Tag Archives: Stockadeathon

#StockadeathonTraining: Week 1 // conquering training with a fresh perspective

In the late summer of 2017, I set out with a goal to train for a 15K with a different perspective than my norm. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to my goals if I revisit them on the regular.  This is week one.

Monday September 4 – Sunday September 10

Total Miles Planned: 0.  

Total Miles Ran: 3, plus 14 walked.

#StokadeathonTraining Reflections:  When it came to starting my 15K training, I decided not to aim for a specific mileage this week. Instead, I set an intention to make time to sincerely reflect on my goals, make time to write out my training plan from now until race day, and to start this week by running a couple of times for however long I was “feeling it.”

When I took time to stop and ask myself, “what do you honestly want from this training cycle?” I was somewhat surprised by what I came to answer.  I don’t want to chase a PR or try to run all 9.3 miles without stopping.  I don’t want to push myself to complete a certain amount of speed drills, and tempo runs, and track negative splits over the next ten weeks.

It’s not that working hard and pushing myself to see how fast and far I can go isn’t good for me; these challenges are what have made me realize my own strength and ability to be dedicated throughout past training seasons.

Instead I want to do something different: pull it back to the simple times, when I focused on running because I enjoyed to run.

I want to face each workout with only a distance in mind; that’s what my plan is as of now – increase my mileage as I normally would, but instead of prescribing intervals and pacing and repeats and shake out runs, this time I’m just going to run.

Sometimes I might set out with an interval set in mind, but mostly I will just run until I want to walk, and then I will walk until I feel like I’m ready to start running again.  Although, I expect that naturally some days I will feel heavily slowed down and others I’ll want to push it as fast as I possibly can just because I feel extra speedy.  All of the times, I will leave my Garmin Forerunner at home.

Goals for my Stockade-athon 15K Training & Race Day

  • COMPLETE 95% of my planned workouts, aiming for consistency and reflecting on the power and beauty of follow through.
  • ENJOY my training runs at whatever pace feels best, aiming for a no PR-pressure season.
  • CELEBRATE a strong training cycle by running through my favorite neighborhoods of Schenectady [one of the benefits of this race!] without my Garmin on race day, aiming to cross the finish line. Period.

Favorite Run: The first run of the training plan was delightful.  It was a glorious day of sunshine after a week straight of rain, with a cool breeze and fluffy cloud cover making the weather pleasant.  I knew I wanted to keep my run short- it was Friday night and I was ready to kick back and relax my way into the weekend!, but I also wanted to prove to myself I was ready to make running a priority.  After walking for 30 minutes, I did a quick 1 1/4 mile of easy intervals and felt good.

Least Favorite Run: The second run was the harder of the two, and I think I need to give up the shoes I wore for that run.  I definitely noticed a difference in what I could feel as my foot hit the pavement in comparison to the shoes I wore during the first run.  Maybe new running shoes are in my future?

Other Workouts: Living room yoga has been my jam off and on for the past year. I’ve been tracking how often I make time to flow it out on my mat and definitely notice a difference if I abruptly stop practicing after a streak of making it a priority for weeks straight.  I want to continue to make time for yoga several times each week while I’m training; I know it will be good for my body and there are many post-run yoga videos I can test out for ease of getting it done without having to think about a checklist of stretches.

Listening Notes: During both of my wogging workouts this week I tried out some new podcasts: This UnMillennial Life and Best of Both Worlds have episodes full of discussion, advice, and tips that make me feel like I’m self-development multitasking if I listen while working out. BONUS POINTS!!


Seasons: The Off Again On Again

I’ve always said that it goes in seasons. 

“It” is subjective, of course. 
For me “it” is blogging.
“It” is reading books.
“It” is spending time getting crafty.
“It” has been visiting the library, discovering new blogs to follow, and listening to Dave Matthews Band.
These days, “it” is running.

It goes in seasons for all of these “its.”
Several weeks of on, then several weeks of off.  Days where there is nothing I’d rather do, and days where I continue doing it because I enjoy it, overall, but there is a lack of passion behind it.  Instead of passion, occasionally I will find guilt, responsibility to myself and my goals, or the feeling that I “should” fit it into my evening.

After a few weeks, or sometimes months, I get bit by the bug again.  I wasn’t feeling “it” before, but now it’s all I can think about. I want to do more of it. I want to do it now.

These days, with running, I find myself in a bit of that “off season.” 
I keep thinking “Oh, I should probably run.”
Because I know I love to run.  I’ve experienced that. I know what it feels like to hit the road smiling.  Because I know it’s good for my health.  To get out and enjoy the outdoors.  To spend some time doing something which makes me proud.  To get my heart really pumping, and work up a sweat. Because I’ve got a race in the future which I’m pretending doesn’t exist. 

This summer I was running 3-5 times a week, without fail.  It was all I could do to make myself take a rest day.  I wanted to log more miles. I wanted to spend more time pumping my legs and chasing the dream.  Then August came around, and things in my life started shifting, and I found myself with 100 excuses of why not to run, which all spiraled down to one major excuse: I just didn’t want to run as much.  If at all.

