I have officially hit the wall, fell into a slump, plateaued… whatever metaphorical cliche works for you, I am there with my training. And I HATE it. I hate being out of sync with my run routine, but I suppose the good news is that I am fully aware of it and after only about four-ish days of feeling particularly perplexed, I am ready to fix it. During the four-ish days of fitful reflection I realized a number of things that are different now than they were last time I trained for the America’s Finest City Half Marathon in 2009. I have nearly arrived at Solution Station, here’s a travelog of my wanderings along the Training Trek.
This little enclave is both seductive and dismissive. Being busy with a fundamental responsibility like work did have me disciplined and on schedule. Big flurries of action this spring with my company left me no room for error and required heightened discretion. Running kept me focused. But then, once the deal was done, Distraction Town beckoned. All of the sudden I could talk, and so I caught up on all the socializing and silliness I was semi-avoiding due to the work project. But Distraction Town has a Wrong Side of the Tracks too, and that is where I found myself when my old car was diagnosed with certain death. I had to pull it together and concoct a new transportation plan out of thin air, and running time got used to accomplish this. It’s weird here, because everything else gets done: chores, hosting visitors, road trips, spring flower planting, cooking… it was just the running that got moved lower on the list.
The Dogburbs are sprawling and ephemeral. One issue leads to another to another to another and before you know it you have driven past the same vet clinic about 400 times, but you still might have to go back tomorrow. This is a place about which I have lingering denial. It is inevitable that you arrive in the Dogburbs at around nine canine years, but you still think you are cool and hip and that a seven year old dog is not that much different. Well, yes, in fact there is a huge difference out there in the Dogburbs, especially when one of your pooches has some health issues and simply cannot run as fast or far no matter how much you coax or cajole him, and that vet and all her damn tests and follow-ups to get the meds just right are the new normal. Here’s to hoping the meds are now right, his arthritis pain subsides, and that I can figure out a new normal schedule for me to run my needed miles at the correct pace and that they get their exercise too. Running without them makes my eyes sting and my heart hurt. The Dogburbs can kill your spirit just a little, mostly because there is a furball of mortality staring you right in the face with big brown eyes, only you’re the only one who knows it.
When the distractions and dogs are done with me, my next stop is usually Lazyburg. Here in Lazyburg good bad-TV is always on, the weather sucks, all your peeps are otherwise engaged, but really, who cares?! Lazyburg loves me and sent my ginormous couch to give me a huge, cozy hug. Since the casita is clean and there’s tons of delicious food in the fridge, and the dogs seem fine to just sleep at my feet, why leave?! Oh Lazyburg, stop being so charming. Because you’re not. You’re actually a bore and I am over you. Time to move on.
I am relieved to be close to Solution Station, and also know with certitude* I will be back for visits to the other locales. For now though, I am going to try to start small, with something resembling a schedule, and working backwards, I am going to start with sleeping more. (This roughly translates into going to bed earlier on school nights.) The first pass at my training re-org looks something like this:
- Sleep more.
- Eat less sugar AKA step back from the vending machine and candy bowls at work.
- Pay attention to meals/snacks as fuel.
- Possibly do two-a-days. Run in morning, walk dogs and strength/stretch in evening.
- Consider Crossfit… maybe… remember, I did say consider.
- Be disciplined.
- Have fun.
No palookas here!