Training and trying vs. giving up and getting fat

And. I’m back. Maybe I’ll post more than once per season in 2013.

When I wrote that last post I was depressed and stressed out. Could you tell? I was also injured. I pretty much stopped running in any consistent way for the next couple of months. I averaged 8-10 miles during the weeks in which I ran. Many weeks featured no running whatsoever. I stopped going to the gym altogether. I’ve gained 6 lbs, and it would be a lot more had I not been a total calorie intake Nazi.

I’m now free of all Achilles issues and I have extremely mild plantar fasciitis in my right foot (yeah, I know; it’s been there for a year now). But it goes away after two miles on the treadmill usually; some days it’s not there at all. I had forgotten what a pleasure it is to run with no pain, it’s been so long. I started running fairly consistently about two weeks ago, usually 4-5x a week. I’m mostly on the treadmill due to ice/snow on the running path. I’m around 20-30 mpw average now with no major issues. About once every 10 days I do a slightly faster run. I am in remarkably good basic aerobic shape, considering all the neglect. I started doing weights again, once a week, two weeks ago too. Next week I’ll start going twice per week.

It’s probably nuts to talk about goals at this point. But I have them. I always do, in the back of my mind. The goal over the next month is to be able to run 30-40 mpw free of injury. I will probably do most of the runs on the treadmill since I think the reduced impact has helped me to heal. I will continue to do at least one faster workout per week. I will also do some trail running in Van Cortlandt.

Come April I’ll start doing 5K training again. Then I want to race a 5K in late May or early June. No time goal. I just want to get back to racing. Then if that goes well, and I remain injury-free, I’ll focus on the Fifth Avenue Mile again in late september. It’s the only NYRR race I still give a flying fuck about doing well in. I’ve also been invited to do the Green Mountain Relay again in late June. If I can get short legs (no giggling) — and my teammates are cool with my not racing them all out — then I will probably do that again, because it’s fun!

I still want to crack 20:00 in the 5K. I’ll be 48 in a few weeks. I’m probably an idiot for wanting this, because that way lies more injury, failure and frustration. But I’m realizing that if I don’t have some sort of racing goal it’s nearly impossible for me to care about running anymore. So it’s either train and try or give up and get fat.

7 Responses

  1. I think you have the right attitude! Goals are great to have as long as you continue to listen to your body in pursuit of them. And the 5K is short enough that you can do a bunch of them so that there isn’t pressure on any one race in particular.

  2. I think I’m in the “give up and get fat” camp these days. Meh.

  3. God, that is so familiar…not that I ever ran with your intensity. Letting stuff slip back. I have no advice. I’m still doing the back and forth with weight and exercise.

    • I can’t being myself to fall completely out of shape. It’s just too hard to come back from it. (I also just realized I don’t think I ever replied to the nice note you sent me a zillion weeks ago. I’ll do that this weekend.)

  4. Welcome back. Your reappearance may encourage Joe to become more regular — he lamented his favourite bloggers disappearing.

    I don’t think training for a sub-20 5k is inherently dangerous injury-wise. Just need to warm-up thouroughly, ease into fast repeats etc. There’s more than one way to kill the 5k cat. Good time to do it — gets hard after 55!

    • Thanks, Ewen. It’s good to be (sort of) back. And it’s never too late to train for a 5K. :) Looking forward to getting back to reading running blogs too.

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