It is way too easy to let a month slip right on by.
Ugh. Apparently I strive for consistency in everything.
I went on vacation, found out that I have a little bio-mechanical issue that I am working on correcting, and started back up with running in true Jenn fashion: from 0 to the CRIM 10 miler in 1 day.
I know, but hey it is my style.
Upon returning from Florida, and after not have ran in about 2 months (since Welland) I ran a near-PR at the CRIM 10 miler on August 28th. That is not saying much, so please do not read too much into that. Basically my base fitness is that much better than 6 years ago, and my running from 6 years ago was not that great to begin with.
The following weekend I ran the Milford Labor Day 10k (HILLY!) and felt wonderful afterwards.
I am running on Thursdays with my running clube, Your Pace or Mine, and they have helped me find my happiness in running again. I feel that this club is the perfect fit for me and it opened my eyes to a huge array of runners with all different styles, personalities and goals, but with one big thing in common. They all rock.
I feel like I have known these people for ever. And some I have known for a while (Jo, Paul) while others I have just met. I work with one of the members and another one, Jenn, I met while training with TNT for the Bayshore marathon 7 years ago. Talk about full circle.
Today I ran a training 10 miler at Stoney (a literal full circle as this is where I would train when I was first cutting my running teeth) at a clip not that much slower than my race two weekends ago.
And here is how I am doing it: Galloway.
I used to be a complete non-believer in the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method. I was under the belief system that you were a runner if you ran. If you ran walk you were a walker who ran a bit. And more importantly, if you would jsut slow down you could run the whole way without walking and stopping and interrupting my run! SHEESH!
However... after hitting a low this year after the high of Welland, I took too much time off from training. That in itself would not be an issue, but I still had races to finish once I got out of the funk.
The good news is that I am now officially out of the funk. (YAY!)
So, upon realizing that I had a bio-mech issue which needed addressing and that I had races that I was already registered for and loved to run them, I decided to follow Galloway the rest of the year while I rebuild both endurance and my body.
The other reason I decided to give Galloway a try was because as a very recreational runner, I need to make this a lifestyle that I can live in for the rest of my life. If I overtrain or go crazy with running and triathlon - where is the joy in life?
My priorities are set: family/friends, work, school, and then my hobbies. I think that I got away from that in past years. I put running and triathlon ahead of all else. Time to recover.
Galloway allows that. I still find it hard taking walking breaks so early in a run or race because I am embarassed, but by the end of the race when I am passing people I realize that there is a reason that I am doing this and there is a reason it works.
The walk breaks allow two things: sustained endurance/speed and mental happiness.
In past years I would go the distance and if I had to start walking (which outside of 1 half marathon a handful of 5ks and 1 triathlon I have always had to walk at some point) I would feel defeated. I would feel as if I had failed as a runner. I felt weak. I felt fake. I wasn't a runner! I had to walk a few minutes in there. Phooey.
However, when you PLAN on taking walking breaks from the time the start gun goes off - suddenly the mental game has changed. You go from defeat to success. You go from failure to executing a plan. The walk breaks also offer a nice leg break so you can go longer and sustain a pace the entire time.
While I am slower than last year (which is all on me not the run walking), I am faster than most other years. That is with walking with purpose. So, for the rest of this year and for my marathon I will be following Galloway (outside of say a 5k or 10k if I feel particularly peppy).
I have tried Galloway for a while now (it got me through Welland) anf I have been able to complete longer distances happy and without the crappy feeling afterwards. This has helped me want to be consistent in my running and it has lead to me falling back in love with running.
I have to work on some stride and form issues as well, so the run-walk-run method allows me to evalute my gate and form and to break things down into sections on my run.
I feel a sub 2:30 half is going to happen this upcoming spring. I also feel that I can run a PR marathon happily and feeling wonderful afterwards.
Running is one thing, running and then feeling good enough to celebrate afterward is a completely different thing.
Honestly, these two things are truth: I want to run until the day that I die and I am not going to be winning any races any day soon. I am not defined by races and finishing times, I am however a better person physically and emotionally because of my running and triathlon. By loving the lifestyle I lead, I will be more consistent and consistency is very important in anything we do for the long haul.
For now, with Galloway I feel that I can achieve the ultimate - life balance.
We shall see how this goes, but so far so good!
Peace, Love, and Running my friends!
Brooksie Way Half
Run Through Hell on Halloween
Turkey Trot 10k
Bayshore Marathon (2011!)
Romeo to Richmond Half