Friday, June 26, 2015

Refocusing & Taking a Break

This is something I’ve been struggling with forever.  Seriously.  I start a new assault on my unhealthy lifestyle and I say I’m going to eat right 80-90% of the time with only occasional cheat meals/days.  I say I’m going to exercise X amount of minutes/hours for X amount of days each week.  I say so many things.  I build myself up.  I think I’m going to do great and succeed.  And then life happens.  Why can’t I be consistent?  Why do I have to be such an emotional person?  Why do I have to be so weak when it comes to my emotions?  It is beyond annoying and beyond frustrating.  I don’t even know how to describe the level of disappointment I have in myself right now.
Something has been bothering me for the last couple/few months and I’ve just been kind of trying to push it to the side and ignore it and hoping it will just fade and go away.  But it hasn’t and doesn’t seem like it’s going to…not for a little while, anyway.  What am I talking about?  Remember me mentioning something here and/or there about the nagging feeling of a need of a break from running?  Yea, it’s apparently more than just a need for a break from running.  I seem to be actually depressed.  I hate this.  I take medication (this is no secret) to control my medication and 90%+ of the time I’m fabulous and beyond okay.  But, lately, not so much.  Little things are affecting me and I’m way more emotional than usual.  Sometimes the depression is more than the medication can control and I get depressed anyway.
My running friend Kirsten has told me a couple times that after we run the Orange Leaf Half Marathon next month I should take a break…FOR A MONTH!  Gasp!  A month?  I was completely resistant to taking a break at all longer than 5 days.  But, seeing as how this isn’t going away I need to do something.  So, I will play by feel as to how long of a break I will be taking, but I will be taking a break, but Kirsten has recommended 1-2 months.  I’m going to use this break to focus on other aspects of fitness.  I’ll hit the gym more often.  I’ll do some workout DVDs (like P90X, among others).  I’ll try to head out on the weekends for a long cycling trip.  Just different things.  I also am going to really try and focus on controlling my eating.  I know when I get depressed that my grasp of control on my eating suffers greatly.  I just need to get a handle on things because right now I don’t have one.
I’m getting in my own way here.  I need a break and I need to regroup.  But I’m afraid that if I take this break that I won’t be able to start again.  I’m afraid my registration fees for marathons I’ve already paid for will go to waste or that I’ll kill myself trying to run them when I’m not properly trained to run them.  Ugh.  Kirsten insists that I will be fine if I take a break, even if I take a 2 month break.  She says that I won’t hit my 4:20:00 time goal and I’m perfectly fine with that.  The South Padre Island Marathon (SPI Mara) that I’m doing in November I am doing because it goes from one end of South Padre Island to the other and it’s going to be a gorgeous run.  Also, SPI Mara has posted that there will be selfie spots set up along the route, so I plan to hit those.  I might even take my selfie stick!  Yea, probably not.  Haha.  Just regular selfies with my phone will be fine.  And then I’m doing the San Antonio Rock’n’Roll Marathon in December.  I have run the half marathon for this race before and it was hard.  Even if I had been properly trained before running it (I was NOT…had not run in basically 6 weeks prior to the race), it still wouldn’t have been an easy run for me.  I had no illusions that, even properly trained, I would hit my time goal at this race this year.  Next year I will seek to hit my time goals.  But, next year, I’m going to approach everything differently.  I’m going to spend the cooler months hitting the interval and fartlek sessions and hill repeats.  I’m considering joining a running group next year to help my training be more structured.  And I think running with a group, even if just once a week, will be highly beneficial.  There are a few groups I could go with, all with varying prices for membership.  OR, I could just do the Austin Runners Meetup group and actually start going to some of their runs.  I might try that one first as it’s free.
I’m just going to play the rest of this year by feel with my running.  I’ll take my break after Orange Leaf for a month, maybe 2, then get back into training.  And I’m going to take Kirsten’s advice on something else here.  When I start back up after my break, I’m going to run by TIME instead of distance for the first month…at least.  If I like it, then I’ll keep doing it that way.  If I don’t really like it, then after a month, I’ll go back to running by distance.  We shall see how it goes.
I’ve put a little thought into how I’m going to deal with this upcoming break from running.  As I said, I’m going to focus on other things during this time.  I have a friend that just bought himself a road bike.  I want to make him meet me for some cycling once a week.  I’d like to do like 10-15 miles when he and I meet up.  Longer, if I can talk him into it!  If he doesn’t want to go that far, then I’ll just have to ride more after he’s done for the day, or go for a second ride within the week.  I bought a Garmin for my bike a while back and have yet to use it even once!  So, I am looking forward to using it.
Something else I want to do is buy a pair of Hoka running shoes.  When I’m done with my break, I’d like to start up by trying out a different brand of shoes that I have heard LOTS of good things about from everyone I know that has run in them. 
I’ve decided the only time goal I’m going to worry about after Orange Leaf for the remainder of this year is my 5K goal time.  Other than that, everything else is in long-term goal status.  I eventually want to get my half marathon down to sub-2 hour, of course.  But my main time goal is to run a marathon in 4:20:00 or less by the end of 2016 (this was originally my goal for this year, however…things change) and then run a marathon in 3:40:00 by September 2017 to qualify to run Boston in 2018!!!  Other than that, it is going to be whatever it is going to be.  Am I right or am I right?  

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