This past week saw both joy and pain.
The joy–I’m back to running, it’s cold, and it’s awesome. With the warm spring, hot summer, and warm fall we had, I forgot how much I love running in cold weather. I’m still following the Hanson’s suggested return to running after a full marathon. After two weeks of no running, this week was to be four 30-minute runs. I ran on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I skipped Sunday’s run because I made the mistake of going grocery shopping and running errands before I ran. By the time I got back it was Noon, and I could not make myself go out even though it was a gorgeous day. If I don’t run by 9 a.m., I won’t do it!
On Tuesday it was a crisp 32 degrees. I’ve gotten used to sleeping in and not running before work, so when my alarm woke me and I saw it was 32, I just wanted to stay under the blankets. Once I got out and starting running, though, my heart sang. Somehow dark winter mornings seem more peaceful than summer mornings. I love the crisp air and the way it makes me feel alive. And my body just loves it. After two weeks of not running, I figured I’d feel sluggish and heavy on my first runs back, but instead I felt light, free, excited, wonderful. I may be able to get used to running in hot weather, but I’ll never love it like I do cold weather.
Thursday I skipped our local Turkey Trot after doing it for the last 4 years and was a little sad. It’s become a fun tradition. But between feeling great and still wanting redemption, I knew it would be hard to stick to a truly easy pace. Instead I just did 30 minutes by myself wearing last year’s race shirt. After that I spent a fun day with my family for Thanksgiving.
Friday I slept in a bit before running then spent the day cleaning and purging. We put tons out in the trash, and I have an enormous pile to take to Goodwill.
While I’m really enjoying the cool weather, I don’t love these shorter, infrequent runs. Running for just 30 minutes doesn’t seem worth the effort of getting ready to run, and after 30 minutes my body thinks it’s done with the warm-up and ready for a workout. It’s not just that I got used to longer runs during marathon training–I think I just enjoy them more. I also don’t like running only a few days a week. I miss the routine of running six days and can’t wait to get back to that.
The pain–I’m sad–the sadness of having such a disappointing first marathon. In that first week after the race, I was happy and proud that I’d toughed it out and finished. But then the sadness came and started growing. Seeing how cold it was for the Philadelphia Marathon last Sunday was really tough for me. That was my first choice for my first marathon, but I changed it because I didn’t want to run a big-city race as my first. I can’t help but think I’d have done so much better in Philly with the cold weather. And today was the day of my back-up marathon, the one I’d planned to run if for some reason I couldn’t run mine. In the past few weeks I knew I wasn’t going to run it, but at least I had the option. Now it’s tough knowing that option is gone and I have to wait so long to run another. I can only try to stay focused on the positives. I had a really great training cycle, and Coach Melissa told me all that training doesn’t go away. I’m planning on building on that training and am really excited about my running goals for next year, so I need to stay focused on that.
This week I also did three strength training sessions, enjoyed walks with Django, and made a delicious soup for this week–Arizona Hippie Soup with sweet potato, black beans, and red quinoa (recipe on my old vegan blog).
This upcoming week I’ll continue with the easy runs but will increase my days of running to five.