I have to admit, for someone who blogs about running, I’m not doing too good of a job of running lately. By lately I mean the past two years really. Ok, so that’s sort of true. I am still running weekly, and getting in at least (for the most part) 25 miles, but that’s far from the days when I thought my life as a runner would be ruined if I missed a run, or worried so much about missing a long run that after teaching for eight hours a day, I would go home and get my shoes on and run 20 miles, into the evening. Yes, I did that several times in 2009…ran long runs during the work week. Well, it paid off, that was one of my best years as a runner.
I am currently training for marathon number 19, the Chevron Houston Marathon. This will be my 10th consecutive CHM, which I am REALLY, REALLY excited about. I’ll write more about why later. But the fact is that I am a little burned out of marathon training at the moment and have been since about 2014. It takes a lot of dedication, time, and discipline to train for a marathon. A lot of waking up REALLY early on the weekends, having to watch what I eat the night before the long run, missing out on fun weekend dinners out, etc. I trained REALLY hard for seven years straight, even training for three marathons back to back at some points…and that burned me out mentally. I also got to a point which I reached some pretty big goals so I had a “Well, I got there,” attitude about it. My ultimate goal as a marathon runner was to qualify for and run Boston. I did that, several times so I was really happy! I don’t plan to try and requalify for Boston again until I get into the 35-39 age group, so I don’t have sense of urgency with training.
At this point I am totally ok with missing runs during the week, and even long runs. I was supposed to run 20 miles this weekend, but it rained…so I didn’t feel like it. The Shirin of 2013 would have thought “It might rain race morning, this is great preparation, let’s go!” The Shirin of 2016 says, “My bed is really cozy, I have two more 20 milers + left.”
I’m no longer hard on myself because sometimes, it’s time to give yourself a break. For me, that time is now. Will I have an awesome time in January 2017? Probably not. Will I finish and be happy with whatever I get because of the fact that I am able to run and can do so on my own…VERY!
Relax if you aren’t making all your runs, or if training isn’t going as planned. The good news is there’s always another race!