Friday, July 11, 2008

Decision Time

Maybe this is a bad time to do this, since the cold isn't completely gone, but I think I've decided not to run the Top of Utah Marathon this fall.  It's been in the back of my mind that I would do it since I didn't get into St. George and to keep me running through the summer.  But I don't want to run another marathon and just survive it.  I want to feel accomplished at the end and feel like I've trained well and done my best.  Right now, I don't feel like I could follow a training program in this heat.  Call me a wimp but I just can't do it.  I would like to do a couple of half marathons but mentally I'm just not ready for a full yet.  Truth is, I'm scared.  I'm not really a competitive person.  I typically don't run races any faster than I run the distance in training.  I don't get that adrenaline rush that pushes most people.  But I don't like to fail either.  The last two marathons seemed like failures and I'm afraid of another experience like that again.  There's a part of me that says to do another one this year to get over the fear, you know the old get back on the horse thinking.  But the smart part of my brain says that I'm not trained properly so don't set yourself up for it.  I run because I love it.  But lately, I'm running because I've told myself that I'm dedicated to being consistent and not quitting but definitely not for the love.  I don't like that.  So, I've left my watch home for the past two runs.  I didn't want to focus on my time or pace or even distance.  I just wanted to run for the fun of it.  Then I came home and figured out how far I ran.  (So I must care slightly about how far I'm going!)  I ran 4 miles on Wed and ended with riding Ritz.  It was pretty cool because they were out in the pasture and I wasn't sure I could catch her to bridle her.  But she came right over to me and followed me over to the gate.  I was pretty excited that she knows me.  I lifted on Wed too and I'm still pretty sore all over my upper body from that.  I know I need to get back to training my lower half better.  I'm really not getting sore from riding the horses bareback anymore.  I guess I need to go longer.  I went last night too and rode the "baby" horse Sassy.  She was trained last year and as soon as she got back she ripped up her leg and had a long recovery.  She hasn't been ridden only a few times so getting on her was a brave move on my part.  She spooks pretty easily and was scared of her own shadow!  But I rode her bareback for over a half hour and she got better each time around.  I will say that she put on a rodeo show when I first got on her and rared and  bucked!  Good thing Janzen was right there with me.  I held on o.k. but it was pretty scary!  I rode Bianca bareback last night too as it was getting dark so it was pretty short, but she the fastest of the horses and the wildest!  They're so fun and riding is getting to be as big of a release for me as running is.  Monday night I was just so irritated with everything and all I could think about was going for a ride.  After we did, I was good. 
I went for a run today knowing it would be the long one of the week since tomorrow is crazy.   It ended up being 9 miles.  I would have like to have made it a little farther, but oh well.  I'm going to try to keep doing my longs runs so that I won't lose my endurance and to be ready for a 1/2.  Maybe that will help my body get accustomed to running those longer distances and help me be better prepared for next year.  I'm also going to try to incorporate more cross training and just keep moving forward.  That is what we do while running after all, just one more step forward.


anna jo said...

jen, this sounds like a fantastic game plan. you don't need to be running marathons just to be running marathons if your heart isn't in it. do it because you want to, not because you think you should. (I mean, you've already done two this year!)

and let's face it. it's too bloody hot here to be running during the summer. keep running, but definitely go on more rides. it sounds like that's what you need right now. and what you want to do most. (and do you own these horses???)

and definitely do some 1/2's. that is my favorite race distance. you should do the hobble creek 1/2 marathon at the end of august (I think) it has been by far my favorite 1/2 I've done so far.

okay, I'm done.

{ps: if you really want to learn how to swim better, and swim laps as a good workout, you should check and see if your local pool has a masters swim team. the coaches are always really nice and will help beginners (and people of all levels/abilities) learn techniques, form, the different strokes, etc. I highly recommend it. okay, now I'm done.}

Angi said...

well, I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed as I was really looking forward to doing this with you. the same time...I want you to be happy. You are amazing and I know how disappointed you've been with your experiences so far this year. I would hate for you to have another bad experience. Maybe I'll get the chance to do something else with you. I would really like that since you have been such an inspiration and a cheerleader for me.

Michael said...

Jen, The half-mary is the perfect race. My (unsolicited) advice is to keep your base training at a level that you can always choose to run a half marathon at the drop of a hat. You are a success and an inspiration to many. Having cycled through the mid-west (Denver/Winnipeg in 2004, Chicago /Winnipeg in 2002) I have an appreciation of the heat... wow, intense! Think of your accomplishments ... always think of your accomplishments... the full-mary is daunting, as only those who have run it can attest. I completely understand what you're saying. It's scary and I've been there. Stay cool. Enjoy Ritz. Ride it out. M

qponqwn said...

I'm bummed that I won't see you at the top of Utah but I TOTALLY agree with Michael about the half. I am doing this full just to do it but think I'll stick with the half. It's perfect because it does make you push yourself and stick with some sort of training but you can still function afterward. I'm in a bit of a training rut myself (it's too stinking hot!). I'm learning it's a cycle though--if I miss more than a day I get depressed and it's even harder to make myself go. Even though I enjoy it when I do I find excuses. Run for you and for the joy! Thanks for your inspirational posts!

The Hoyt's said...

Jen. sounds like your on the right path.. I love reading your blogs. You have really inspired me.. I wish we lived closer so I could learn even more.. Maybe someday!! I love to ride horses but havnt for many years. It is a great feeling.. My daughter is taking lessons right now and has been in love with them from the time she could speak. I have a feeling that maybe someday we will have one of our own. Take care..