Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go/No Go Decisions

It's been a little quiet around here. (To make myself feel better, I'm going to pretend that people noticed!) It's supposed to be a running blog, and I've run a total of 2.5 miles so far this year.

That's ok. It's only been two weeks, but it's actually been kind of nice to not feel pressured to find time to run or head out in the cold in the dark of night (I do like running in the cold, but it's hard to get started!). My doctor thinks that some of my problems are linked to over-training (which I suspect is more the combo of finishing Philly/rushing back a little too fast to do a better job training for Shamrock/running the 5-miler much faster than was prudent moreso than just running too many miles) but beyond that it had just seemed like I've been burned out on running since October.

I enjoy the races, and on long run days, I love being able to say, even if only to myself, "I ran 20 miles this morning," but I think the way I found every possible excuse to skip mid-week base mile runs in October just shows that the love wasn't there right now, anyway. It had just started to feel like a chore. So, I'm sorry to miss my chance for another shot at Shamrock (and its great post-race party and cool finisher's hoodie), but I'll enjoy the break from running, too. And, luckily for me, my injuries are not ones that cause a lot of discomfort when I'm not running, they're just hopefully minor ones that just won't heal without rest. (And that, in the case of mystery bump, I just probably need to learn to deal with.)

It's also nice to not plan my sleep/meal schedules around running and it's great to actually be able to stay awake in the evenings rather than falling asleep in front of whatever show I'm trying to watch.

While I admit I'm enjoying the rest, there are some clear negatives:
  • While I would gladly admit I don't love running in and of itself as much as a lot of other serious or somewhat-serious runners, it does play a pretty big role in how I see myself. I'm a runner; running is the thing I do that lets me be proud of myself. If I can't run for a month, I sort of wish my doctor had also said that I can't do my job for a month, either.

  • I'm probably enjoying my rest a little too much. I've been lifting regularly, in fact I lifted more in December and January than I did all last year. I've re-discovered my enjoyment of it and I can tell that my upper-body strength is improving. That's good.

    What's bad is that I haven't done any cardio at all since my last attempt at running. Chris and I joined a gym on Monday, I'm just having trouble finding the motivation to get up and go before work to use the exercise bike, elliptical, or pool. I admit I'm a little scared how the mystery bump on my leg will respond, but it's laziness that's really keeping me from going, even though I know my return will go better if I can keep as much conditioning as possible...

  • As the title of the post implies, I've got some decisions to make regarding races to sign up for.
  1. While I could conceivably do the 8K (March 17) at Shamrock, it seems like after a whole month off that this would probably be unwise to be locked into one of these. If I can decide at the expo the day before the 8K to sign up for it, maybe this will be an option.
  2. Registration for the Broad Street 10-miler opens on February 15. I'll be (hopefully!) starting to run again by then, and the race is in May so as long as I get off my but and do some cardio, I think this is conceivable. The problem is that this one will sell out in a day or two, so I have to make that decision very early in my recovery.
  3. Kelly Shamrock 5K, March 11. I should probably be ok signing up for this one. I ran this while tapering last year and nice and easy would no doubt be the order of the day if I do sign up.
  4. There's a new race in Baltimore, the Sole of the City 10K on April 21 that sounds fun. I suspect I'll be able to do this by then, but the problem is, like Broad St, that I think I'll have to make that decision before or right after I start running again.
  5. Chris and I have been talking about the Atlantic City Half in October, and I'd been thinking about the full since I love AC and I suspect the course would be flat. I'd have to marathon train in the summer more than I did in 2011, but it would also give me an extra month of recover time before...
  6. I wasn't planning on returning to VA Beach every year, but since I can't run the Shamrock Marathon this year, I'd really love to give it a shot in 2013. I won't run Philly this year, so my legs will hopefully be fresher as I train for it.
So, I need the shinsplints and the mystery bump to cooperate, but I also need to get off my ass.

(Yeah, this has been pretty much what I've been doing the past two weeks.)


  1. Dude, you fall asleep in front of the TV running or no running. ;-)

    Oh...and get your butt to the gym!

  2. Have you tried foam rollers to help with your recovery? I have used one for more than a year and find them excellent; they are also good for treating shin splints.

  3. Thanks Westley! I have a foam roller that I'm very well-acquainted with, but hadn't really tried it on the shins.

  4. It certainly hurts but if you google some youtube videos it give some less painful suggestions to begin with. Good luck with it.