Somehow the last few months of vacation, holidays, and fun are showing up very clearly on the scale and in my clothes. Hmm, wonder how that happened??!!
What's done is done and I just now have to fight my way back.
I told my running buddy I feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff and I've been there for a few months. He keeps telling me to just keep showing up.
And it's finally working. After a solid month of showing up, I'm feeling better. Mentally, it's working. I've been actually doing the workouts. Nailing them. Glad I am training by heart rate because the paces are just depressing, but at least I'm giving it the effort.
I resisted the urge to phone in a run multiple times in the last couple weeks. We've had some tough workouts.
Two weeks ago Thursday was a warmup and cooldown, and four progressive tempo miles in the middle, with a goal of accellerating by 15 seconds on each mile (so the last mile 45 seconds faster than the first). I did phone it in a bit on the first of the miles, but mostly because I'm not quite sure of pacing and I didn't know what I'd be able to sustain. I managed to do the progressive part of the run for each mile, ending up with my last mile 1:15 faster than my first. Absolutely amazing for me! Even when I'm in great shape, that's a tough run (because I usually push my first one too hard and there isn't enough left in the tank to make it properly progressive).
This week, on Tuesday, we had a workout that was warmup/cooldown, and in the middle, two miles in zone 3 (which is basically around marathon pace), half a mile recovery, then another pair of two miles. Of those 4 "business" miles, 3 of mine were within an 8 second spread -- the other (mile 3 of the 4) was about 15 seconds faster than any of the others. I'll take it.
Today was hills. Only 3 hills, about half a mile each (this is our "long" hill loop). I ran the first two hard and I was considering phoning it in on the last one -- purely out of habit. I'm used to being exhausted on the hills and I somehow got in the routine of "just finishing" the last repeat without worrying about pace or heart rate. So today, I thought I'd run hard to the street light, about 60% of the way up the worst of the loop, and then I aimed for the "stop ahead" sign, about 66% of the way up the bad stretch, then I shot for the fire hydrant, about 75% of the way up, then I aimed for the slight turn, about 85% of the way up, and then the crest was in sight, and then I said, well, might as well finish out the flat part of the loop, and it was done. "Just finishing" the last repeat is okay for me when we have a lot and I'm really struggling. But only 3 loops? There was no good reason for me not to push on the last one, even though it had been hard and I felt slow and I was struggling. But it's done!
Slowly clawing my way back...
It's 3 steps forward and 2 steps back right now, but all due to my own choices/priorities. We have tons of fun on the calendar in the next month.
I'm flying up to KC in a couple hours. Working this afternoon, work dinner tonight, working tomorrow, then spending the weekend with my best friend from law school and visiting a few high school friends, including my prom date, which will be great.
Next week there is a very small chance my middle little brother will be visiting but it seems unlikely, but next weekend is full -- dinner with a big group of friends, dinner with another couple, and then book club at our house.
And the following weekend is Mardi Gras! The ball is actually on Valentine's Day so I bet there will be a lot of red dresses this year. I haven't picked one yet, need to shop next weekend -- unfortunately, thanks to the last few months, I don't think any of the 5-10 that are in the closet will fit.
But as long as I keep showing up, keep doing the workouts, keep hitting target heart rates and not stopping just because it feels hard, in the end, hopefully, God willing, I'll get back to where I want to be!