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Can I get there again? (Read 1196 times)


Slow-smooth-fast

    Here is how I am feeling: After my 9 months layoff I was itching to get back to running and it has been going well. I started logging my miles on here again after a few months of easy running. I was running initially for weight loss and even though I am not at my racing weight just yet, I am happy as I have lost the pounds again.

     

    My issue is with what to do next. I feel that I have found it difficult lately to find the motivation to 'get in the miles'. The birth of my 2nd daughter and hence sleepless nights are certainly a contributory factor. I still have managed however to run as much as I can, though it seems to have become a chore. I am trying to get back to my former race fitness, sub 40 10k and so have been running >50mpw for about 3months now (ran by feel, variable paces), though lately with fatigue it is becoming more and more difficult. I have found that the obsessive side of me has started to rear its ugly head again and it is beginning to take over.

     

    Here are a few examples that illustrate how running is becoming a little obsessive for me. 1. I took my daughter to a birthday party and instead of staying I went for a run, then came back to pick her up. 2. I lied about my work finishing time just so I could run 15 miles home from work 3. I ran 15 miles last Sat to justify the pizza I had the night before. My head is running, running, running and I need to chill and sort this out. I am always thinking of ways to get in more miles, the more the better I keep thinking, but evidently it is driving me mad and my partner. I need some direction. I am not sure where to go from here. I think ultimately I need to cut my mileage to start to feel better and do some race specific training, but then as soon as I think about doing this, there is a voice in my head which says, "No, you need to run more miles".

     

    Have I got the base to lower my miles now and do more race specific runs? I have started doing some 'speedier' work, a few fartleks, and I did cruise intervals this week, but I am wondering aimlessly and seem to have lost all focus about what it is I want. Here is what I wan - to get under 40m again for the 10k, without burning myself out, thus cutting my weekly mileage and obsession with long runs. Help and advice welcome.

    "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009


    Feeling the growl again

      First of all, Eddy, congrats on your baby girl.  I have two little girls as well.

       

      I could have written that post.  You're basically going through exactly what I did/am.  I always felt like I was trying to "come back" and was comparing back to where I used to be, calibrating my goals accordingly.

       

      In the long term, it is probably not very likely that you will be able to run as fast as you were at your fastest on lower average mileage.  You may be able to "cheat" and get there for awhile by going more quality, but it will catch up with you eventually.

       

      You have a couple choices.  One, find ways to prioritize running in your life to guarantee that you consistently get the mileage you need to excel.  As you are finding out, with little kids this can be very challenging on the family.  Unless running is your job, I have found this hard to do -- and this coming from someone who used to prioritize running above everything else.  Two, you can find ways to run as much as you realistically can within your new life, accepting that sometimes you'll be running a lot and getting faster, and sometimes you won't be getting in enough to even maintain.  

       

      Option Two is kind of where I'm at.  I've let go, more or less, of expectations of returning to running PRs and consistently excelling at running.  I now have good seasons and bad seasons, depending upon how much other things in life let me run.  I've had a couple stretches where I've been in really good shape again, and others where I'm just trying to stay in baseline shape.  This option requires letting go of the constant expectation to be in the best shape.

       

      The good news is I don't think your tip-top shape was as extreme as where I was at for a number of years, so I don't think the results of this will be as extreme for you either.  I think even with this change in the order of life you still have PRs in front of you for years to come.  

       

      Those little girls will only be little for so long.  You NEED to take care of yourself, but you must also decide how much you really want to miss to go out for runs.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       


      Slow-smooth-fast

        Thanks Spaniel. I also think at the same time I just need some direction to get me running faster again. Over the last 4 weeks, I seem to have been running on tired legs, and ironically seem to feel even more tired after a day off. Sub 40 10k is my initial target and in the grand scheme of things is relatively slow I think so I know that there is a lot of room for improvement.

         

        How do you think I should go from here to change my running week, to incorporate more goal orientated runs, as like I said at the moment, most of my runs are run at easy pace, following the mantra, run lots, mostly easy. Surely, off my last 3 or so months of 50ish miles, I will have established a base? Any advice, specific workouts would be great.

        "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

          Eddy, you need to chill mate.  You do not sound like someone who is enjoying their running to me.  Stop trying to be the best runner you can be tomorrow all the time, that's not how it works.  The up down crazy pattern you follow is frustrating for an observer so I can imagine you must be climbing up the walls.

           

          In the end it's just running, if life's other priorities get in the way you just have to shrug your shoulders and leave your run until the next day.

           

          My advice would be to try and get a bit more fun back into the running.  Sit down with your partner and explain that running is something that you are passionate about and try and get her buy-in for you to train sensibly and consistently.  Maybe agree that you go to your local running club once a week.  Maybe trade her another night where you look after the kids and she can get out to de-stress too.  You can run decent miles and have a good family life it just takes a bit of planning.

           

          You can get back to where you were by training a sensible amount, consistently with focused sessions.  If you try and force it too much you'll just end up falling out of love with running again, and end up have months off and be back to square one again.


