Earlier this week I was contemplating quitting two things: running and blogging. Running because I suck at it and I can't confidently train for anything because I never know when my knee is going to act up. Blogging because without running, I seem to have nothing to blog about.
I still might quit blogging, but I probably won't be so fast to give up running. I just need to find my way back to my happy place. I'm frustrated because it seems that I take two steps forward, then one step back. I'm not seeing the progress that I want. But I think if I can measure success in some way other than speed or distance, I may be on to something. Generally, my goal at a race is to finish with a smile on my face and feeling strong. I think I need to take the same approach to all my running right now. Keep the pace and distance reigned in so that I can finish strong. Choose my routes to maximize smile time. Things like that.
Well, I had my first bit of success with this approach on Saturday morning. Rather than run the crazy hill route with my friend, we choose someplace where we haven't run for awhile. It's mostly flat, rather than crazy hills, and partly shady, rather than relentless sun. We also shortened the route and went 4 miles instead of 6. The result was astounding. I *almost* enjoyed it. Plus we managed negative splits (granted we started at a fairly easy pace), which allows us to finish strong. That, my friends, is how you turn a frown upside down.
Later in the day, we went up to Santa Fe to check out two of the 50 mile route options for the Santa Fe Century (more about that later). While we were there, we stopped at the Nike outlet. If I hadn't had such a nice run earlier in the day, I probably wouldn't have even wanted to walk into the store. But since I did, I decided to do just a little bit of shopping. I came away with a black featherlight cap which I already love, and blue dri-fit shirt with reflective bits. Score! Now I have something to wear on my next "fun" run, right?
Hopefully I'll be able to find my way back to my happy place with running. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm totally there yet, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.
How about you? Have any of you had to reset expectations and/or totally redo your training plan to find your way back to the love of the sport? Or maybe a little retail therapy to help find the mojo?