I often have these visions of how I want my blog to look, and I have all these posts planned out in my mind, things that I often chat about with other running friends, yet ultimately, when I have an opportunity to write, I do something else instead … and so begins nearly every blog post I write, with some sort of half-assed non-apology to my few readers for my relative absence.
An absence of my virtual scribbles doesn’t indicate that things are awry or that I’m not running; in fact, as is the case now, it’s really quite the opposite. It’s simply a matter of how I’m choosing to spend the very little children-free time I have available.
I’m here; I’m just … not. Or something.
I’ll do a quick catch-up, a la bullet points, in the interest of brevity:
- I had about a twelve-week-ish turnaround between Pony Express on 5/1 and the SF Marathon on 7/31. I took a good two weeks post-PEM for super easy or no running, not so much out of physical stress as much as I did for the mental side. Being in the land of the Mouse for some of that time surely made the decision to not run much pretty effortless, too. I used to be able to effortlessly jump from marathon cycle to cycle, finishing one race and then hopping right into the next cycle for the next race. Maybe it’s part of the aging process (getting wiser?!) or, as is probably more realistic, the current wonderful state of life with two young kids, but I find that I need at least a little downtime to recharge my proverbial batteries before getting back into the marathon grind. Physically, I always feel ready; my mind is the one that’s all jump back, johnny! that convinces me to take more downtime. It’s less about waving the white flag in “weakness” and more about acknowledging that if I want to continue to do this stuff for the long-term, I’ve got to respect the mental side of marathon training as much as I do the physical.
- My family and I have been spending most of the summer in the midwest to visit our families. During our travels, I registered for both a 5k and an 8k. By my standards, the 5k was pretty shitty – let’s talk about how unacclimated I am to a) racing 5ks and b) racing in humidity, ha – and I ultimately DNSed the 8k (something I’ve only ever done twice before) because I felt exhausted and didn’t think that the stress of trying to race an 8k would do me any favors 27 days pre-marathon. I thought I’d try to sneak in a few more 5ks, but I never found any that would be convenient and minimally disruptive to my family, so I just forewent it. I was initially going to write a RR about the 5k, but honestly, it’s been about a month now, and I don’t even remember very much of it anymore except that after a 3 mile warmup, I was soaked from head-to-toe in sweat; I had GI nonsense during my WU that (fortunately) abated during the race; and naturally, I had a slow burn-and-fade during the race. I think I posted a low 21 – slow for me – but I left pissed more at myself for the novice pacing than for the time. Practice, practice, practice…
- Concurrent with the awesome family time I’ve been able to have, I’ve purposely let running take something of a backseat. I so appreciate being with family, and of course, their willingness to hang with the kids when/so I can run, but realistically, I’d much rather just be with my family (whom I never get to see, due to that whole California-being-on-the-edge-of-the-western-world-thing) than running by myself for a few hours. I’ve run when I can and when it has been both convenient and minimally disruptive, and while it was initially challenging to shake the guilt-ridden ohmygodhowamIgoingtorunTSFMifIdon’tcompleteaLReveryweekendorpostXnumberofmileseachweek sentiments, I’m better with it now. It wasn’t that long ago that I’d feel completely derailed by not being able to check-off all my runs week after week. Now – and especially given our travel and my sacrosanct family time – it’s ok. Expected, even. I’ll be fine.
- I’m running the SF Marathon, one of my favs, in just a few weeks now, on July 31. It’ll be my third time running the marathon, and another year being an ambassador for the race, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a good experience and a fun weekend. On paper, my training has been fine – I can say that both mentally and physically, I’m going into it feeling better than I did going into PEM, but not nearly as good as I felt going into Modesto – and I think I am most liberated by my relative lack of expectations and goals. TSFM is a tough race any day of the week, even if you’re especially trained for it, but it’s also a beautiful course and a lot of fun. I love the climbing (about 1,500′ by my Garmin in ’14, if I’m remembering correctly); the diversity of the course doesn’t get old; and hell, going from sultry midwest temps back to the coolness of SF in July will be a welcome treat. If I had to guess, right now I think I’ll be looking forward to the race as a wonderful and scenic long-long-run opportunity. I should hold a contest to guess my finish time because really, I got nothing. We’ll just see how it all comes together. I don’t think it’ll be my fastest SF, but I also don’t think it’ll be my slowest, either.
- Speaking of things coming together … stuff is still being finalized, but if it all works out and I’m still needed (wanted?), I might be pacing at a popular California marathon in August. …wink.
- This is pretty fun; someone is actually paying me to write about running (for a change!). It’s funny how the internet works sometimes. I should really make some explicit messages on my blog that state that I’m not interested in posting advertisements or promoting products in whom I don’t believe (looking at you, compression anything), or putting people’s pre-written and glowing product reviews on my blog, or writing for free (!) for some website about bodybuilding (true story) – all things that have come my way since I started casually writing here a while ago. Nowadays, in that aforementioned sparse child-free spare time that I have, I’ve been doing some freelance writing (and ghostwriting) about running. You might come across my byline sometime … or you might read my stuff that’s attributed to someone else. It’s kinda neat. Even though I’ve written and published stuff before, seeing my name in a byline – or knowing that stuff I wrote has been published on running outlets – doesn’t get old.
Maybe I’ll pull something else together here before TSFM on 7/31, but if not, you’ll probably have my SF recap to look forward to next in a few weeks. On pins and needles I surely leave you. Here’s another gratuitous woods pic, this one from the land of Lincoln from earlier this summer.