          Prince of Fatness

            Two, you can find ways to run as much as you realistically can within your new life, accepting that sometimes you'll be running a lot and getting faster, and sometimes you won't be getting in enough to even maintain.

             

            This gets my vote.  If forced to choose something to regret as I got older, I would chose to regret not running faster PR's over missing my children growing up any day of the week.

            Semi-retired.


            Feeling the growl again

               Surely, off my last 3 or so months of 50ish miles, I will have established a base? Any advice, specific workouts would be great.

               

              Heh.  I'm racing a 50-miler in 8 days based off less training than that.

               

              Even that race is a good example of acclimating to the change.  Last fall, I set the goal of a marathon PR (2:27) for this year.  It's a lot easier for me to train in the winter, both weather and time-wise, and I had a couple GREAT months of training...until I got mono.   Most of the rest of the year has been a wash, running-wise.  So rather than run a slow marathon this fall that would, frankly, just piss me off about my running, I'm doing my first ultra.  Guaranteed PR, scenic race, and hopefully a nice new experience.  Different goals than the old days. 

               

              As for specific workouts, nothing has changed.  Even during periods of lots of easy running, don't forget your tempos and fartleks.  If you're feeling good in the second half of the run, crank up the speed and have some FUN with it.  If you're tired from a middle of the night wakeup by the baby, just log the miles easy.  Be looser with the structure of your running week...some days what you planned just ain't gonna happen.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


              Slow-smooth-fast

                Don’t get me wrong, family should always come first and I always do put them first. I just take opportunities if they arise to go for a run, that’s all. I am not one for taking shortcuts and that is why I have been still putting in the miles, fitting it around my current hectic lifestyle. So to clarify, I am not looking for a way to shortcut to faster times, I am willing to put in the necessary work. I just seem to have lost the direction with regards to helping me run faster. I want to cut my miles to 40mpw, this will be more sustainable but want to add some quality in there. Please advise what I ought to do leading up to Christmas?

                "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

                DoppleBock


                  Obsession

                   

                  or

                   

                  Passion

                   

                  I am trying to move from 80% Obsession and 20% Passion to 50-50.

                   

                  I think one of my issues is I have gotten away with a lot of stupid stuff in training - 2010 I went from being injured to running 600+ in February, 900+ in March and 750+ in April - It was not fun and I should have imploded. 

                   

                  Since then I have floundered in a cesspool of training - No consistency - Go really hard then either break or take time off.  It took a really crappy 2011 season to figure out that I do not need to get into shape with crazy mileage again - Its too hard to make happen.  I just need to get into shape.

                   

                  I started this with nice mileage (for me) and hitting 2 easy to low end of moderate workouts each week.  I have also thrown a hilly run in each week and try to hit the trail once each week for nice mental variety. 

                   

                  I think the major mindset change for me is that I am not trying to get into shape for a "Big Race" I am just trying to get into good shape.  There is not desperate feeling of impending doom as a goal race approaches.  It is just what can I do this week to help to continue to move toward getting into shape.

                   

                  I continue to struggle to keep mileage as a goal out of training - I fail often - But I am suceeding more than ever.  I am really trying to move toward more "Stress" then "Recover" - With an emphasis on decent recovery before the next stress.

                   

                  I hope I can continue this approach

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   

                    Eddy, You are a bit more accomplished runner than I am, so I can't really offer any training/running advice, but your life seems to be similar to mine.

                     

                    It is really tough to continue this obsession if it is not supported by your family and they resent your running.  But we can try and let go of the expectation of constant improvement and take small victories when they come and be happy with other benefits of running.  I am the healthiest I've ever been, made so many friends who I'd have never met, saw really cool sights and places etc.  So I'll take that and continue to run whenever I can, I know I can be a bit better than I am if I train more consistently, but I'd still not be winning any races.  Those time goals are arbitrary numbers that we chase, yet when we get there we have to go for the next round number. Once we let go of this, running becomes a lot more fun.  I don't know how to let go, but has to be done if we want to not burn out completely, and keep this a life long habit.

                    R2E


                    "run" "to" "eat"

                      1. I took my daughter to a birthday party and instead of staying I went for a run, then came back to pick her up. 2. I lied about my work finishing time just so I could run 15 miles home from work 3. I ran 15 miles last Sat to justify the pizza I had the night before. . Help and advice welcome.

                       

                      hey, eddy... i don't know you, so please take that into consideration. you asked for input, so here's mine. i want to caution you that you're saying "family first" and "i want to cut down my miles" but looking at these three examples, i see some issues.

                       

                      firstly, i'd say the first example is acceptable. i mean, i always viewed the bday parties as childcare for the price of the gift, so unless you feel your child will be in any danger without you, or unless it's a bday for, say, your niece or nephew and your family will be upset - dropping off your daughter and then coming back for her in this situation is generally okay.

                       

                      the next scenario is a bit of a red flag. you don't want to set yourself up to personally accept lying as a way to get in your runs, because then you are hiding them, and that just sort of feeds the obsession monster. i mean, you can start to convince yourself that people don't understand what you "have to" do, so you "have to" lie. certainly, everyone's told a lie -- from a little white one to a big whopper. i am not saying it's a major crime. i am saying it's a red flag (or, at least a pinkish flag) in the obsession category.

