Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 2014 Running Review: Choosing to Be Undertrained

Ack, even the title makes me squirm, but I'm owning it. My mileage for August was one of my lowest in the last three years. I had a bit of a start when I saw that and then I slowly made peace with it. Well, 80% of my mind has made peace with it. The other 20% is always wanting to DO ALL THE THINGS and is upset and disappointed in myself when I don't.

Where Did the Time Go?!

I chose to put my energy in August into things that weren't lots of miles. And it really was an awesome month. So what have I been up to?

* One week of vacation to tour the state of Maine for the first time with the family meant lots of early toddler hotel room wake ups, lots of finding great little breakfast restaurants, evenings of fun dinners out, and absolutely no running. I don't miss running when I'm gone for a week when my life is full with other things! But talk about a hit to the month's mileage!!

* I've been feeling burnt out on training for things and tired of the heat. It wasn't fun anymore. Motivation was low this month even if I had all the time in the world with nothing competing for my attention.

* I had a 5 day run trip planned for late in the month, so I spent extra time with the family knowing it would even out some of the time away. Weeknights I was around more for dinnertimes and bathtimes. I spent weekends having breakfast with hubby and kids or spending time with hubby's family, which is very important to him, and working weekend miles in here and there or dropping some weekday miles altogether.
Brunch time - cousins!

* I launched a brand new race heading into August - the Big Cedar Endurance Run, scheduled for November 21-22. It's a big undertaking with any inaugural event, but as my first ultra event to produce and first trail race, it's a very different event to put together than my road races. To say it's time consuming would be putting it mildly.

* I spent 5 days in Montana crewing and pacing a friend's 100 miler (Ghosts of Yellowstone 100). Yes, he was supposed to be running 38 hours, and I was supposed to be getting a technical fatigued 25 miles of pacing (a nice long run), but the race day didn't go as planned. No regrets as we had fun in the really cold wet rain that weekend hanging out, sightseeing when we could avoid the rain, and eating out. My first trip to Montana AND an enjoyable time with a good friend who isn't local so I don't get to just say "hey, let's meet up for a run" or "wanna grab dinner?" any time I feel like it.

* I came back from Montana with signs in the universe that felt like extra emphasis needed to be on my family. Rekindling an idea to take my oldest daughter on a trip, just her and me, after happening to find a book about exactly that ("We'll Always Have Paris" by Jennifer Coburn).  (I LOVE travel writing.) A  friend's blog post about the heart-wrenching moment where her 6 year old asked her right before a race to stop leaving.

* I produce 3 races in the space of only 80 days starting with The Showdown Half Marathon and 5K on October 11th. And often my running falls apart completely. I want to continue to get better at balancing it. I've spent a lot of August getting ahead, or at least not falling behind, on all the details I like to infuse that personalize my races so that I hope to run some throughout the fall.
Friends have helped me feel on top of things. Rodica gave me this dolly, which she asked Aubrey to stencil my company logo on. They gave it to me the day they graciously gave up an hour to help me move things around my storage units!

Where Does This Leave Me?

So with 6 weeks since my last marathon, and undertrained as a result of my own choices, I head into my next ultra in a week. After months of doing an awful job of following training plans by my coach, this week I had no assignments. I actually ended up with my most consistent running week in a long time, motivated only by myself. Except the mileage is much lower than the goal always is each week of assigned plans. However, I still choose to celebrate

  • I ran 6 of the last 7 days,
  • I didn't fret about other things in my life while I ran, 
  • all my running was during the workday where I managed all week that rare thing of being able to mentally step away during the day to run, and 
  • I was there for my family by managing to run all week during the workday.

So Saturday I have Tommyknocker Ultras 50K, a 34 mile trail "50K" in the mountains of Colorado. Altitude + climbing + potentially warm with exposed trail. But I picked it for the scenery, and I don't have many concerns about finishing in the time limit. Beautiful locations while moving through the environment makes my heart really happy. Therefore, I will pack my gear, head off on another adventure, and continue to grow and embrace that in the balance of life sometimes race day is just not what you set out for it to be, but it can still be amazing anyway! And no excuses - I made these choices!