March 29, 2010

Starting from Scratch

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!


  1. It will come back...I find that after time off it can take me up to 8-10 weeks to get my prior fitness back with even a short break. I really would suggest that you try the track. I never thought it made a difference and that I was fast enough before, but I just cut 8 minutes off my 1/2 mary PR and 16 minutes off my mary PR by routinely going to track and tempo workouts....just sayin'.

  2. Anonymous3/29/2010

    ((hugs)) and GO NEW YOU. i think that this past month has been very difficult for many people. weird how so many of us are having off running. i'm sure you;re not 100% back at square one. sure you're having a set back but you'll be back on top of your game in no time.

    remember: you are awesome. i look up and admire and respect you so much. you are so strong. you will be back and i can't wait to see you rock everything!

  3. Not one of those 100 mile weeks or tempos were wasted. They're in your body and will help Rebecca 2.0 no matter how you proceed. Believe it.

  4. And yeah...don't do stuff you don't like. Life's too short.

  5. exactly what GIM said.
    It's not wasted, it's building blocks.
    And that illness you had was really nasty, I bet it took more out of you than you think.

  6. I seriously doubt your training was wasted. I've always heard it's easier to get back to a high level if you've been there before. I do think it's great that you are getting back into the things you love about running and dumping the stuff that "other people" say is important. "Other people" aren't you so who cares what they think!

  7. Good post, Rebecca.
    I would guess that with your students, you push them hard and hold them accountable, and still nurture them. Maybe that's how you can be with yourself.
    +1 to what GIM and D# said.

  8. Great post--very honest, which I think is hugely important. I agree with #4 and 5 especially. Doing what you feel comfortable doing and staying positive are going to be huge game-changers for you. You DO have a lot going for you! Make a list and stick it your bedside table.

    And I absolutely agree with previous comments that all your training has not been in vain. You might have bricks crumbling on top, but the base is still solid. I believe in you and I think your best races are still to come!

  9. Your being true to "your way" of training which will get you back there. I'm on the way back from injury and these stupid baby steps are maddening. You'll get there!

  10. I agree about running in the summer and racing in the fall. You will be back to yourself soon!

  11. #4 is key, Rebecca. Trust yourself, trust your body. This is one reason why I stopped "living" on the RWOL boards (too much of keeping up with the Joneses). I still go there, as you know, but I'm much more comfortable doing my own thing now. I'm glad you are looking out for yourself. You'll rediscover your love of all of it... and you'll rediscover your beautiful self (sleep or no sleep). Trusting yourself will give you all the confidence in the world! ((((LAR)))) :D

  12. Anonymous4/02/2010

    oh girl! I am so sorry about the confidence issues. I've been there (I didn't always think I was this fabulous! ...haha KIDDING).

    As for the track, leave it. Why waste time doing something you dread, that you don't think is beneficial? Leave it and don't, for one second, feel guilty about it. Remember, running really is "an experiment of one." What works for you (*gasp100miweeksgasp*) might actually kill me. It's ok. Just do what works for you.

    As for the self-confidence (I understand how dorky this is going to sound), have you tried affirmations? Not in some weird-new-agey sense, but just saying OUT LOUD positive things about yourself. Get ready and tell yourself that you look wonderful. Tell yourself that you're fast, you're a rockstar. If you say it and hear it enough, it does help. Really. :)

    Because you are a gorgeous, sexy, kind, wonderful, intelligent and talented woman!