"...goin wherever it leads..."
Geez, it’s been awhile.
Last time I blooped was what, well before Wineglass? Yep. I went to Corning and ran a half marathon with Aubree and Tim (it’s been so long that I have no idea what the loop names are anymore) and had a great time pacing with Tim for Aubree’s sub- 1:45. Some belated pics, because I know how much everyone loves to see #raceface.
I also ran a 5k with Juliet, who is a tiny little bundle of running awesomeness... She was so determined to run a sub-30 5k. And she did. She was crying for the last quarter mile, she was in so much pain, but she wanted NOTHING TO DO with slowing down and calling a 30:xx good enough. Sprinted to the finish with 10 seconds to spare and then it was my turn to cry a little. This summer, she'll be registering for her school's cross country program and I'm excited for that.
But much of last year was kind of a bust, running-wise. I went through a huge slump- one I might still be in?- after the cluster-fudge brownie that was Buffalo. Something about that race cracked me wide open. God, I hate that race. I still have nightmares about that race. But I try to chalk up the debacle to character building and all that jazz. Moving on.
Summer proved to only perpetuate the running $h$tshow, though, with a crazy schedule at work, and insanely hot temps (for here) and my general apathy at running. Working every single Saturday meant I could hardly ever race and since I couldn’t race, my mojo wilted like cotton candy in a rainstorm. I didn’t wanna run. At least not long and not far and not much. Add to that the fact that C, the RB I ran with last year, had his divorce finalized, got a girlfriend and promptly stopped running. Cold turkey. BAM. I mean, I kinda get it... a single dad with 2 kids and a full-time job doesn’t leave much time for running with a friend once you have better things to do (literally? lol ). And the girlfriend doesn’t run. So it was back to solo runs. This time, no RB and still no mojo, except for Wineglass weekend.
Then this year rolled around, and I finally said screw it to the job that was holding all my Saturdays hostage. I got a new job. More pay, similar work, and NO WEEKENDS. I don’t really enjoy it all that much and am bored but most people don’t love their jobs so why should I expect more? What people do love, and I am no exception, is weekends. Hallelujah, I get real weekends again.
I was going to run a marathon this spring, at Glass City. Like, BQ attempt and all that. I even tried a few weeks of training. Ran long runs up to 15 miles. And then one day I just said, you know what? I don’t want to do this. It’s not fun anymore. I was skipping tempos and dreading long runs. Especially since the winter weather seems to drag on and on and on and not in a good way like in the Journey song. It’s March 3 and it’s 15 degrees. This is not funny. Or maybe I just didn’t want a repeat of Buffalo, where I trained through a cold spring and then showed up for 80 degrees and air like soup. Have I mentioned disliking that race?
Wait a minute. When was the last time I had a spring/summer where I just HAD FUN? Where the whole better-get-your-ass-into-training-mode wasn’t like an insistent alarm clock going off in my head? When I did what I WANTED? Ruling out what I don’t want was the first step but the next step was asking myself, Peg, what do you want?
Here’s what I want: I want to enjoy my life, my family, my weekends. I want to be able to run with friends at yackety-yak minutes/mile instead of being saddled to a specific pace for 15 miles. I want to race some short distances. Specifically, 5ks and 10ks, without worrying that racing in the middle of training will either hurt my marathon training or end in a crappy race. Or get me injured. I want to do track workouts of 400s, 800s, mile repeats. I like track workouts. I want to get out my road bike and I want to bike, a lot. I want to drive to other parts of town, or other towns, and run while exploring. I want my running and biking to take me to places and experiences. And I’d like to bloop/blog about said places and experiences… yes, I’d like to hang out here more. I’ve missed writing about running, mostly because I’ve missed ENJOYING running.
Oh, btw, I want to start *gasp* running trails. 50k. Maybe a 50 miler later.
Yep, you heard me. ULTRAS
I need something new. I need a change. I want to love running again.
Once warmer weather rolls around (based on current trends, hoping to be in short sleeves by Memorial Day), I want to join a group from around here that regularly spends Saturdays or Sunday afternoons in the summer running trails down at Oil Creek State Park. That’s home to the Oil Creek 100M, 100k, and 50k every October; ZamGirl has done that one (HOLY COW I JUST REMEMBERED A LOOP NAME! Oh, I haven’t forgotten Bangle and 5Starks and KeepRunningGirl and atombuddy and dammit I AM A LOOPSTER STILL). The trail running group is largely insane trail junkies who run ultras and 24 hour stuff and 100 milers. So I will be the newbie in the group showing up in track flats and an 8 oz handheld and no bug spray or toilet paper. But I have been the newbie at everything under the sun since 2007 when I emerged a blinking newborn (figuratively) into the real modern world, so what else is new? I blame any gaffes on my hair color and ask lots of questions and take people’s advice and so far I’ve managed to get fairly far on that.
I’m a couple weeks in of just… backing off and running differently. I even started doing some runs watchless, aka going out there and running routes that I know are a specific amount of miles and estimating the pace based on time passed. That’s relaxing. Different for me, for sure. Next thing you know I’ll be inputting runs of 5.98356 miles when I do wear the watch, and not running 20 foot laps in my driveway to get to 6….
….. Kidding, never happening, the neighbors would be so disappointed to learn that I am not certifiably insane and I dislike letting people down.
I will revisit the Boston dream again. Maybe a late marathon this fall, for a 2021 shot. Or maybe I’ll do the Glass City thing next spring instead. Somewhere, sometime, I’ll have the laser-focus that I used to have. You know, where I did every single run at least 10 seconds per mile faster than I’m supposed to and got 16 PRs in one year and ran, what was it, a sub-1:40 half marathon?
Sometimes I kinda miss the old 2013 or 2017 me sometimes. You know what I don’t miss? The injuries. 2014, 2015, 2016. Turns out the world doesn’t come to a complete stop just because I’m a little more chill about running.
In the meantime, I totally revamped my training. NEW PLAN!!! 5ks, 10ks, so speedwork during the week, along with short easy runs. And longer training runs on the weekend, hopefully some on trails, but with the focus of time on feet and not speed/pace. A possible 30k in May, providing the 23 people ahead of me on the waiting list decide they have better things to do on a Saturday morning. Go shopping, people. Picnic. Family wedding. Help me out here. And then I'm eyeing a 50k in June. Then I’m kiiiiiiiiinda putting a 50 miler at either Burning River 50 or Finger Lakes 50 on the table... It’s on the way far corner of the table and it may topple off at any moment, but the fact that it’s on the table is progress.
And then, there’s always the Oil City 100k in October. That’s not on the table, that’s just a tiny seed in my brain. But you know, little acorns to mighty oaks and that sort of thing. Let’s not even start on the Ironman I still want to complete someday. But I don’t want to ruin this summer by taking up swimming (shudder) again. I'm not Fish or stewmanji (god, I love the loop names coming back to me).
I kind of like the feeling I have right now, of doing my own thing. A simmering excitement. Trying new things. Going off the beaten path. Doing what I want, running what I want.