Sunday, August 4, 2013

Personal Responsibility

Since returning from California, my running has been in a weird place. A mostly bad place. But I'm trying to replace the idea of "bad" runs with "disappointing" runs or "tough" runs. Any run is a good run because it gets you out there and helps you make progress. Right?

I know my trouble is 90% mental and 10% environmental. Here's why. In California, I was easily running my longer mid-week runs, so I know I'm physically capable. However, I missed my long run while away, and when I got back to Florida I was back in the outdoor-running-state-of-mind.
After one successful 5am run this week, I laid out clothes for the next...and they've stayed there for 3 days.
I miss running outside. The treadmill is boring and tedious, and I admit, I feel less like a "real" runner when 90% of my runs are indoors. But summertime in Florida refuses to cooperate with me. Even when it rains, it's so steamy and humid that I have trouble breathing. My legs have felt heavy and sore on every outdoor run since returning home.
Only in Florida do you see skies like this behind you while skies ahead are bright.
I don't have the option to complete morning runs indoors because my gym doesn't open early enough. I don't want to go to the gym after work because I'm too exhausted.

Running outside - and alone - at 5am is kind of terrifying. And, despite the early hour and lack of sunlight, there's still 90% humidity.

I need to start carrying water on shorter runs in this climate, but I've been putting off getting a fuel belt because I'm afraid I won't like it.

This week I really suffered for my lack of hydration and being on my feet all day. I've been living all summer in flipflops and running shoes; after my first day back at school in work shoes, my feet cramped up and turned into crazy claws for 15 minutes, until Matt fed me a high-potassium smoothie.

The long and short of this is that I have no one to blame for my slacking but myself, and maybe I needed to take some time off because the anxiety and change in schedule that accompanies the beginning of school have left my energy stores empty. But I also don't want to make excuses or allow myself to continue on this path and then have to bow out of the marathon.
Ready for open house to begin! Check out those under-eye circles!
It doesn't help that my last three runs in my new shoes have been less-than-great. Like, uninspired. I go out excited and within a mile feel tired and heavy; there has been some low-grade pain in my legs that I think could be from the shoes. I've been slower than I planned, and had to cut my runs short so that I'd have time to get home and shower to get to work on time.

As much as I want to love them, I have to wonder if I just need to get new Kayanos instead of sticking with the Adrenalines. But maybe it's all in my head!

(This is why I hate shoe-buying.)

As of right now, I'm not at all on track. This needs to change. I'm the only one who can change it. Being behind and knowing I have a plan to follow is stressful, so I'm taking my training into my own hands and ignoring my actual training plan for now.

Goals for this week: 
    1. Run at least three weekdays, at least 4 miles.
    2. Complete my long run.
    3. Complete a real crosstraining workout at the gym.

Once I'm back in the habit, I know getting up early to run will be doable and even easy at times. But this week I've had zero energy. And I hate to admit it, but admitting it will force a change.
Above and below: my post-Open House classroom looks more lived-in and normal!
Besides, I don't want to lie and say things are going well when they're not. This blog is a place for me to ruminate on running: the good, bad, and the ugly.

Now that I've gotten the whining out of my system, it's time to move forward.

How do you motivate yourself out of a slump?
Share some words of wisdom/inspiration!


19 comments: said...

I'm sure you know, I'm dealing with a slump right now too and it's hard! I think the only thing to do is to keep going and just push through it. The good times will come back, like they always do. I have to admit though that I'm really looking forward to this marathon being over so I can take a break and do other things for my workouts and discover my love for running again. I still love it and all, but lately I don't like it when I'm out there. That's not how it should be. Keep it up girl! We'll get through this together :)

Liz Bierly said...

I've been in a slump too. First of all, the shoes are not in your head. If they hurt, stop using them. :) I usually tell myself to suck it up, but I don't have to wake up as early as you do. Hope things pick up for you!

Ali K. said...

I tend to get into slumps when I'm overtraining, but it doesn't seem right that it's happening so early in my schedule! It's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling right now.

