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"Workin' On A Mystery..."

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PegLeg

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"...goin wherever it leads..." 

Geez, it’s been awhile.

half

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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.

 

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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.

RB

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.

BQyou 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?

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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.

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 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.

Stay tuned. 

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I'm so with you. You have to do what makes you happy.

I've been lifting and stairclimbing and all is good with the world.

Glad you got your Saturdays back.

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Yes, be happy. Enjoy the workouts without the stress. And keep sharing!

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More Peg! More Peg! More Peg!

Spring marathons are for fun, not BQs.

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Awesome that you've taken the time to decide what you REALLY want to do. Not everyone either does that or can actually figure it out.

marathon

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Enjoy the journey! And enjoy being the newbie if you delve into trails/ultras. I still feel like a poser FWIW. 

If you haven't read it already, I highly suggest The Happy Runner by Megan & David Roche. I feel like a broken record telling people to read this book, but it's just so good for runners who have had success, have high expectations of themselves, who love running, but sometimes forget they love it. 

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I lost the love a bit this past year too - started enjoying spinning and weight lifting much more than running - which no one who knows me could believe. I'm sure my interest will pick up when it's warmer and lighter.  

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Yay Peg is back!  Hope you find the love of running again.  I was just thinking about Wineglass (2017) this AM and how much fun we had!

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Good to see you doing what makes you happy. My IT band has slowed me to the point of not giving a crap about my 50k in April. I may hike the whole thing and love it. FL50’s may be in my future as well. It’s a good one. 

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5k training is absolutely delightful and I hope you will think the same! 

Trail running is also delightful - the closest good trails are a solid 30-40 minute drive for me, so I don't get to do it as often as I used to. Hope you enjoy it. And, BTW, you can find some really technical, hard shorter distance trail races to that I think you would find equally exciting and challenging. 

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