Tag Archives: training

Yeah. Stuff Is Hard.

My old pal and running partner Sasha used to say that you can only do three things well. At the time, we both had small children and were training a lot for races. Her three things were running, writing, and parenting. Mine were….running, parenting, cooking, working, knitting….I might have been trying to do too many things, actually. I’m like that. It doesn’t mean I’m doing them well. It just means I “never have time” and I have too much going on.

I’ll be honest: I am having a hard time lately. Obviously, I cannot say too much here. But that is the truth.

A big part of it, I’m sure, is the damn election. As for probably every other woman out there, it’s triggering rage at the lifetime of sexism, minor assaults, etc. No need to belabor this point. At all.

And divorce. It’s hard. I’ll just leave it at that.

The cat I lost custody of* went missing for several days (one of which was cold, rainy, windy, stormy). Thankfully, she’s been found, and in other happy news, my landlord said I can get a cat, so the boys and I will start looking around for a kitty for our home. So that is very happy news.

Here’s what I’m doing:

  1. Parenting, trying to help my kids be happy and healthy and thriving during this big transition in their lives.
  2. Working (and I have an extra client right now, one I want to impress, of course, but it means the current couple of weeks are kind of a strain on me).
  3. Training for an ultramarathon (go ahead and say, “WTF are you thinking?”).
  4. Socializing and trying to recover myself and my interests (climbing, mountain biking, baking, etc.).
  5. Finishing unpacking and setting up this apartment (actually, screw that; I’m hopefully here only 10 more months and I don’t want to put much more money into this apartment or unpack anything else; we still need some rugs and some storage items, but I’m not doing much else).
  6. Figuring out what happens next regarding the divorce, where we’ll all live next year, future employment, and so on.

That is a lot. 

Honestly, fitness has fallen right out the window. I’m not going to the gym. I’m barely running. I should be doing multi-hour runs at this point. Instead, I’m trying to get sleep or get extra work-time in when I can.

And sometimes, like tonight, I just need to spend some time baking and vacuuming and then curled up on the couch watching old episodes of “House.”

So if, by Sasha’s rules, I had to pick three, it would be parenting, working, self-care/sleep. Some of that self-care involves time with friends; some of it involves baking; some of it involves time on Facebook, and I am not ashamed of that. Some days Facebook provides my only social interaction, since I work from home. Don’t judge.

Anyway. Lately things feel hard. Maybe I’m doing too much. The ultra training, much as I hate to say it, has to go. I just don’t have the time or energy for it right now, and it’s not where I should be putting my energy, and it’s becoming a stressor instead of something to look forward to. I hate to let go of it. But I need to take care of myself and conserve energy (physical and mental) right now.

So that’s where I’m at. Feel free to give me an unsolicited hug. Or ask how I am. Or tell me a joke.

*because when I found this apartment, it was “No pets allowed,” so C took the cat when we all moved in August. But now I can have a cat, YAY THANK GOD.

Changing the Race Distance: Staying Fit While Being Sensible

Well, I’ve been quiet around here on the running front. I lost my running mojo, even after deciding to train for my first trail ultramarathon (well, first ultramarathon overall). Then I got my butt back in gear and got back into training mode, pulling a midweek 10-miler out of nowhere and then running almost 30 miles over a weekend.

My old calf injury started to flare up, but did that stop me? No. Has moderation ever been my strong point?

So right after that 30-mile weekend (which I hadn’t properly built up to), I participated in a boot camp class to kick off PlanetShoe’s #Fit4Fall campaign. High knees! Jumping! Sprinting! All of it! I ignored my aching calves and Achilles tendons.

Later that same evening, I could barely walk. I could only skate around our apartment, sliding my feet on the hardwood floors. Next day, too.

I couldn’t run all week.

The following weekend, I was supposed to run 26 miles one day, 10 the next. Since I am actually not quite as big an idiot as I may appear, I knew that would be a bad idea. Sure, if I’d stuck with my ultra training plan from the get-go, then it would have been OK. But I hadn’t. I was jumping in full-bore, midway through.

I’m not ready to train for an ultramarathon right now. I’m just not. I’m starting too late, and my calf isn’t fully healed. I don’t want to cause more or long-term problems. Plus, I missed too many long runs, and I’ll be at a conference next weekend, which means I’ll miss another long run (26 miles). Between adjusting to the kids’ new school shedules and trying to get all of my own freelance work done, I just don’t have the time right now to train for an ultra, frankly.

So my new plan? To run a trail half-marathon instead. The race I was going to run, the TARC Fall Classic, is a great trail race with several distances to choose from, from 10K to 50K. I’m switching to the half marathon, which will certainly ease up my training schedule (since I can run more than 13 miles now) and (hopefully) avoid injury. I’d like to go for the full marathon, but not until the calf has been pain-free for many months of running.

An ultra? It will have to wait until next year.