Ha ha ha. I think I may have posted 3 times this year (somebody correct me), so having a “final” post is kind of, well, lolz-esque. Anyway, I thought I’d pop in for a quick My Year In Running! wrap-up. When I think back on 2015, in running terms, it was the year of Not.
I did not run many races. I did not run the totes arbitrary and baffling 2000 Miles that I’ve run every year for the past 7 years. I did not set a PR or run a BQ. I did not even run a 20-miler in preparation for the NYC Marathon.
On the other hand… I ran New York and gave not nary (back off, grammarians!) a shit about my time. I did not miss stressing the hell out over minutes, miles, and the relatively bland graph in my running log. I did not get injured. I did not feel guilty or worthless. (Although, let’s face it. I may have felt a tad flabalanched at times.) All in all, this was the year that I felt like I mentally said, Back off, Bitch.
For me, I find that the Back Off is really pretty much required, mentally and physically, about every 5-10 years, depending on my level of intensity and freakishness during the preceding time period. It’s hard for me to ramp up and get “back into” running and racing if I don’t allow myself to wallow around in Not Runners World for a space of time. Back in my late 30s, that space of time was about 8 years, during which I got PFDOS* and averaged about 10 miles a week of blob-a-jogging in order to remain a “runner.” The idea of racing back then, even though I had raced constantly in my 20s and early 30s, was both hilarious and ghastly.
Natch, I don’t plan on spending 8 years lollagagging. Somehow, I suspect that ramping up! and going for it! at 63 would not be as invigorating and attractive as it was at 45. I don’t really have a timeframe in my mind. Like always, I’ll know when I know. After nearly 40 years of running (dear God), my intuition for the ebb and flow is pretty decent even if my intuition for pacing the first mile in a 5K and for when a constant pain is becoming-an-injury-you-idiot is still fairly sketchtastic.
That being said, I plan on remaining consistent, if less anal about piling on miles or having panic attacks over speed work for a while. I’m pretty sure the “getting back into it” would be a tearful event of gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, if I didn’t continue to jog along 30 or so miles a week. I can go back and forth with the latest silver bullet training concepts, entertain quackery approaches, ingest chia seeds, consider an elliptigo, wear negative ion necklaces, bathe my legs in that stinky shit used to rub down horses (WTF, Tanya?), and try any manner of footwear from racing shoes that look like jaunty neon slippers to training shoes that look like motherfucking boats.
But in the end, and over the years, the only thing that has ever (EVER) worked is month after month/year after year of consistency and a whole hell of a lot of miles. Sometimes I wish it weren’t that simple. And that hard. Which is why sometimes I take a break. Sort of.
Happy 2016, Runner Freaks!
*”pretty fucking disgustingly out of shape”—A mikeymike original!