Ali K. said...

It could be normal "breaking them in" pains, so I'm going to give them another few runs to see!

KT said...

It is tough to deal with a change in schedule, just take it for what it is and know it will pass. As for Florida weather, I remember living there and the humidity is tough. I am finding the older I get, the tougher it is to be outside in the heat. Hopefully you will adjust to being back to work soon and your running will return to normal. I am having anxiety about school starting and how to adjust my running schedule...LOL. Remember, you are exhausted after work because you have changed your schedule, your body needs to rest. I haven't run in five days because of exhaustion and "vacation blues". My back is acting up again, but I know it is temporary and I will take the time to let my body heal. Hope you are back to running soon and your slump passes! My motto from my one of my favorite movies - "Just keep swimming!" You can do it!

Renee said...

Summertime is hard for running and I think it tends to wear on everyone. I would guess if you persevere through this slump, pretty soon you'll be back at it. Maybe back off your mileage for a week or so and see if it helps.

As for the shoes, it could be breaking in. I'd give them a few more runs. I encountered that for the first time when I switched from Asics to Mizuno and at first I thought it was the shoes, but after a couple of weeks, it all went away. Someone told me to give the shoes 30 miles if you are uncertain.

Ali K. said...

I think the humidity and heat are definitely two of the major culprits. I did my run in intervals today and that helped immensely! I hope your back feels better soon! School is going to be great for you! :o)

Ali K. said...

I backed off my mileage last week,so I need to really be on this week. But I did this morning's run using intervals, and taking short walk breaks did really help. I feel like I'm going backward, but I know once it cools down I'll be able to run without stopping.

I didn't know the 30 miles thing...thank you!!

Melanie said...

I CAN NOT IMAGINE RUNNING IN FLORIDA IN THE SUMMER. :) Hope what I sent you fits :) -- Melanie

Ali K. said... definitely takes some adjustment. Running intervals today helped a ton!

Kristina @ Blog About Running said...

All it takes is one good run to completely break the slump and turn things around. Maybe allow yourself to really sleep in one day during the weekend and then go for an evening run or a treadmill run. I know the treadmill can be sooo boring, but I usually find that when I catch up on much needed sleep my next run is a great one!

Ali K. said...

You're right; one good run did it! It was a tough, sweaty, unpleasant, challenging run, but it was what I needed. It felt perfect, and now I'm back at it! I think resting for three days really helped, too.

Run like a G! said...

Thank you for posting this!
I am having the same kind of week...and I feel like a loser because I am not sticking to my schedule but sometimes we just have to change our schedule or take a week off to recuperate. We have been asking our body to do a lot of work with our training and now it is telling us to relax and be calm!
I am confident that WE both will find our running groove again and be writing about our awesome runs!!
Hope your week went well! It is Friday! :)

PS~I tried the orange GU chomps and they are amazing!!!!!

Ali K. said...

The more people I see having a tough week, the better I start to feel. Even REAL runners, like crazy motivated awesome runners, seem to slump once in awhile. It's normal! What a relief!

You will find your groove after whatever rest your body needs!

Good to know the orange Chomps are good! I'm using them tomorrow on my long run!

Mom said...

What cracked me up: your ready-to-run clothes being there for three days, untouched; the skies ahead sunny and behind, stormy--I see that all the time! Didn't notice the under-eye circle, DID notice the gorgeous smile!
Love, Mom

Ali K. said...

For the cost of that smile, I figure I should show it off!

Ali K. said...

I had the orange chomps today and OMG HEAVEN!! I think I found my fuel!

Katherine Elliott said...

My running and eating have both sucked lately. June was my best month ever of running and then it was like my body hit the wall, which is Maryland summer. Sucky runs were followed by emotional eating and so the spiral begins. You're definitely not the only one who's had some struggles lately.

Ali K. said...

Yeah, I'm definitely seeing a LOT of runners struggling right now. It actually makes me excited for that super-human feeling I know I'll get when it starts to cool off!