After Little Rock, I could tell two things. First, I was tired. And second, I was a bit burnt out from basically living a 14-month training plan that started a few months after my first Half Marathon at Disney in 2012. I had laid out some pretty significant running goals for myself and the only way I was going to reach them was to be disciplined, determined, and focused. Little Rock was the culmination of all those goals I established in 2012. I deserve a break today. ( did I mention that I am tired?).
For an overweight, 300+ lb couch potato who just started running in 2011, some might argue that signing up for 39 races in two years (not to mention actually completing 38 of them, plus two virtual races) was way too ambitious and a little crazy. And they might be right (otherwise how could I have earned the titles Half Fanatic and Marathon Maniac).
Only through consistency in training and being smart about getting enough rest, eating decent food (well, most of the time), and taking care of my body could I have possibly done this without any major injuries/setbacks. (Major thanks to Toni who kept my muscles from rebelling through all of 2012.)
And I cannot say enough about the encouragement, wisdom, and advice that I received (and continue to receive) from my coach Meghan, Coach Jenny, my running partner Mike, Team W.I.S.H., my marathon training group, and my fellow Fanatics/Maniacs who have all "been there and done that" (there are so many of you to thank that I couldn't begin to list you all without fear of leaving anyone out but you know who you are!). Thank you from the bottom of my heart rate training zone!
But I am definitely tired. I took 10 days off from running after Little Rock (I did two walks for 5.5 miles but that doesn't count, right?). The primary reason was to rest my right hip which complained loudly to me during the last few miles of the Little Rock race. But in addition to that, I just wanted to have a few days of not getting up at Zero Dark Thirty to workout. I would rather go there to just sit in the Jacuzzi and relax.
So I tried that out for 10 days. It was just 'okay' but the body certainly appreciated it. My mind, however, kept telling me I was slacking off, losing fitness, and losing my runner's "cred". Watching my friends run as they prepped for another race the following weekend only made me feel more like a schlub. It was kinda like Taper Madness in a way.
So this morning, I got out of bed at 5:15am, drove to LifeTime, and hopped on the treadmill for a solid 3.20 mile run (with a .60 mile warm-up/cool-down). My body felt good -- no hip pain, no knee pain, no iTB issues. Great! And my mind was back on track, telling me that "I was still a runner!" Wow! "Still a Runner?"
So, my 10 days of rest are over and it is time to get back to it. I need to sit down this weekend and draw up my training schedule to cover March through May. Then later, I will draw up a training plan for my son and me for June through August -- for my first Ultra and his first Half Marathon. And then the final training push for the October Marine Corps Marathon.
So it looks like another full year of training (but with some breaks here and there). But at least for the remainder of this year, I only have 12 races to run -- 6 between now and the end of May, and 6 between August and December. It sounds like a lot but really, it is only 9 'events' (two events have multiple races -- the Flying Pig (3) and the Dumbo Double Dare (2)).
Okay, I am ambitious, maybe even a bit driven. But I am not crazy!