The Crisis & The Window

You may have noticed that I’ve stopped blogging my training log. That’s because there hasn’t been much to log recently. I know, shocker. Yet another crisis of motivation for yours truly. I get tired of blogging about it, but when I’m not running it always seems like I should explain why…and the why is always the same:

I just don’t want to run. I don’t make time for it. I find excuses to avoid it. I whine and say, “ugh, not today.” It’s stupid and it makes me mad and you’d think that after all this time I could find a little consistency, but alas. This is the way things are.

I’m currently squandering my window.

You know, the window. The WINDOW! It’s what I’m calling my inexplicable and yet delightful ability to run faster than I have since college. It’s a mystery to me — I trained for two marathons, running on average 5 days a week, incorporated cross training and speed work, and yet my comfortable training pace remained at 9:10 per mile. That stupid nine always irritated me, but I figured that this was just my post-college pace and tried to be grateful for the fact I could run.

Then, I had a kid. Five weeks later, I started running…er…jogging…er…flailing around at an “oh-my-gosh-how-does-this-hurt-so-badly” 12:30 per mile pace. I figured that in addition to the 30 extra pounds, the child had added several minutes to my already depressing (considering what I used to do) pace.

I kept at it regardless, because running is “me” even if I’m all jiggly and slow and awkward. During the last crisis of motivation, I decided that I needed to train for a race. Enter the Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon, my made-up running club, and Saturday long runs at Corporate Woods. I had managed to get back to 9:15 per mile pace when, one gray, cold Saturday morning when no one showed up to run at Corporate Woods, I ran solo. The iPhone clocked me at an average of 8:32.

Where in the world did that come from? I don’t know. I really, really don’t. I run 3-4 days a week. I don’t do speed work. My cross training mainly involves lifting a twenty-five pound, squirmy toddler. But somehow, for whatever reason, I’ve cut 40 seconds off my training pace.

I don’t understand it. It’s…the window. My window of opportunity to run faster, get out of the “great middle,” and possibly win an age group award or two. Having watched my husband battle injury for the better part of three years, having seen my dad trade running for the stationary bike and elliptical, I know that the ability to run is never guaranteed. I should be enjoying this magical window of opportunity I’ve found, reveling in every single day that I can run comfortably and naturally, without pain or injury or fear.

And here I am, wasting it. Grr. It needs to stop. Today. 40mph winds be danged.

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