The post event blahs

2 07 2014

I try to prepare for it, I learn from experience, but somehow the post-event blahs hit me. It was my fear as I contemplated training for my first half last year, based on past experience. I feel like I ruined cycling after my century rides back in 2002. Cycling has never been the same for me. I did some off road racing, and quite a few new trails but I never had focus to actually put time into training. I got to the point that it didn’t feel worth it to go out unless I had an hour to ride. I talked with a few distance runners who assured me that with running it would be refreshing to only need to run three miles after completing my training plan and race.

I’ve always done well the first time I set out on a plan. First go around with Weight Watchers? To goal weight in 10 weeks. First century ride? Followed my Team in Training coach’s plan to a T. My first half? More or less followed my training plan, with a few adjustments. My encore performances?  Well let’s say the Weight Watchers efforts have transformed to My Fitness Pal attempts, and I’m always struggling.  My second century actually went better performance-wise, but my training was so sporadic it was a miracle. This years half training? Sub par, at best. But I got it done, and I did improve my time, but it was much, much more painful overall. I just lose the focus I have for the firsts.

Clearly, based on my lack of posts, as well as lack of runs, the blahs hit again after the Medina half. They were compounded by allergy issues, outdoor home improvement projects, The Man’s short term overnight work schedule, swim lesson madness, a kidney stone, Lego day camp and summer schedule in general. It’s not just that I haven’t had the time to run, but that I haven’t wanted to run, so I haven’t found the time. Then suddenly the Electric Run was upon me, and I’m lucky that I couldn’t go all out there, because I wouldn’t have had it in me. I have a few 10ks coming up in July, but nothing solid and focused until October’s Army Ten Miler in DC. It’s all just casual stuff. I’d love to improve, but they are  friend-focused events, really.

I decided to start small getting back at it. Just work on getting a few runs a week in to make it through the 10ks reasonably. I had planned to mirror a friend’s training plan to work on speed but my knee has been bothering me for a few weeks and doesn’t seem to be letting up. Her training plan has been quite ambitious and I think the group setting is necessary to push that hard. I think now I’m going to brush off an old Couch to 5k-type plan, but really push my speed during the run intervals, with a bit added on the end to round up the mileage. I’ll throw a bit of distance once a week as well to keep me in the six-mile long run range, working back up to 10 in the fall. It seems doable, but I need to plot it out on my handy dandy notebook. Why does a paper schedule help me? I have no idea, but it seems more real, less able to dismiss like an Outlook reminder.

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I hope this helps me shake it off. It’s been a rough month–the sneaky hate spiral of post-race apathy has taken control of me for too long. Saturday morning was a good start. I did not want to run, but I did. I forced myself out the door, into a sea of humidity. I didn’t bring a hat or sunglasses or water. I didn’t eat my prerequisite banana. But I survived. And I’m glad I went. I reflected as I ran about how to find the joy in exercise again. I was able to swim a few laps earlier last week, which felt pretty good. I’ve figured out a decent bike route that appears to be safe for a 10-15 mile ride, so I’m planning do get that in this week once as well. I’m going to work on finding the joy again, instead of just going through the motions.

 

Do you get the post event blahs?

Any tips to move through them,  back to the joy?


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