Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update - 12-12-12

How awesome is it that on such a cool date as 12-12-12, I get to write that I've run a total of 12 races for the year?!?  Yeppers, with the half marathon on Sunday, I hit number 12.  And honestly, I didn't set out to do 12 races in 2012, but you better believe that I have my eye on doing 13 races in 2013!


So, now that a couple of days have gone by since the half marathon and I've had time to think, I'm going to make some changes to my running.  Because when I really think about it, I still like running.  I just have not enjoyed the super long distances.  But I want to give running a half marathon one more try, just to see if I approach it differently, the outcome might be better.  There's a saying that goes "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" and I think I've been testing that out a little too well, lately.

Here's what I know.  The last couple of months, I get to a point during our long run where I'm just done.  I don't want to be running anymore.  It's not that my body is super-fatigued; it's that my brain says NOPE.  And what's disappointing to me is that I don't feel the need to push through to the end - I just start walking.  My resolve to run a certain distance disappears.  And then, of course, I feel bad for not pushing myself to keep running, and quite honestly, I'm tired of this dumb cycle. 

This 25-week training season was hard.  The schedule had us increasing our distance every two weeks and for me, when we got to the longer miles (8 and up), it was always difficult.  I struggled through every single run - in hindsight, I think if I'd gotten to just run 4 or 5 miles every once in a while, I might have felt more confident about attacking the longer distances.  And who knows - maybe the anxiety I've been feeling during those long runs might not have been so bad.  While this was an extremely challenging season for me, I'm very proud of myself for completing it.  Less than five years ago I was an overweight, sedentary person who never, ever, EVER would have thought she'd be a runner.  So even though this wasn't the greatest running season for me, the fact that I ran, week after week, is still pretty incredible.

The plan for the next few weeks:
Saturdays:  Run 4 or 5 miles - I've earned some shorter runs!
Tuesdays:   Run 1/2 mile warm up, then push to run 1 mile fast (for me), then 1/2 mile cool down.  Done.  I can run a hard mile, if it's only ONE hard mile.
Thursdays:  Run my pleasant 2 miles with Erica.

After that, the plan is:
Saturdays:   Try running intervals to see if it makes a difference in how I approach doing a long run.  Maybe if I mentally know that after X number of minutes I get a 1 minute walking break, the total distance won't seem so overwhelming to me.  I think I'll start off with 3:1 intervals and see how that goes.  I also think that this might give me a little more self-discipline in running sooner after I take a walk break, because lately, once I start walking, I have a hard time making myself run again.
Tuesdays:   Hill repeats.  These are hard, but when we did them last summer, I saw a lot of improvement over the course of six weeks of doing them.  Plus, they have an added bonus of being somewhat of a speed workout.
Thursdays:  Run my pleasant 2 miles with Erica.

We signed up for the Armadillo Dash half marathon months ago - the race is March 3rd.  I'm going to see if making these changes helps with my approach to running 13 miles...if my attitude improves, then I'll do the half.  If it turns out that I still get that "nope, I'm done" feeling during the next couple of months, then I'll drop down to the 5K, and just do shorter races from then on.

Either way, I'm going to keep on running.

My medals and the bibs from every race I've done - I'm quite proud of this!


  1. good gosh you inspire me.
    Im still lying to myself that when I MOVE Ill totally be a runner maybe because it wont be so hot.
    it COULD happen!!! :)

  2. Shelley, you continue to motivate me to put my running shoes on and get out there. That I so cool about your 12 races in 2012. It must have been meant to be. I love the medal holder. Where did you have that made?

    1. The medal hanger is from Allied Medal Displays - they do AMAZING work. I had one made for Jeff last year...can't recommend them enough!

  3. A runner isn't defined by the distance he or she runs. I sometimes feel that people expect it from a runner that he/she has to run a longer distance every time he/she finished a distance. Meaning that if you say you can run a 5K people ask you when you are going to do 10 miles and after that a half and then a full. At least that's my experience.

    The sentence: I still like running is the most important one in this post because that's what a runner defines in my opinion. You keep on running Shelley and wheater it's a mile, a 5K, a 10K or a half, it doesn't matter. As long as you enjoy every mile of the run and can't wait to go out for your next run, you're doing it right!

