A battle to hit my stride again

In Feb. 2019, I was starting to hit my stride. The first week of February was the last week of a 2 1/2 month training session for the Mid Winter Classic. I didn’t have a great race, but those two months were the first two months of decent training I had done since runner’s knee put me on the shelf late in 2017. I spent 2018 building my mileage back up and working to just feeling comfortable running again. In January 2019, I started doing the work and had one of my best years as a runner. I missed my 5K PR by 11 seconds, did the best workouts I have ever done, dropped a 7:22 mile at the end of a half marathon and PR’d in the marathon. 

I hoped in Feb. 2021 I would be in a similar situation. My knee shit the bed while I was running that marathon PR, so the plan was to get healthy and re-establish my running routines in 2020. Then, in 2021 I would pick a race and bust my ass getting ready. 

That is not exactly what happened. 

I was actually ahead of schedule, getting back into some harder training in March of 2020, when the pandemic shut everything down and canceled almost every in-person race. I was motivated to work hard for a while, but if you have been around this blog at all, you know it didn’t last. I slacked off, I didn’t run a ton of mileage, did even less maintenance on my broken down old body and running started to really suck. 

So now, in Feb. 2021, instead of hitting my stride, I’m trying to get back into a groove. Instead of preparing to do some really hard work to chase one PR or another, I’m struggling to run more than 3 miles. I’m hoping, when I layer up in running clothes and lace up my shoes for some mileage, that my recently sore ankle and my always sore knees won’t give me too many problems. 

It has been a struggle. Again, if you have been around this blog for any time at all, that is nothing you haven’t heard before. It’s a broken record that I keep on spinning. 

I have no idea when the world will get back to normal, when we will be able to put races on our calendar, and when I will feel comfortable going to the gym again (trying to do PT and strength work in an apartment I share with two other people and two cats who really run the show is a challenge, one I haven’t overcome). Until then, I have to find a way to make the best of it, to do what I need to do to stay motivated and to make running feel a little less shitty. Some days I am more successful at that than others. For now, that simply means running just enough so I don’t hate it. Some days that is 3 miles, some days it includes walk breaks. Whatever I can do to walk back into my apartment not hating life, is what I try to do.

Right now, I’m on speaking terms with running. I have a lot of work to do to, like I did in 2019, fall madly in love with it.

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