After Indy and then realizing I wouldn't able to take another stab at an OTQ in Houston, I felt a little lost. Yes, I accepted where I was, but it was kind of like, WAIT...did that actually just happen? I trained how much? But I don't have any race results to show for it? Hrmpffff. The best way to describe how I felt was embarrassed at myself and, well, broken.
I ended up taking three full weeks off from running. I was good about cross-training for five days until I then became really bad about cross-training for 16 days. I was bored. I was resentful. I wanted to get away from it. So I did.
Luckily, it was a distraction-full time of year with Logan's birthday, Christmas, holiday shindigs, and New Year's. I also started waking up at 4:30am each day to have some calm solo time spent guzzling coffee and watching Hallmark movies before the daily tornado started. I drank a lot of wine, ate a lot of sh*t, didn't think about racing, and you know what? ...I enjoyed every freaking second of it.
My first run back was three miles. I wondered if some of the discomfort still in my calf was the tear not being fully healed or just scar tissue messing with me, so I took it really easy for a couple of weeks and continued with ART and laser therapy all the while. (Digression Alert! --->) Don't ya wish our bodies came with zippers sometimes so that we could just take a peek and know stuff for sure?? So yeah, here I am, five-ish weeks later, pain-free, having hit a 60-mile week last week, and looking ahead...
For so long, I was dedicated to ONE goal. ...one freaking deadline goal that saw me document every training day in nerd-like fashion, hammer numerous workouts solo for fear of getting off pace if I did them with others, and (Irony Alert! --->) skip even the thought of doing any other races for fear. of. injury.
Since being back running again, I haven't written any runs down, I've hardly run solo, and I've signed up for five races in 2020 already. I'm having fun. Maybe I'm being a little bit of a jacka$$ too, but (Oxymoron Alert! --->) a smart jacka$$ nonetheless. Don't get me wrong, I love training hard (seriously, like 1000x more than the racing part), and I really loved training towards the OTQ, but there is so much more to love about running. Having been so laser-focused on that one goal, I now want to experience it ALL. I'd like to target PRs in other distances, and yes, I'll still plan to run at least one marathon this year but with no time goal in mind other than racing the sh*t out of it. I qualified for the masters-high-performance-American Development-Program at Chicago, or as I like to call it, the f'ing old hag ADP division, so I may end up there. And yes, I'm officially a master this year. What? Shut up.
Last weekend, I did my first true speedy anything since before Indy... a 3-mile tempo within an 11-mile run. I averaged 6:04 pace, which I'm happy with, even though I felt like my lungs were seriously going to collapse. Before Indy, I did this same 3-miler twice in the middle of a 16-mile run at 5:57 average, feeling like I could have kept going forever. So, yeah, my fitness has a ways to come back yet, but it felt awesome, I feel happy, I feel alive, and I feel, well, unbroken in so many ways.