Monday, August 27, 2018

Runner Shelley v9.0 - Part 1

I am coming up on the ninth anniversary of running my first mile - September 2, 2009 was a huge turning point for me and I felt like a real runner on that day.  Over the years I've run many races, had a few injuries, recovered and came back, was the organizer of USAFit twice, and found a group of friends to run with, travel to races with, and hang out with even when we're not running.  So you could say that running has been hugely influential in my life.

I've kept up with running through just about every weather condition - you all know I am not a fair-weather runner...you can't be in Texas, otherwise I'd miss six months of running each year because of the heat.  Pretty much the only time I haven't run is when I've been injured, like that dastardly ankle injury for most of 2011, and a couple of other injuries along the way.  I'm kind of on autopilot when it comes to running; I just do it.  I don't turn off my alarm and go back to sleep, I get up and run.  It's what I do.

But, you also know how much I've struggled with race anxiety over the years.  I didn't have it in the beginning when I started racing; yes, I was nervous before a race, but I didn't have the misery of dread, fear, and physical sickness in the days leading up to a race, nor did I think "I don't want to do this" right before, or even partway through a race.  That has been rough, and it factored heavily into my decision to not stress myself out by running a lot of races this year.

In January, even before I got so sick from food poisoning during the race, I'd already spent a miserable weekend with my race anxiety and had decided that this was going to be the last time I subjected myself to running a half marathon - Houston was it for me.  But here's the thing about Houston - immediately after the race ends, they open up early bird registration for a short time, and that's usually when most of our group signs up again.  I did not sign up, knowing that if I changed my mind I could register in June when it opened up again.  Well, June came and I didn't sign up.  Normally this race sells out really fast, but for whatever reason, it didn't this year.  I kept getting email notifications from the race committee that registration was still open, and with each email I wondered if I shouldn't just hedge my bets and sign up, giving myself the option to not run the race.  Yes it would be an expensive hedge - I mean, who pays that much money without fully intending to run the race - but it would give me the chance to race, if I wanted to.

Would you believe that it took until August 23 for the half marathon to sell out?  And even though I was good with my decision to not run the race, every time I got a notification that spots were still available, I hesitated.  In the end, I held true to my decision, and will officially be a spectator at the race in January.  Whew!

So, what about Runner Shelley v9.0?  Well, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do and the thing that keeps coming to mind is that I miss being able to run for several miles without stopping.  Thanks to some dumb injuries, I felt like I always had to be really cautious with my running because I usually had a half marathon on the horizon, and I needed to be able to get through my long training runs in one piece in order to be at the starting line of my half marathon.  But I won't be running long distances this fall, and I won't be running a half marathon, so I can make some changes now.

In June I asked for a pair of bluetooth headphones for my birthday so I could run with music on my phone.  I've been using Google Play instead of iTunes, and I love it because I can have music on my playlist without having to pay for each individual song, which makes it easy and fun to keep changing things up:
Happy Birthday to ME - thanks, Sam!  These are Aftershokz Trekz Titanium and sit on the outside of the ear, so you can still hear traffic and cowdogs making noise.

I don't need new running shoes right now, nor any clothes, but I wanted something different for this new era of running, so I ordered a fun new band for my Garmin:
Cute, eh?  Super cheap on Amazon, I'm sure it won't last forever, but it makes me happy.

I also did a hard reset on my Garmin, which wiped it clean of my previous, and very old, personal records.  I have to say, it was pretty nice when I ran after I did that and got new PR's for fastest mile and longest distance - sometimes it's the little things that can bring encouragement.

My last thought about changing things up was to work on strengthening my muscles, so I started going to Planet Fitness a couple times a week with either Jeff or Diane.  That was fine, but there's only so much I will push myself, so when another option opened up, I decided to go for it.

To be continued...

13 comments:

  1. I'm digging this reset! You are a very different runner than you were all those miles ago, which actually makes it even more exciting to see what your running future holds. You know I'm there with you all the way.

    P.S. I'm proud of you for sticking to not running Houston - it really is ok to take a break from major races!

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    1. Thanks - you were there from the beginning, too! :)

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  2. I love that you are resetting everything ....and figuring out your place in the running world for right now where you are at!!!

    And those headphones are fantastic!!!!!!!! I have the same type!!!

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  3. I totally get your race anxiety. I used to get it so bad! Now that I do run/walk intervals, I get it so much less. I know now that I can always walk. Would I like to run without stopping? Heck yeah. But my body just won't let me do it.

    I think you know how I feel about strength training and I'm anxious to hear what you're doing about that!

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    1. It seems that no matter what I tell myself or how much I try to downplay a race, that anxiety almost always rears its ugly head. :(

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  4. Love this post. I think everyone should have a reset.

    I love racing and yes, I get nervous before each race but once I start running it goes away.

    I wouldn't be surprised if eventually you go back to running 13.1.

    I seriously consider sticking to 5ks but then I would miss out on those race-cations (and the medals LOL)

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    1. Oh I'm still going on the racecations - I'm just not running as far!

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  5. A cliffhanger!! Can hardly wait to hear your new option for strength training! Man, time flies. I can remember exactly when you switched over to running, and can hardly believe its been 9 years. And, the group of friends you've made through running is so wonderful.

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    1. Honestly, when I looked back to see when I started running, I was pretty shocked - it seems like it wasn't that long ago!

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  6. The evolution of a runner, Shelley-style! Good for you for sticking to your decision - I know it is so hard to turn off that doubt sometimes. Should I? Shouldn't I? It will make it that much more enjoyable to go spectate and cheer on your team. Can't wait to hear what your new fitness adventure is...

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    1. Thank you! And I am really looking forward to being on the other side of the finisher's chute at Houston and cheering my friends (and strangers, let's face it) as they finish.

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  7. TBC! You tease!!!! ;)

    I LOVE that band! It's so fun! Steven got me an orange band for my watch and when it breaks maybe I will get something different. It's nice we can switch those things out.

    I am so glad you stuck to your guns re: Houston (and am SHOCKED it took that long to sell out - I think people are less interested in racing now!). There is just no point in doing it if you aren't having fun! And you love everything else about it, except those (long) races!

    And I love hearing about your running journey and the joy it's brought to your life, through health and relationships!!!

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