Things I Do and Do Not Recommend

Things I recommend: feeling better after six weeks. Things I don’t recommend: getting sick in the first place.

Things I recommend: enjoying the holiday season. Things I don’t (necessarily) recommend (at least not frequently): earning a badge on Untappd for checking in an adult beverage for over a week straight.

Things I recommend: eating good food, often. Things I don’t recommend: not exercising, gaining 10 lbs, losing muscle, gaining fluff.

Things I recommend: back squats. Things I don’t recommend: dropping a plate directly on your foot from the racked barbell.

SO THAT’S BASICALLY WHERE WE’RE AT RIGHT NOW, FOLKS.

I finally feel better and it’s been a hell of a ride. For somebody who rarely gets sick, I felt like a whiner talking about my cold. Was it really as bad as I thought? Emphatically YES. Confirmed by multiple friends whining at week 3. Phew. Glad I wasn’t making it up.

Yes, I earned a badge on Untappd for checking in daily for over a week. I had a beer or glass of wine at home daily, sandwiched between a happy hour, dinner out and then another dinner out and $15 manhattans. My wallet wasn’t happy, neither was my liver I’m sure, but my oh my, my palate was loving it.

Yes, I also gained 10ish lbs from being sick and not exercising on top of my usual poor food choices. My middle is fluffier than it has been since college and while I know at least 10lbs of the 20lbs I’ve gained since college is definitely muscle, I’m sure a bit is mac and cheese, pizza logs, and hot pockets.

Oh yeah, and two weeks ago I went to clear off a barbell that was racked for squats and a 5lb plate landed directly onto my foot from shoulder height. Sure, it’s just 5lbs but that piece of metal had me convinced I needed my foot amputated. I haven’t been able to run since, nor walk further than 1 mile without feeling it the next day. I can’t do anything that involves flexing my big toe still, but it’s finally getting better, though still bruised. You don’t realize how often you bend and flex your toes until you can’t do it painlessly.

I’ve been trying to figure out in this time what I want to do about my running. The Lake Effect Half Marathon is in February and tradition to run, but they added a 5k option this year and that’s kind of where I’m leaning. I’m not sure I have it in me to dedicate to training for a half marathon this year.

I did make one decision though. I need to eat better. RP strength had a Black Friday sale on their templates and I gave in. I need to eat better and if I spend money on it, maybe I’ll finally do it. I know a few people personally who have had great success with it (think increased strength, better stamina, more muscle, less body fat, better recovery) so I figured why not? I started it Monday and I’m going to attempt to stick with it 90-100% each day, but realistically eating ANY vegetables and less processed food is an improvement. I plan to write up a more extensive post about RP strength soon, but I’m only a day (or two when you read this!) in so I need a few more days under my belt.

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When Running Isn’t Fun Anymore

Last Spring I was burnt out. The month before my goal race, I didn’t want to train anymore. It took every ounce of energy to get myself out the door. It wasn’t the typical “oh I’m just tired from training” feeling, nope. I literally hated going out for a run. Though I’ve trained for a bit since last year, I haven’t loved running like I did training in 2013. 

Yeah, you read that right. Since 2013. Four years ago. 

I loved traing that year. I love every single moment of it. I was PRing like crazy, and yeah, I’ve PRd a couple races since that, but it still doesn’t feel the same. I don’t know what it is. Okay, that’s a lie, I kind of think I do. I’m a little bit in love with CrossFit. Hear me out though… 

The summer of 2013 is when I started that serious rehab for my tendinitis. I met my physical therapist who got me back to 100% and then some. He recommended I check out his new office when it opened — in a CrossFit gym.  Somehow when they finally opened in 2014, I did. For somebody who won’t go to Chipotle, new coffee shops, etc. to order food (because, well, anxiety) I’m still amazed I brought myself to the gym that first day knowing nobody. 

Even though I’ve been a member since then, I haven’t ever been a regular CrossFitter, either. I’d try to make it once a week, sometimes not showing up for a month at a time. I was always focused on running and that damn half marathon or 5k PR (still haven’t gotten it), or the marathon. CrossFit wasn’t the goal, it was a means to get me to running goals. 

Truthfully, I’ve been afraid to really give in like I want to because I’ve been afraid I’m going to totally abandon running. I’m a runner. I like to race. I like to get faster. I’m not a CrossFitter, geez. 

Except I am. And maybe it’s time I stop trying to force myself to continue hard training towards a hobby (because that’s all it is) that I’m not loving. I’ve made a lot of friends through the running social media, some of which are my very best real life friends now. Because of that, it’s always been a little difficult to abandon running. It feels like a best friend I’m slowly kicking out of my life. In fact, I don’t know how to not think about my life in terms of running. 

What’s my next race? What’s my next goal? When will I want to race again? 

I listened to one of Lindsey Heins’ podcasts this summer with Kim Hoban to which I could totally relate.  It’s silly but it kind of made me feel better about wanting to focus my efforts elsewhere.  Kim’s focus was entirely on running for quite a while but, guess where it is now? Uh huh. 

Sometimes I forget why I’ve always run, though. 

I do it for competition. I like to beat myself and I definitely like to beat other people. I never did it for fitness, to lose weight, or to look a certain way. Lately though, and maybe it’s because I’ve been lifting more, but I find myself drawn to exercise for a physical reason that isn’t completion. That’s a first for me. I’m enjoying the lifting because I’m loving what it’s doing to my body. It’s weird to admit that. It feels a little vain, too. But I can’t lie, hello muscles and hello baby abs that running never gave me. 

In the words of my grandma, when she’s done sidetracking and rambling… “Anywhooooo!”

So anywho, I’ve talked a lot about nothing for no good reason other than I have thoughts and I have a blog with a paid domain name I should use more often. Run Fast or Faster might need a new name soon…

A Look at 2015, Into 2016

It feels appropriate to reflect on the past year as I’m sitting on the couch starting off 2016 with an awful hangover.  Even though I enjoy a beer or glass of gin or whiskey on the rocks every few days, I rarely go all out and now I remember why.  Oof.  How did I do this almost every weekend when I was in college?  The only perk of feeling so terrible is that Dunkin has been totally lazy too and we’ve spent all day and night on the couch snuggling, plus I finally get to catch up on what I’ve been missing during the holidays! Continue reading A Look at 2015, Into 2016