    And 12 races this year? Cool, I hadn't realized you did so many races this year.


  4. The Galloway method is followed in my area a lot. Combo of run / walk. Low injury rate on the half marathons

    Love your display. Here's to finding the right balance. Safe travels.

  5. I think it sounds like a plan. I get it. Lot's of hugs.

  6. Love the plan. The Galloway method sounds like a perfect one for you (plus I've heard it helps prevent injury).

    Nice medal holder. Much better than a lamp.

  7. Yes. You know, from some people's perspective four or five miles IS a long distance!

    And yes, it totally eluded me that you had run 12 races this year. That's amazing!

    Your medal display is very cool!

  8. Cool! 12 races in 2012 and you are blogging about it on 12-12-12?!? Very awesome!!

    I think your new plan sounds smart. You deserve some easy runs!! :)

  9. Sounds like a great plan Shelley. I'm glad you're going to keep running!!! Have a great day.

  10. Hooray for 12 in 2012!! You are so right - imagine the woman you were five years ago even contemplating how her life would be five years from then - as the saying goes "you've come a long way baby!"

    You should be so proud!

  11. Happy 12-12-12 and a big congratulations on your 12 races! Loving those beautiful medals.

    Maybe long distances just aren't your thing. And there's nothing wrong with that. This is supposed to be fun. :) I like the 5ks and obstacle course runs the best. But that's just me.

  12. I love what Fran said about distance not defining a runner.

    We all have that personal block that can be really hard to get through. I hope you figure it out and get to that happy place for your next half. :D

  13. Hot dawg for 12 in 2012! I love your medal board. I'm working with my dad to make a few for me and a couple of friends.

    Um yeah...about that long distance thang. I think you and I are on the same mental page. I feel ya - totally. It's probably why I haven't paid for Rock n Roll or Women's Half today ($20 off for the special day). But I do like your game plan and hope it works for you. I'm all hyped for the halves I have on my schedule, but as race day gets closer I dread the distance. Gah!!!

    I've got one scheduled/paid for on Dec 23rd in Galveston. Let's hope it's good weather.

  14. Love the medals. I read some blogs where they say they throw em in the closet, but I LOVE my medals!!
    Congrats on 12 in 12!! You are a runner whether you run 1 mile or 26 miles!! You inspire me to keep moving!! THankyoU!

  15. Your realization that you were running week after week, when just a few years ago you weren't, is so important to remember! I mean, you ran 12 races this year! That's awesome!

    But yeah, I can see where the distance would be tough. My running partner is training for a half right now, and her program does add distance, but also includes a couple short runs each week (basically whatever they can do in about 40 minutes in intervals of jogging 5 minutes/walking 1 minute), I think for the purpose of making sure everyone does still feel good about running, even if the longer distances can be hard. I hope that cutting the distance over the next few weeks helps!

  16. I think that is a great plan Shelley! I know what you mean about not wanting to go any farther!

    And I forgot about your cute metal rack - love it!

  17. I have probably said this before, but you know Ima say it again: you can fully train for a half marathon in 12 weeks or less, depending on how long it has been since you ran your last one. I couldn't do it for 25 weeks. I don't see a bit of need to run each long distance twice but that's just my .02.

    As for the walking intervals, for me, the only way to do them is to train them purposefully. If I train to run only and suddenly find myself walking, like you I have a very difficult time even wanting to run again. The intervals definitely work if trained though - there are lots of folks who actually find themselves faster when they train them like that.

    This is all part of becoming an experienced runner - finding what works for you. For example, as you've mentioned that you did 12 races in '12. I realized I did ZERO. In fact, I've done very little racing at all for the past few years even though I've logged plenty of miles. Right now, that has worked for me.

  18. Whether you are doing long races or shorter ones, keep racking up those deserved medals!
    I think it's great that you are evaluating what type of distance runner that you want to be, and are figuring out what makes you happy. I said it in a comment before, not every runner HAS to keep increasing their distances; maybe the goal can be to run 5Ks and just get *faster* at them. Nothing wrong with that kind of goal, either!


Comments are now moderated to prevent spammers from leaving, well, spam - but rest assured that as soon as I read a real comment, I will publish it. So please, comment away, even though the blog is officially closed. Thanks!