miles with Sara: 61
Total Miles to date: 716
Longest Run: 16, which went 800 times better than the almost 16 in June.
Races: Big 10KCudahy Classic

This should have been a much higher mileage month, but I just couldn’t do it. I’m not worried about my Lakefront training. The killer 16 miler I had felt great. And I have a big run coming up this weekend. August will be good. I will hit my miles and my workouts.

July was still lots of fun. I went to Phoenix for my cousin’s wedding and had a blast with extended family. My brother was in the country for something like 9 days so that was fun. We had Wisconsin beer and Italian wine. We ate good food.

Me, Levi, Dad and Mom

I got to run a fun inaugural race with two of my favorite race buddies: Mo and Kelsey. And I followed it up with running a 10 mile race the next day with Sara.

It was a good month, but fair riddance to July. I’m ready for a new month. August will bring the Madison Mini and all kinds of other fun summer events.