                       

                      finally, running to justify eating... well, now, that's a topic that's near & dear to me. on the surface, it's completely acceptable, and nearly every runner does this to some extent, although they won't always admit they do. most hobbyjogger types are on board with running as a way to balance pizza and beer or cake and ice cream or those cookies from the coffee shop right around the corner, those cookies they only have in october, those fabulous freshly made ginger cookies... but i digress. seriously, there's nothing wrong with running in order to eat big later or running off something you ate the night before. it's  more about how you feel about it and how often it happens. it's not a super-healthy cycle, so you'd want to be careful not to get caught up.

                       

                      maybe this is too much in-depth analysis of three random examples, but i was intrigued that you chose these as examples and just wanted to offer my two cents.

                      i find the sunshine beckons me to open up the gate and dream and dream ~~robbie williams

                      Julia1971


                        So to clarify, I am not looking for a way to shortcut to faster times, I am willing to put in the necessary work. I just seem to have lost the direction with regards to helping me run faster. I want to cut my miles to 40mpw, this will be more sustainable but want to add some quality in there. Please advise what I ought to do leading up to Christmas?

                         

                         

                        Personally, races are what gives my training direction.  If I'm not training for a goal race, I tend to skip or dog workouts.  So, I would probably try to choose a goal race around the holidays. 

                         

                        I know a lot of my mom friends have had to change the focus of their training - less marathons more "fun run" 5Ks.  I don't know if 40 mpw would get you to your 10K PR and I think others could speak to that better than I.  But, it sounds like a great mileage level for 5K training.  And, of course a lot of that depends on what you're doing for those 40 miles.  Again, I think there are better experts out there on that.

                         

                        Good luck!

                        Run the mile you are in.

                          1. I took my daughter to a birthday party and instead of staying I went for a run, then came back to pick her up. 2. I lied about my work finishing time just so I could run 15 miles home from work 3. I ran 15 miles last Sat to justify the pizza I had the night before.  

                           

                          I know what you're now looking for here is advice on the most efficient training program for you, and I highly recommend the FIRST book.  You can get it from your local library if you don't want to buy it. 

                           

                          I did want to weigh in a little here, just as a couple of others have shared their similarities with you.

                           

                          1. I took my kids to a birthday party across the street a couple of weeks ago, then took an hour long nap before going back to hang out there with them.  Same thing right, I just did the lazy person version.

                          2. I don't lie about work, but I've taken my fair share of PTO to get my long run in. 

                          3. I don't really think about justifying food, overall you just need to keep a balance of calories in calories out, as opposed to some random day where you overdo it.

                           

                          You could skip the FIRST approach and hit up Nobby on here for the program he recommends.  Having to follow a program that's recommended may prevent your brain from constantly overworking about what you should be doing differently, or how much harder or slower you should be working at a given time.  It's all right there in front of you. 

                          DoppleBock


                            I do think there is a distinction and not by how much you run - I am transparent with my work and my family about my running.

                             

                            My boss knows I work > 40 hours per week,  But he also know I will tke 90 minute lunches and leave early at times to get my runs in.  He has confidence I do not miss deadlines and I will work every hour needed to get work done.  I have pulled 100+ hour weeks in the past and frequently pull 60+ hour weeks when needed.

                             

                            My wife and I are in constant discussion about our plans and she helps me figure out how to fit in my runs.  My family is not morning people - So for her if I do not come home until 10-11 on some Saturday mornings it is a treat.  I do make conscious choices to choose running over some family time, but that is it.  I have no other hobbies or sports that pull me away from my family.  I do not have any shows that I watch.  I do not watch sports by myself and usually only do watch sports if my wife wants to see the games.  I do not go out with the guys etc.  The denial of time is pretty much to other things I would do in my life.

                             

                            It does not make it right for you - But for me I know I not only spend more time with my family than the average dad - But I do not just spend time, I am engaged with them during that time.

                             

                            If I did not run - I would be in a volleyball league and a bowling league.  I would gold more than 5 times a year.  I would own a snowmobile.  I do sometimes look forward to the day when I ramp down and take up a variety of activities again.

                            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                             

                               I still have managed however to run as much as I can, though it seems to have become a chore.

                               

                              This is the main reason for former runners. They don't enjoy running anymore. The trick is to figure out how to make it fun again. For me, its picking a race and committing to a training schedule. That's what gets me out the door.

                               

                              DW knows that if I don't get my run, I'm crabby. Actually the whole family has come to that realization. I run before everyone gets up, so it doesn't impact their day. Sometimes it does, but as you are seeing its working it into the day that is challenging.

                                Eddy, thanks for starting a great thread --- I think this is a topic that lots of us with kids struggle with, whatever our ability level.

                                 

                                One note --- I'd second the vote not to worry about the birthday party thing, but I would worry about lying about work stuff.  Not to over analyze, but my question is how your partner feels about your running.  I get the feeling that some of this guilt/stress is not coming from you.  Is that right?  If so, then you probably need to work that out.  Make sense?

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