Transition Troubles

So I have been eagerly awaiting the start of spring so I could once again run and bike outside. I was so resistant last fall to working out in a gym, that I felt duly put out and was totally sure that it just wouldn’t compare to my running and biking “for real.” And I guess it many ways it didn’t. But there were some things I conveniently forgot about. Like being afraid when I run alone in the dark. And I don’t remember it being this hard to actually get moving outside. Of course when I started last year I was run/walking all throughout the spring. And I built my biking up from six miles. Somehow, I had romanticized the whole adventure. In my mind, I was in much better physical shape.

So I was a little surprised to find that running outside in the morning is really hard. And, the warm weather I have been waiting for, is well, uncomfortable. Yesterday when I came home from my morning run, short run of only four miles, I was pouring sweat. Every ounce of me was soaked and even after I toweled off the sweat just kept coming. And no, it wasn’t a hot flash. I know the difference. It was just post workout sauna! Ewww. And then today, after an uncomfortable bike ride, seat issues, I was surprised that I was once again soaked. I mean, I know that I should expect this, but it seemed much cooler and biking has the added benefit of a constant breeze. So, again, eww.

So, here we go again. Whoever that person was that was able to run ten miles appears to have disappeared. Getting to four miles seems incredibly difficult. And even though I am setting the alarm for a full forty minutes later, I no longer have to factor in the drive to the gym, I still hit the snooze!!!! What is up!  This leaves me getting out later, which means I don’t have as much time to run, which means I wind up doing four miles. But, I am happy when I can finish at four. Whew! Glad that’s over. Sorry, Inner Runner Person, gotta go get ready for work! Bye, bye! Seriously, the idea of breaking my ass was not appealing. I don’t know what happened between now and the last post, but it was haunting me.Going hard? Yeah, right now that’s getting out of bed.  Oh, well, so it will be hard. I think it is always hard.

I compared my bike ride this morning to one in July and guess what! They are pretty much the same, but much slower than rides from August. I haven’t gained anything , but well, I haven’t lost anything either. So, I guess that is good. And the hills were not so bad.  I thought they would be harder, like when I first started but not so bad. So, I guess I start from where I am. Which means at four miles for running and and around eleven plus miles per hour for biking. And I’m still struggling with the seat, so that is familiar.

It has been a year since I started this venture. I would like to say that it has gotten easier. I would really like to say that. I mean, like really, really, really, like to say that it is easier. But it isn’t. Not the first mile, not the fourth. Not the running, not the biking. But the thing is, this will pass. Two months ago I was struggling to make eight and nine miles running. And it was hard. So, whatever this is, I’m calling it transition troubles, will pass. There will be good days. There will be hard days. Eventually I will get use to running outside first thing in the morning again. Eventually I will adjust to the warmer weather and the humidity. But for now, it is going to be hard. It is one hour of hard. I can do that.

Broad Street, Seriously.

Two weeks ago I ran the Broad Street Run. It was the first event I’ve trained for since the Seaside Heights Duathlon. Like the duathlon, I came away with mixed feelings. The run was okay, even really fun at times. By around mile six or mile mile seven I felt great, no pain whatsoever, and was even bopping along to the music. Not being someone who loves to be around large groups of people, I didn’t love running around people trying to get passed them or just to find space. Not that I did it a lot, but everyone did it to some extent. I guess it is the nature of running. At least for me, the ebb and flow. By mile nine, I felt myself begin to really fade, to the point where I had to fully concentrate on moving one foot in front of the other. I knew I was close, so I wasn’t going to walk. And it was a couple of days later when I realized, that I at least, really do need to refuel on long runs. I didn’t for this. Because, I didn’t take the event seriously.

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But, on the whole it was a fun event I would do again. It wasn’t my fastest run and it wasn’t my slowest. The weird thing, and I felt this after the duathlon, is that I do all this work and then sort of disconnect from the event itself. I am so militant about my workouts, but when the event actually comes I tend to take it fairly lightly. Part of this is to calm my own nerves. And part of this is because I feel a little silly, as though I am posing as someone I’m not. And another part is because I don’t want to become so militant that I lose the enjoyment.

But the thing is, I like being hard ass in my workouts. I like to push myself, especially early in the morning. I love to be out at five in the morning, and at least for awhile own the world. Lately, that zest, that drive seems to have leaked away almost completely and I am frustrated with myself. Some of this is the nature of this time of year. It is hard to get up at four in the morning and then just go all day. I know it is a choice, but it is still hard. Having maintained this schedule since September, I am a little burnt out and I am so ready for spring. I am so ready to move my runs outside and sleep in until four forty. I want to recapture whatever it was that made me go so hard last year. And I think it was because I threw my whole self into the process.

When I have ice-cream, I want the whole deal. I want hot fudge, whipped cream, cookie crumbles and maybe even a brownie. When I drink margaritas, I want to be able to taste the tequila and I want a shot on the side. Really, when I do anything I go way overboard. It is who I am. Part of my charm and part of what makes me an ass. But the thing is, fighting that, trying to do things half way or take the easiest route or pretend it really doesn’t matter just makes me crazy. I don’t want to just finish. I want to finish well. Hell, I want to win. Probably not going to happen, but it will never happen if I keep backing way off. And really, I am so okay with not winning. But I am becoming less okay with just showing up. If I give my all and I come in last, then oh well, that is what I had that day. But if I keep just acting like it is no big deal, then I am losing so much of the thrill of the event.

So from now on, my goal is to take myself seriously. And you can feel free to laugh at me, because I will be laughing at me. But I will be laughing and running or biking or lifting as hard as I can.