And The Definition Of Insanity Is…

I’m beginning to believe more and more that I’m allergic to winter. I’m not sure why I struggle so much with everything from my training, to my weight, to the constant fatigue, and my psychotic behavior from January to May, with no other logical explanation than it is a seasonal allergy of the worst kind.

 

I had moments again during the first half of this year where I honestly believed my running career was over. At least the one that had me placing in age groups and achieving Boston qualifying marathon times. The marathon I pulled out of my butt this May was a shocker to say the least. As I ran Fargo, my mind kept drifting off to how I would train for the MCM this October, now that summer was just around the corner. Oh boy, I have high expectations for myself. And I have lofty ideas as to how I’m going to tackle this training. Why couldn’t I have had that same mindset for Fargo? I can only think it was because I felt so defeated. My Achilles were still arguing with me every step of the way this spring, and I couldn’t get my weight down to where I can comfortably run an 8:00 pace effortlessly. Every damn day was a struggle to just get out and run.

Don't give up on yourself

But, I still got out there, And, I somehow pulled out my third best marathon time, and another Boston qualifier this past month in Fargo. Two weeks later, I ran my worst half marathon time ever. I can’t help but wonder…what the devil is going on?

 

I’ll admit, I began to take some serious steps to  heal myself this past month. Something had to give. It is not in my budget to see a PT or a massage therapist, so I attempted to take matters into my own hands, literally. I called on Doc Google, and researched the best way to go about self therapy. It started with extensive self massage of my Achilles twice a day, morning and night. I finally got ahead of the large lumps that had formed there, over the winter months. It hurt like hell, and it wasn’t easy, but I’ve gotten them under control. In fact, now I can touch them without wincing with pain.

Yeah, they had become that bad.

 

I’ve also had to rethink my sneakers. I’m still not sure what to do with that one. But recently, I’ve gotten back into my Vibrams and I feel so much better. I don’t run in them every day, but changing it up for the shorter runs has helped my lower legs tremendously.

I’ve gone back to taking my Sports Legs Caps before EVERY run. This reduces the fatigue. I am also taking a blood circulation supplement, and am following up my runs with 20 minutes on the inversion table.

I’ve reduced my pace tremendously, and have begun to add in some additional workouts that I think will help to improve my running form and stamina for the somewhat difficult course of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sure, P90X is still a given. I do the resistance training 3 days a week, although I recently lowered my weights and upped my reps. I felt like I was getting too big above the waist, and that this might be affecting my running gait and stride. I added a Monday stair climb, where I place 20 lbs into a backpack and hike up and down two flights of stairs in my home for 20-30 minutes at walking pace. Already, after only two weeks, I can feel the difference in my cardiovascular performance when I take it outside for the run.

I’ve found a local running group! I’m so excited about this on so many levels. First, it gives me the opportunity to meet other runners…and run with them! Having conversation while on the run is another great way to train cardiovascularly. And, running with such a diverse group means pace isn’t an issue.  It also allows me to get two runs in on my long run days. This could be a great benefit as well.

Finally, the determination to get my weight back to where it was when I ran Twin Cities in 2014. This will be my main focus over the next few months. I’m going with wacky hormones as to why I’m where I am right now. I need to get serious about this if I have a chance of getting any kind of PR at Marine Corps.

Yeah, I’ve got my work cut out for me. When I look at the whole picture, I get extremely anxious and that is not good. Instead, it has to be a step by step, day by day process, or else I’ll end up winging it like I did at Fargo. I’d really rather be better prepared.

But, I’m always up for a challenge, as long as I can stay focused through it. This has been my downfall since 2017 began. There are too many distractions, and too many personal issues putting up road blocks before I can even get my shoelaces tied. It’s time to bid a fond farewell to the first half of 2017.

Hey. I think I need a shoe charm for that.

What are your expectations for the second half of 2017?

 

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