It feels super weird to not have a goal race on the calendar but I know it's the right decision. I'm not at a place where I feel I can put all my eggs in one basket and hope the race goes my way. With my inconsistent training these past few weeks, I've lost fitness and with it the confidence it takes to chase down a PR.
If I'm completely honest, running has been a bit of a chore lately. Instead of being something I get to do - something I'm lucky to do - I feel like it's another thing on my to-do list for the day that I have to do. And that is absolutely not how I want to feel about a sport that has brought so much joy into my life. I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut. But if I'm smart about it I'll be able to pull myself out of it and get back to loving all the miles.
Coach Matt said one thing we can do is work on removing pressure because I have a tendency to get super wound up before a hard workout, long run or race. Maybe that means running by feel/effort instead of time. Or maybe that means really focusing on a slower, comfortable start. I tried it out during a 10-miler last week and it seemed to work. I left my watch at home and even though I knew I was running slow during the first few miles I didn't worry about it. I told myself I had all the time in the world to finish the run so why not enjoy it. And after a few miles of taking it easy, my body naturally woke up and I was able to pick up the pace during the final 2/3 of the run.
Another thing I'm doing is racing a lot of 5ks in the upcoming few weeks. Part of it is rebuilding fitness - races are great workouts! - but a major part of it is rebuilding confidence. The first few races will likely be slower but it's okay. Hopefully by the time I hit the 5ks in November I'll be fitter and faster. If I can get a bit faster with each race, that's all I can ask for!
As for this week, here's the plan. I might swap Thursday and Friday but it depends on how quickly my legs recover from the Tuesday workout. I usually recover pretty fast so I think it should be okay.
Monday: 5 glue miles w/strides
Tuesday: 8 mile workout, inc. 3-min intervals
Wednesday: 5 recovery miles + Y-Fuse + Y-Core
Thursday: 12 mile run
Friday: 6 glue miles w/strides + Yoga
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Lakefront Marathon 5k
Total: 42 miles
I'm also slowly getting back into the swing of things with meal planning/prepping. This week, I prepped chili for dinners but am still resorting to frozen dinners for lunch. In the next week or two I hope to get back to all homemade meals.
Breakfast: Protein Oatmeal (1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 2/3 plain, unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, dash of cinnamon)
Snack: Greek Yogurt + Raw Veggies
Lunch: Amy's Organic Frozen Meal
Snack: 3 cups popcorn
Dinner: Fall Chili Bowl + Honeycrisp Apple
To end this post on a fun note, I recently went shopping at my favorite running store, Performance Running Outfitters, and walked away with some new winter running clothes. I'm seriously in love with the Saucony tights, top and headband, and I know I'll get a ton of use out of the New Balance half zip.
Although I hope temps stay in the 50s/60s for quite some time, I now have a reason to get excited for winter running!
My questions for you:
- How is your fall training going? Are you on track to hit your goals or have your shifted focus?
- Have you already started buying winter running gear?
- Random: Did you know not all cheese is vegetarian?
I recently had dinner with my friend Julie and she explained certain cheese contain rennet, which is sourced from newly born calves. So some cheeses, such as Parmesan, Gruyere, Manchego, etc., at not considered vegetarian. Yet another reason why I will never be able to go vegetarian! ;)