Monday, October 13, 2014

Downgrading the race

The Phoenix 3TV Half Marathon is three weeks away...however I am no longer participating in it. Instead, I will be running in the 10k instead.

This was a training decision that we went back and forth on for quite awhile.  I am not a quitter and often push myself on principal, even when I know it isn't the "smart" decision.  After a tough, but fairly successful 9.4 mile run yesterday, we finally decided to call it and switch to the 10k event instead.  This is a decision I feel very good about, and I don't feel like it's "quitting." I think it is a smart training decision that will hopefully result in a race we feel proud of.

This has been a really difficult training season. It started off that way.  I rolled my ankle hiking the first week in, continued to run and train on it, and then rolled it again at the start of my 8 mile run a week ago (Who falls off a curb??).  I'm on my feet four nights a week waiting tables.  I get home too late, am not getting enough sleep.  I've been so strapped for cash that I've been lacking proper nutrition, and the stress is wreaking havoc on my body.  I've been setting myself up to fail for long runs, so I end up doing more damage than good, and end up having to scale back during the week.  I do not feel strong, and I do not feel ready. I fear pushing an additional four miles will only make it worse.  It doesn't help that my training partner is having a rough go of it too.  Usually if one of us is lacking the motivation, the other person can make up for it.  When it's both of us, we aren't going to get very far.  The heat has been not much help either.  PF Changs was SO much easier to train for because the weather was so much more bearable.

I'm not throwing in the towel completely, however. I'm still determined to be able to stay active, and to run.  I really do enjoy it.  I enjoyed the last training season, but this time it no longer was fun.  It was a chore, and added stress.  A lot has changed in my schedule since the last half marathon.  It's a bit too much to juggle and I don't think I can attempt the half again until things settle down.  The mileage is also really hard on me.  I'm not a natural runner, and I had hoped that if I "willed it" enough I could make it happen.  To some degree, that worked.  But I have yet to have a half marathon training where I didn't have to take time off to do cross-training to give my legs a break.  I don't run enough consistently that I could handle that jump with ease.  I would rather be able to run a couple of miles every single day, instead of running one long run each week.

So, new focus.  We have the 10k coming up in 3 weeks. We are doing the Hot Chocolate 15k in December.  2015 is going to be centered around shorter distance races, with 15k races being the maximum.  This creates a lot more time for some other active hobbies I miss a lot: hiking, biking, yoga, etc. I think it's a good plan.  :)