A Training Update

It’s been a while since I last posted, specifically my weekly training recaps. So it’s time to catch up and see where I am currently and what the fall has planned.

Training started to drop off a little in the beginning of August. I was starting to get busier and time wasn’t as flexible as it was before to go out for an hour plus workout after work. I was still running, but the workouts were short and frankly, motivation just wasn’t there. My last run was August 13th and I did a short 2.5 miles around the neighborhood.

I had good intentions to keep up a steady training cycle while wedding planning, with big hopes to PR at Akron. I thought about running during the honeymoon to see the island from another perspective. Does running 10 feet up a mountain count? But when it came down to it, life got in the way. Not in a bad way, but when getting home at 9pm or later after meetings those last few weeks before the wedding, eating dinner would always win out over running.

So the plan was to start running once we got back. A new month would bring new miles and new motivation. But then I really just wanted to catch up on everything else I had missed. So running was pushed off, and all thoughts of Akron had gone out the window. And then after almost 4 weeks off, I laced up my shoes and ran 5 slow, but wonderful miles with Mallory. And I felt amazing.

After running at Buckeye Woods, despite being slow, I felt good about myself. I was relaxed, I didn’t have any stress about hitting splits or any certain mileage. I ran, caught up with a friend, and enjoyed myself. And the next day, I did the same. I set out, ran the neighborhood, slightly sore this time, and didn’t have a plan. It was the best run I had in months.

So many times I’ve put myself into a training cycle, but this time, I got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it. I wasn’t enjoying the run itself. What started as an accidental break, was actually a good thing. I took away all the pressure, all the stress, and cut back to the pure and simple run.

I finished up the week with 14 miles after a six miler on Sunday at Hinckley. The thought of attempting Akron has crossed my mind, and I know I could trudge along at an extra slow pace. But I’m still uncertain. Coming back, I want to train smart. I don’t want to do too much and injure myself, but I also don’t want to burn out again either. Running and racing haven’t been my top priority this year, and I miss that. I’ve gone in and out of waves of good training and bad training and I need to be consistent.

Going forward I don’t want to make any major training plans for the rest of the year. I’m going to go by how I feel, both pace and distance. I need to focus on other aspects of training as well, to make sure I’m both healthy and smart.

I’m also jumping back on the FitBit bandwagon after about 3 weeks off. Hopefully logging more water intake, more steps and more than 4.5 hours of solid sleep a night. If anything, my lack of sleep has been the most consistent thing this year. And naturally eating right will follow as well, including the start of me cooking. Eventually I know I need to add yoga, lifting and core back into a daily or weekly schedule. I let myself slack off this past month, and it’s time to get back into a routine.

So that’s where training is currently. Akron, just 12 days away, is completely up in the air, and I’m at peace with it. I may go back to the weekly fitness updates to keep me from falling off again. I hope to do some races this fall, and maybe work up to another marathon in 2016. But right now, I need to let my legs do the running and not stress about it.

3M Half Training: Week 5

This week was a big fat zero. It’s not my fault really, it’s my body and what the doctors told me to do. And what I’ll continue to do until at least Wednesday.

It started last Saturday, as I was driving home from the Tour de Ashland Half. I was overly tired and I started having a burning feeling in my chest. My guess was that I at my bagel too quickly, and it was probably heart burn. It was a 40 minute drive home and the longer I was in the car, the worse the I felt. I figured once I got home and showered I would feel better. Was I ever wrong. By the time I got home, I was having chest pains, my heart rate was faster than normal and I felt it was working harder than usual. I was starting to panic, thinking something worse was happening to my heart.

In 2003, I was diagnosed with Arrhythmia, which means I have irregular heart beats and sometimes my heart skips a beat. I was also told that I have a small hole in my aortic valve, but neither were life threatening and they wouldn’t prevent me from running. I went on throughout high school and college and never had any problems. I would feel my heart skip a beat once in a while, and that was all that ever really happened.

Last summer I had some intense pain in my chest over so I went back to the cardiologist to have things checked out. After more tests and a 48 hour heart monitor I was cleared, my heart could still handle the long distances I was putting it through. Up until last week, I hadn’t had any problems. So of course with chest pains the first thing I could think of was that my heart wasn’t happy with the mileage I was putting myself through.

After a few long days of being pushed around to three separate hospitals, I was finally able to get a doctor to look at my heart. It was during this time, when I was hooked up to a heart monitor for over an hour, that I realized just how scary things could have been. Luckily my heart was healthy. Somehow during the race I had hurt my rib cage and now it was inflamed. It made sense why I had the chest pain, and why I didn’t notice anything until I was able to warm myself up post race.

So here I am, off all exercise for over a week, until I’ve been cleared by a doctor and I’m slightly ok with it. I took this as my body telling me it’s had enough for this year, that I need to take time off. I’ve been training since last December and never gave myself more than a week off in between training cycles. After January’s race things will change. I’ll give myself time off, and I plan on changing a few things around for 2013.

What does this mean for January’s race? I’m still going regardless. If I can’t run, then I can’t run, but I will still enjoy a weekend with some awesome runners. And sub 2:00? If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine. There will be other races. I’ve never let any of these issues interfere with my running, and I won’t let them start now. But, I’d rather run with a healthy heart, than a broken one.