When I was in Philadelphia for the Healthy Living Summit, I ran 3 times
The next three weeks, I ran twice, total.
Then I went to Gettysburg, and took a gorgeous sunrise sightseeing run.  Later that week, I ran again. 
The next week, I ran 4 miles in Chicago.
And last week, I didn’t run at all.
When I looked through my calendar yesterday afternoon, and realized that according to my 15K training plan, I was originally planning on running NINE miles yesterday, I was a bit taken back.

Wow. Nine miles?  The last time I ran nine miles at one time was early July.  I haven’t logged nine miles throughout one week since mid-August. 
How did that happen?

It’s an off-season, that’s how. 
Sometimes off-seasons are good.  I don’t want to force myself to do what I’m not interested in, and I know that the running bug will bite me again. 
But sometimes, off-seasons aren’t born out of a lack of desire as much as an increase in laziness.

I think there is a time for laziness, and that it should be embraced every now and again.  I think sometimes laziness is often our bodies way of tricking our mind into a rest disguise.
But I have come to a place where I realize that laziness has shifted.  Perhaps at first it was hanging around as a mask-wearing rest-period.  However, these days, laziness looks a lot like an old, unhealthy lifestyle which I don’t live any longer. A lifestyle in which I don’t make my health a priority.  A lifestyle which centers around putting myself and my own best interests on the backburner, in order to meet deadline and prove my alliance to various subjects.  A lifestyle in which I say “Yes, of course!” way too often, without considering much other than a need to please. 

So, what’s all this rambling about?
It’s about a revelation or two, of course.

The Stockade-athon, my second 15K, is a mere 40 days away. [I was due to run it last year, but my silly ankle injury left me as a spectator as Jen ROCKED it!]

I haven’t yet registered for it, mostly because I didn’t want to commit to something I wasn’t “feeling” at the time.  But, now, as I sit here considering my love for running in comparision to the lifestyle I abondened long ago, I know that the season is changing.  I am excited to lace up my shoes, head to my favorite path, and start pumping my legs again.  I know there will be days when I have to talk myself into it and I know there will be days when I am lacking a love for it. But I also know that there will be days where I run longer than planned, ones in which I feel strong and empowered, and days in which I can’t wipe the smile off my face all run long.

Today I know it’s time to declare my commitment to this race.
40 days of training smart.
40 days of anticipation.
40 days of preparation.

 Ready? Go.

Some questions for you to answer and discuss:
1. Do you ever feel like you go through on-seasons and off-seasons with various activities and passions in your life?
2. Any suggestions for finding/keeping/renewing a sense of motivation and inspiration in terms of work outs, training runs, and/or other healthy decisions?
3. What tips or tricks do you have for keeping yourself accountable to a workout schedule or training plan?

A Letter to My Ankle

Dear Ankle –

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I am a klutz and tripped over that stick.  I’m sorry that you changed colors and sizes a bunch of times. I’m sure you’re going through some sort of identity crisis, and it’s probably my fault.  Please forgive me.

I really wish you were better, already.  I wish you weren’t in pain every time I step off a curb incorrectly.  I wish you wouldn’t get swollen in anger whenever I walk more than a half of a mile at a time. 

I wish you were ready to run, because I am, and it’s really hard to wait around for you.   I tried to ice you, compress you, elevate you, and rest you in order that you would be ready for action.  I tried to take care of you for a quick miracle recovery.  I thought maybe three days was enough.  I was wrong.  I thought maybe a week was enough.  I was wrong. And now over two weeks have passed, and your still not healed.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.

Saturday I attended the race expo for the Stockadeathon; the 15K we were training for not too long ago.  I picked up my packet and told them I wasn’t running.  The ladies behind the table apologized, too.  Even strangers are sorry that you are injured.  They want you to heal too.  They gave me the race bib, regardless that I was scratching the race 

At first, when I saw my number, I got angry.  I trained hard. I pushed myself to new distances, and new speeds, not skipping one training run – being more dedicated than I ever have during race training.  And THIS is how I am repaid?  A gimpy, weak, painful Ankle?  I was angry at myself for not being able to push through the pain.  I was angry at the stupid stick for causing me to trip.  I was angry at you for taking your time, and for being in pain.  I was angry.

(photo from Jen)

But then, I got up bright and early Sunday morning to attend the race, anyway.  I cheered my friends (using the sign I made with inspiration from Abby).  I saw people run their first 15Ks, and I watched a few runners cross the finish line of their first race ever.  I watched as seasoned runners made their way uphill, then downhill, then uphill again.  People who have ran a handful of races.  People who have ran dozens.  People who have crossed hundreds of finish lines.  And I watched Jen crush her 15K PR.

(photo from Jen)

As I watched them, I thought about their stories, unknown to me.  I thought about the races they’ve completed, and the training runs they pushed through.  I thought about the injuries they have faced, the seasons they took off, and the races they’ve had to scratch.  I thought about what it must have felt like to make a comeback. 

The race bib is now hung on my wall, as a reminder that this will not be my last race.  When I look at the number now, I am reminded that I can dominate another training plan, and new distances, and new speeds.  I can run again, once you are healed. 

You take your time, Ankle. My pace in a race is not the fastest, why should I expect you to recover speedier than you may need?  I’m sorry, and I’m here for you, to support you as you get stronger and give you what you need to do so.  I’ll move on your time, Ankle, not mine. 

 Thank you for the miles you’ve taken me, I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.