Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Summer of Not-Running Ends Now

I've blogged once or twice about how much I have not been running this summer. For a while I just didn't feel like it - I was throwing myself into my yoga practice and strength training at the YMCA instead. Then I wanted to run, but the weather didn't make running enjoyable - 90 and humid is no joke. I feel strange using the weather as an excuse, since my running life started in East Texas, which is even hotter and more humid than Wilmington, but I think there is a key difference. In East Texas, I had to be at work every day at 8:00AM, which meant I ran no later than 6:00AM, which was mostly bearable. Here, I don't have to be anywhere until the late afternoon, and the dogs need to be walked, and the garden needs to be watered, and I need to drink a cup of coffee, and so I don't often start running until around 7 or 8, which is really just too late and thus, miserable. So - very little running this summer. I'm talking one or two runs a week, and weekly mileage in the single digits. Which is why yesterday, when this happened, I was thrilled:

I haven't run six miles sine the 10K in April. And even though it was so hot, and so humid, and everything hurt, and my pace was dismal (for me), I pushed through and finished it. The first long run back is always the worse, and I wanted to get it out of the way. But why, you might be wondering, after a summer of not really caring about how far or fast or often I ran, am I suddenly pushing myself again? 

Because of this:

I officially start training for the Battleship North Carolina Half Marathon on August 1. I wanted to run this race last year, but it didn't work out - ITB issues, and a lack of time and money. My ITB seems to be healed, but I plan to take it easy with training - last year, I did too much, too soon, and I won't make that mistake again. I have the same amount of time and money (IE, not much) but now that I've lived through a year of grad school, I know better how to balance my commitments and keep my finances in check. Yesterday's six miler was a bit of pre-training - getting used to the idea of running long and hard before the real workouts start. It was a bit of a wake up call, but also motivating. Rebuilding my base and getting my speed back will take a while, but I'm ready to give it a shot. I've enjoyed my summer-long break from running, and it's helped me remember that I love to run. I need to run. And I'm excited to get back to it.

Also, in case you didn't notice (because it took me a while, too) this race is the week before our wedding. I can't decide if this makes it better, or worse. Better, because Nathan and I will l both run it, and it will keep me accountable to fitness during the crazy weeks before the big day, and running is the best stress reliever I have? Or worse, because I'll have to skip long runs to make favors and centerpieces by hand? Only time will tell.

At any rate, I'm excited to have something to work toward, a training plan to follow, and a big race to look forward to. I haven't yet decided what my goal will be for the race (my PR is 1:58 and I'd like to beat that, but we'll see). Mostly I just want to stay in shape, challenge myself, and have fun. And after yesterdays slow, sweaty, and painful six miler, I'm pretty sure all those goals will be reached.