I ran a 5k last weekend and it didn't go well. I can live without a good time, but I also didn't have fun. I was staring down a long road of marathon training, and I couldn't remember the last run that made me happy.
I'd become full of excuses. There was always some reason why my runs didn't go well. It was my stomach, my ankle, the course was not as advertised, I was recovering from a week off, I was recovering from an MS relapse, it was too humid, I had too much other shit going on. I was becoming a drag, even to myself. Especially to myself.
Fortunately Sean makes espresso every morning, and last Sunday I woke up and smelled it. (Get it? Work with me here people.) The only person who was making me train for that marathon was me. And I didn't have to do it! That was as exciting a discovery as the day I realized I could get to "Inbox Zero" by deleting everything in my inbox. This is the year of the obvious revelation.
Fast forward one week and everything feels so much better. I decided to stop being so serious about running for a while. I'm still running, but instead of marathon training, I'm preparing for a road mile race in August. That's like a million percent less running. Yeah I know, you thought I was going to say something sane like I was taking up horseback riding or crochet. But I'm still a running addict. Training for a mile means lower mileage and higher intensity, which is what feels natural to me right now. The same thing happened last summer, so this must be my biorhythm or something.
On Saturday I did an exciting and fast workout at the track - 6x300 with tiny little 1:00 recoveries. When I'm mile-training, I run lots of short intervals at goal race pace. The intervals get longer as the race gets closer, so you get accustomed to running at race pace for 4x400m, 2x800m, etc. There are also a bunch of 5k paced intervals and hills thrown in. I'm running 5 days a week instead of 6, I might take some random extra days off, and I'm going to be a little more casual about strength and core work. I don't think this lackadaisical attitude will last forever, but it's fun to get off the Type A ride for a while.
I love how training for a mile race is like a vacation from "real running." This feeling will probably last until my third hard track workout.
As you know, I love writing about losing control of my bowels while running. It's therapeutic and usually has at least a hint of humor, as long as I wait until the horror is over before writing about it. I've often wondered why more people don't talk about pooping in their pants. Imagine my surprise when I found a spate of pants-crapping blog posts last week. Check out my favorites: The Awful Truth About Jogging, and a story about when a fart isn't really a fart (during a race no less). That last one includes photos! Not for the squeamish. And this one isn't all about pants-shitting, but it turns out really fast girls have these issues too.
Until next time, may all your runs be near a toilet. See what I did there?