Getting My Groove Back

It’s been three months since I’ve trained for a race and I haven’t missed it — until this week.  Admittedly, I was getting nervous.  What if I never wanted to run again?  I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but the underlying thoughts are always there when you take a little break.  When you’ve loved running since you were 12 years old, the odds of falling out of love with it are slim.  After having something to train for (running without injury, racing without injury, and then a PR attempt) for the past 2 and a half years without an honest break, I was due.  

But this week, the itch came back.  My first pang came back in the middle of Monday’s class at the gym.  We practiced squats before the workout, which is something I haven’t done in six months and automatically got some PRs there.  The actual workout involved 200m sprints, kettlebell swings, and chest to bar pull-ups.  While my legs were exhausted from the squats, those 200m sprints gave them life again.  I missed the track.  I missed pushing hard.

The pang came back on Wednesday as I drove by runners warming up for the 5k down my street, which I love.  I was driving to my Olympic lifting class, which I also love, all I wanted to do at that moment was park and run up to the registration table and hop in. I kept driving to my class, but after a terrible lifting night, I wished I ran instead.

In two weeks, my friend is running the 100 mile Beast of Burden race, which I intend to pace for at some point for her — it’s a 12.5 mile loop out and then 12.5 mile back, so I’ll tag along for just one length.  The following weekend, another friend has her half ironman, so I’ll be on the cheer squad.  If I wasn’t already getting the itch to start training again, I would certainly be feeling it by the end of August.

I’m glad I took these few months to do whatever I wanted, clear my mind, and take the needed rest.  Apparently it was much needed, based on how much time it’s taken before I got The Drive back.  I’m excited to build my base back up this fall with these stronger legs and keep the right balance (for me) between cross/strength training and running.  Hopefully we’ll have a house with a treadmill for me by the time the snow hits, too so I train with consistency in the winter for the first time ever!

I’m already considering a couple options for next year — a rematch between me and the sub 1:40 Pittsburgh half marathon?  Or maybe the Grand Island Half Marathon?  Maybe a full marathon in the spring?  Or should I hold off for the fall?  \

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

9 thoughts on “Getting My Groove Back”

  1. What about Philadelphia half in November?

    I’m happy to hear you are getting the running bug back. I feel like we all go through ebbs and flows with it. We all need that rest too.

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  2. Congrats on finding your passion again. I have been struggling for awhile and getting there as well. For 3 years (former obese couch potato), I kept being amazed at what I could do (every month, I was going further and faster). I came up with a crazy goal that became an obsession. That obsession propelled me forward. Once I finished, the passion vanished. I tried to force it the next season…which just made things worse. I have finally dialed it was back and I am starting to enjoy it again. I needed more balence, and for running to be a part of that balence. So I am running for fitness and health. Gone are the extreme goals and workouts. Also, just enough events for them to be fun again (2-4/year, instead of 20-25). I may get the itch to compete again…maybe another marathon someday…but I am finding my enjoyment in the sport again. Motivation can be fickle. Sometimes we need to push ourselves to break through, other times we need a break to get it back…

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    1. Balance is definitely key! I found that volunteering at races or spectating can feel great too, and helps get some drive back. I bet the olympics will also be a bit a huge motivator, if you like watching them!

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  3. Glad to hear you are getting the motivation back! Sometimes it’s worth waiting and maybe losing some fitness just so we can get to a point where we don’t have to force it and burn ourselves out. If the passion isn’t there, really, what’s the point? I’m just starting training again after a 3 month off season and excited to be back at it.

    If you are already getting the passion back, personally I would think next fall is a little long to wait before your next goal, but only you know your heart and your limits. I’ll be doing a goal half this coming spring, but personally, I am going to choose something a little flatter than Pgh 🙂

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    1. I will definitely do something in the spring as a goal, just not sure what specifically. Half? Full? Grand Island is the same time as Pittsburgh. But flatter. But man, I want revenge on Pittsburgh.

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      1. I’m doing a series of 10K races later this fall, which I just started training for. I’m really excited to switch it up with the shorter-distance focus. I’m hoping doing the new types of workouts and focusing on my speed will make me a little faster overall

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  4. Congrats on finding your running groove again! It’s such a good feeling when you have it . . . and it can be painful to force yourself through training when you don’t. Looking forward to seeing what you decide for your goal.

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