So I'm roughly halfway through training for the Cleveland Rock 'n' Roll Half, and, not gonna lie, I'm kinda feeling eh about the whole thing. I started training for the Cleveland Half Marathon back in February so aside from about a two month period between mid-May and mid-July, I've been essentially in training mode for, like, six months now. I spend all week dreading the upcoming long runs and then have to force myself to go complete them and even then I usually quit halfway through or walk the majority of it. Usually I'm able to make it to the gym for one of the weekday runs but even then I opt to walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical. Cross-training -- in the form of spinning or yoga -- proves easier to maintain, mostly because it's far more fun.
And once I figured that out I was able to figure out what was really going on here:
Running isn't fun anymore.
Somewhere along the way, running stopped being fun and started being tedious. I tried changing music, tried running without music, tried changing locations...it didn't matter. Training for this half-marathon has stopped being fun and exciting and instead has turned into a really obnoxious part-time soul-sucking job. When I trained for the Cleveland Half I was energetic and pumped. Now, every run feels like waking up with a case of the Mondays.
My FitBloggin friend and fellow Clevelander Jen posted this list of 10 Signs You Need a Running Break and I kept nodding my head while reading it. That's so where I am right now.
Luckily, RnRCLE offers other options. Specifically a 10K and a 5K. The 10K is new this year and so originally I planned on just dropping to the 5K but then I was looking around for information on the website about how to change races and was reminded of the 10K.
I like 6.2 miles. It's a solid distance that is still a challenge and still requires working towards and training. But, unlike training for a half-marathon, it's far more reasonable to fit it into a busy life. That's the other thing -- life is busy these days. For the first time in a really long time I'm juggling, like, a million things at once and trying to fit 8 or 9 miles in just ain't happening.
Apparently I made this decision at a good time because beginning Monday I can start the same six week Boston Athletic Association beginner training plan I used when I ran my first 10K (I switched some of the days, specifically Thurs and Wed to stick with my Wednesday morning spinning class). Sure, at this point I could probably bump myself up to the intermediate program but the mileage schedule looks pretty similar to half-training (going up to 10 miles), so, yeah, no.
The runs are short and based on time instead of distance, essentially building up endurance. I think the longest is an hour which, for me, is about four miles. I can definitely handle that and even then, it's, like, 50-60 minutes so in theory if I'm not feeling those extra ten minutes that day I don't have to run them.
As soon as I made this decision and talked it over with my mom and sister I felt so much better. Literally, it was like this 13.1 behemoth that had been weighing me down was lifted. Yes, it's a little embarrassing having to downgrade my race option, but I'd rather do that and finish a 10K than attempt a half-marathon and end up with a Did Not Finish, if I even attempted to run it at all.
I think I just need a bit of a Running Reboot. A chance to take a step back and remember why I love running. Because right now I don't and I just keep thinking back to after not finishing the Cleveland Half well and feeling kinda meh about running and then I ran the Copper River Salmon 5K and after I felt strong and powerful and that's the feeling I want to recapture and shorter distances seems to be the key. Over the weekend I ran one mile outside before the humidity forced me to stop and that was a good mile. I want more of those.
Love from the ashes,