2011 was an awesome year of racing for me. I believe I ran 17 races (including 2 marathons and 2 half marathons), and won 12 of them. I got PRs in almost every distance and I never felt a sign of burnout or injury. I had the negative Cleveland Marathon experience, but I immediately began training for the Columbus Marathon and was able to push it out of my mind for awhile. My fitness kept improving and I was able to get my 5k PR of 16:40 at the USATF Niagara 5k Championships in Bergen, NY.
A few months later I had another disappointing marathon experience in Columbus and that’s where my running took a negative turn. I have not been able to get my mojo back. I haven’t lost my love for running, but I definitely lost my love for fast workouts. The workouts that once got me excited and kept my running interesting filled me with dread and negative thoughts.
I decided it was time to take a few months of easy running, no workouts unless I got the urge, and just occasional races to ride out my previous year’s fitness as long as possible. A few months turned into 6 months, and I found myself feeling like 2011 happened a lifetime ago. My current trip to Ohio has come with some soul searching and I feel that it’s finally time to stop feeling sorry for myself and my situation and time to get tough again.
Last night I went out to feel like my old self again. I went to my high school track (though it is in a different location than when I lived here) and set out to do 5 sets of 5×200. I ran the 2 miles there with my flats in hand, at 7pm when it was still near 80 degrees just to find there was a football scrimmage going on and I couldn’t get on the track. I was really disappointed, ran back to my parents’ house and dropped off my flats, then finished my “10k a day“. I decided right then I was going to get up at 5am this morning and get after my workout at 6am.
When my dad woke me up at 5:40am I was feeling full from last night’s indulgences, exhausted from a sleepless toddler, and unmotivated for a track workout. However, I forced down a peanut butter sandwich and a half cup of coffee plus a large water and was out the door by 6am. On my warmup I was sluggish and groggy but I kept a positive attitude. I witnessed a beautiful sunrise and made it to the track before a single car arrived at the school. It was 50 degrees, clear skies, and little wind. I nailed that workout like I’d never stopped. The whole process brought tears to my eyes. I truly got a little weepy on my last 200, knowing I’d completed an entire workout, faster than expected, and felt good the whole time.
I came home to a supportive dad who didn’t complain even though my late return (7:15am) made him a little late for work, a sleeping daughter and mom, and a feeling that anything might be possible.