Friday, July 20, 2012


After running the RNR USA Half Marathon I lost all motivation to run. Whenever I would try to hit the pavement I felt ridiculously sluggish and just overall miserable. After a few terrible runs I decided to take a running hiatus. I ran only 3-4 times between April to June before I was ready to lace up my Brooks again. Since I started running more regularly I have completely fallen back in love with it. I'm honestly not sure that I really loved running when I first started, I just told myself that I did. I desperately wanted to be a runner, to have an identity and a sense of belonging that I suffered through training. I wouldn't even call it training. I hardly ran before both of my half marathons simply because I dreaded training so much.

So why would someone who doesn't like running sign up to run a marathon? I wanted more of a challenge. The half marathon distance wasn't daunting enough for me to ever really commit to training. I knew I could still finish the distance on minimal training because of my athletic background. Instead of worrying about training for a marathon I focused on triathlon instead. I knew that I could run the 10K portion of an Olympic triathlon pretty easily, but I was pretty worried about how successfully I could do the bike portion. Once I started feeling more comfortable on the bike I slowly started adding in some running. I have still had some less than pleasant runs but in general I'm am so much happier with my running. I did make a lot of changes to the way I run though, which I credit to my new found love of the sport.

Happy face!

Emotional Investment
I didn't know this was a problem until I started triathlon training but I wasn't fully invested in training for my first two half marathons. I never had OMG I'm so excited feeling about those races. When I started training for the General Smallwood Triathlon I started to truly care about my training. I wanted to succeed and that was enough to make me want to run again.

This goes along with emotional investment, but I have never been so excited about my training as I am now. I love triathlon training and can't see where that takes me. And on top of that I start training for the greatest race in the world in a few weeks, one that has been a dream of mine for a long time.

Running with music
I'm not exactly sure why I decided to start running with music again but I am so glad I did. Running doesn't seem so serious anymore. Instead it is kind of like a sweaty jam session. I desperately need new music but just putting in my headphones and zoning out during my runs has made the time go by so much faster and has made tough runs seem a little easier. I don't want to get in the habit of doing all my runs with music so that I don't become dependent on it but it if does the trick I'm going to stick with it.

Speed work
I'm pretty sure the first run I did after my hiatus was a 5K time trial. I spent a lot of time worrying about hitting certain paces before that I never really let my body go fast. I was scared by certain paces but now I'm learning to embrace them. I have learned to absolutely love going to the track for a hard workout. I feel so powerful and fast, and it makes the easier runs seem less boring because I'm switching things up.

No pressure
When I was training for my half marathons I felt this constant pressure to run. I felt guilty when I would do anything other than run. When you are training for a triathlon you have to focus on the swim and bike legs additionally. Running was no longer so important. If I didn't want to run it didn't matter because I could bike or swim instead.

It is really hard to make any progress when you only run here and there, which is what I was doing. Then I would get frustrated by my lack of progress. Silly, I know. When I started running again in June I made a decision to run 2-3 times a week. This isn't very much but having those runs and being able to build upon them made a huge difference.

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