Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sometimes running and I are frenemies

I read a lot of blogs, many about running, and it seems like the common thing for runners is to fall to pieces when they are training for a big race and the taper hits. (The taper is a few weeks before a  race when a training plan suddenly has you running significantly less mileage to rest up for the big day). Many runners truly struggle with having to reduce their mileage, and, I'll admit, I've felt this way training for marathons in the past. However, this fall, that feeling has been suspiciously absent, and I've started to wonder if I'm a real runner after all. 

Because I freakin' loved tapering, and now I am loving recovery just as much. While I read reports of runners bemoaning their short runs and extra energy that they had no outlet for, I thought "they must just not love sleep like I do."

And, I'll admit, I would love to run this week, but, forbidding myself from it hasn't been a huge hardship. 

I think I've made my love for running clear in this blog, but I also have a love for other things. As there are only 24 hours in a day, running naturally means you have less time for other things. Here are some reasons I love a reduced training schedule (or zero schedule!):

One of so many stream crossings

1. SLEEP. I love it so much. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the ability to sleep 10 - 12 hours like some lucky ducks do (my body just refuses to, I swear). Still, living five minutes from work and putting absolutely zero effort into my appearance means that if I don't have to run, I can sleep till around 7:20 am, instead of 5 or 5:30 am. Which brings me to my next point.

2.  A social life. Training for a 50 mile race meant I needed my sleep, and to get 8 hours of sleep and then wake up to run 7 or 8 miles meant I needed to be in bed by 9. Doing a shorter run or no run at all means I actually go out after broomball, or celebrate a friend's birthday, see a movie, or whatever without cutting it short to rush home to get to bed early than my 8 year old students.

3. Time with my husband. By the same token, even if I don't go out, I can stay up until a normal adult time (at least from what the cool kids tell me) and actually hang out with Eric once he gets home from work.
4. Other hobbies. I love reading, but between teaching, grad school, and training, I'd barely read a book all school year (probably could have if I reduced the blog reading, but let's not be ridiculous). On Sunday, without having to do a 10 mile run, I read about half of my new book for a new book club I joined (which is on a weekday, and I can stay as late as I want!).
Actual picture from Superbowl 2009. I don't wear glasses.
5. Not having to plan my life around running. It's been pretty sweet acting like a regular person this week not planning my life around when I could run. Tomorrow we'll be leaving for my in-laws in Ohio at 4am, so if I were in the height of training, I would either have to wake up at 2:30 am, or plan my entire week so that tomorrow could be my rest day. Also, the whole time we were there, I'd be nervous we'd stay out too late for me to wake up and run before any activities the following day. Now that I'm not officially training, I can just enjoy the trip, and run if I feel like it. 

Of course, that being said, running stuff was the first thing in my suitcase. As soon as this stupid asthma gets under control and I don't feel like I'm breathing through a straw, it's on like donkey kong. If I still feel like it, that is.

I plan to start training for the Myrtle Beach marathon the week before Christmas, so that leaves me nearly a month to do whatever I feel like. Obviously, the amount of time spent exercising just to keep in shape is significantly less than training for a 50 mile race, so I'm pretty excited to continue enjoying my free time. I also plan on getting wild and doing some exercise other than running - I know, it's hard to even believe that exists. Zumba, Body Pump, spin....the possibilities are endless.

I got to relive my Stone Mill 50 miler experience while reading Shelly's blog today, her recap is up, and I loved reading about the race from her (quite a bit more optimistic and experienced) viewpoint.

I'll leave you with some pictures from Thanksgiving 08, when we were first married and we hosted Thanksgiving for both families - seeing all our families and not spending two days in the car was amazing. Someday I hope to do it again.

Do you miss running like Rose missed Jack after the Titanic sunk, or do you love time off? From what I can tell, loving the time off is just me and me alone.


  1. I'm with you on the time off! I love doing all the other things in life that make me happy.

    Hope you guys have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I miss it, but I have never trained for anything longer than a half marathon either :)

  3. I have so many books piled up. I usually read at night, but during training I averaged about 5 pages per night before crashing and then have to go back and reread the next night. Ha. I can't wait to read more too.

  4. I like taking time off in theory, and it's nice to catch up sleep and do other stuff for a while - but I still miss it. And my husband starts saying things like, "geez, go for a run" because I get grumpy!

  5. Without running I am a cranky, whiny bitch. Jeff is already looking forward to my next runner's high.

  6. Enjoy the heck out of your rest week! I thought at first that you were airborne in the stream-crossing picture. Reading is my other big hobby, too. What are you reading now? Did you cross-train much for the 55-miler? Have a great time in Ohio! Do your in-laws live anywhere near Cincinnati?

  7. You know what? I feel the exact same way. I've gone of one run since my last race - it's almost been a month - and I feel great. I still love running but like you, there are also so many things that I love! I have been strength training and cross training more. If there is a day I don't feel like exercising, it's okay!! It feels good to have more time and flexibility for sure. I don't have any races in the near future but I am excited to start training again when the time comes! Enjoy your time off :)

  8. Now I miss running, but the two weeks I took off after the half did not make me miss it at all. Bonus points for a Titanic reference!


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