Thursday, December 31, 2009

The upside of lazywussyunmotivatedness

snowy cleveland
Technically, training for the Pittsburgh Marathon started a few weeks ago. In reality, I think it will start tomorrow: the ultimate day to start all things awesome.

I'm no resolutionist, but, man, have I been lazy.

I don't think I've properly trained or regularly run since September (and let's just say my eating—short of an invigorating cleanse—has followed suit), so I'm really uncertain what I'm starting with. Tomorrow will tell.

Yesterday hinted a little bit. I tied on my new trail shoes (props to E-Speed for giving me the idea last winter to try them on the snow—they work like a charm!) and hit the snowy streets with Neil. We ran 4.5 at medium effort (~9/mile). Between the snow and cold, which I still haven't accepted, I thought the pace and effort bode well for me.

But even better than that: my achilles didn't swell after the run for the first time in 7-8 months.

My left achilles (followed by my left shin, calf and knee) has ached with varying degrees of frustrating discomfort, stiffness and sharp pains since April 2009. That pain led to an even more frustrating round of shin splints for the Cleveland Marathon. It came and went all summer, and then finally flared a bunch after the Akron Half and Turkey Trot. So, I've tried to rest, rest, rest for the past three months. But I'm a little dumb when it comes to rest.

Unless, of course, it's super cold and snowy outside.

Since September, I've run 2-3 times each week, completing whatever mileage and pace worked for Neil. Probably not a great plan for either of us. But I've supplemented with aerobics, yoga and strength training 6-7 days/week.

What's more: I've gotten pretty good about icing my swollen pieces and should get a T-shirt soon that reads, "I heart R.I.C.E." I feel like my achilles has been mending and all this down-time isn't for naught.

None of this smart off-the-road treatment, however, has motivated me to run. In fact, I just took my mom's NordicTrack (xc skiier) to ride next to my bike trainer. When I'm not riding that.

Neil on the trotFollowing Cleveland, I think I wavered much on my training motivation and, for that matter, devotion. While I had a pretty decent year in 2009, I often wondered whether I cared enough about racing to keep it up. And it's kind of an important ingredient when you're training for time in a marathon. Sigh. New year, new me?

On a much brighter side, Neil's become quite the runner, even braving dark, cold and rainy nights to run miles alone. He had been bouncing around in heavy cotton sweatshirts and bulky pants before he scored some great winter running clothes (the photo is from the Turkey Trot, not awesome winter-running). It's only a matter of time before he passes me in a race.

Maybe that's where I can find my motivation.