Why is life so cruel? It was only a few weeks of slacking. I guess I'm wondering how and why I've lost so much fitness. I ran a 10K Saturday TWO stinking minutes SLOWER than my PR. More than 2, actually. Yeah, blame it on the strep; blame it on life struggles; blame it on the comeback from injury. Whatever. The bottom line is that I am where I was over two years ago. I'll be honest when I'll say I'm frustrated. It was okay for a few weeks b/c I knew I needed a break and time to get through the injury. I knew I needed time to deal with personal issues. It was even okay for those months at the beginning of 2010 when I could blame my snailness on stress, overtraining, whatever, but now? Really? I'm over it. I'm over all of it and here I am- still slow.
I started thinking Saturday about what I was going to do about this little problem. I started thinking about my past, mostly in running terms. I started reminiscing about the gains I'd made and the forces behind those gains. I found a few common denominators.
1. The majority of my PRs are in the fall. This is likely to being able to train in the summer, then hitting that cool-down in temps period perfectly.
2. Pete Pfitzinger has done a lot for me. I've PRed every time I've used his plan but one.
3. The track and I don't jive. I did the track thing in college, and didn't really like it. So why did I go back? I thought I needed to challenge myself and figured that the track was the place to do it. Plus, the person that was coaching me said it would be great. It was a weakness I wanted to conquer. I think I'd rather just have that weakness than run around that thing. I don't enjoy it. It stressed me out and I dread it. So, why should I? Not like I'm making a living out there. I know I stink at drawing. I'm not about to take drawing lessons.
4. I have learned to trust myself. My instincts tell me things. This is more of a life lesson, but I think I've done stupid things in my running b/c other people have convinced me that it would be great for me. What's good for one runner may or may not work for other runners. Lesson learned. I'm always looking for ways to get better. I think lots of runners have lots to offer me, but I still need control of my own training.
5. I do well w/ high mileage, BUT (big BUT) I need to take better care of my body. I need more sleep. I need to be kinder in the way I think of myself. I spent the weekend w/ Speedy Anna and she pointed out every time I put myself down and it was more times than I care to admit. Most of the time I did it without even realizing what I was doing! I don't know how I evolved to this person with low self-esteem, but it is really unattractive. I'm starting to annoy myself, and that's pretty bad. How does one feel pretty again? How do you wake up in the morning and say, "Wow, I've got a lot going for me!" That's an area of my life that needs desperate attention.
So, here I am- back at square one. My 100 mile weeks and early morning tempos wasted. So, I'm getting back on to what's comfortable for me- Pfitzinger, 13 weeks starting today. Yep, no creative plans; no coaches; just me out there doing my thing. I need something comfortable right now, something that's not new and scary. I've had too much scary, too much unknown. I want what's familiar and safe. In running, that's good ol' Pete. Maybe next cycle will be Hudson or Daniels, or some custom-made plan from a fancy coach. I'm just ready to be BACK! I'm ready for the high mileage, the PRs, the competition of it all. This competition is bound to draw a crowd- my new self vs. my old self. GO NEW SELF!