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Lessons Learned from a Failed Running Year

December 5, 2012

A year ago I was starting to plan my 2012 racing schedule.  I knew I wanted to participate in a lot of races and I knew I wanted to raise money for the HHT Foundation.  So, I created Running for HHT.

But let’s go back a little further.  Hubby and I ran the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon and it was an amazing experience.  What wasn’t so amazing was the severe IT Band pain we both had by mile 20.  Another 6.2 miles later and we both had a bad case of IT Band Syndrome.  Fast forward over a month and I finally felt like running again.

Ignoring the fact that any fitness I had going into the marathon was long gone, I started running again.  I created an ambition training plan figuring I could pick up exactly where I left off.  Wow, was I wrong.  I wish someone had slapped me up-side the head Agent Gibbs style (points if you can name the TV show) and reminded me I hadn’t run in months.  Who am I kidding, I hadn’t exercised in months.

Armed with said training plan I set my sights on the Unite Half Marathon.  I’d like to say running was difficult at first but became easier as I added miles and got back in the swing of things.  But in reality the opposite happened.  With every additional mile my running got slower and more labored.  It took more and more motivation just to get myself out the front door and even after I started each run, I couldn’t wait for them to be over.  If I stopped at a water fountain mid-run, there was almost no chance I would start running again regardless of how far I still had left to go.

I kept running; forcing myself to follow the training schedule and run the races scheduled.  The races I ran for fun went well, but all the races I participated in for me were a disaster and disappointing.  The only race I really enjoyed was the Tune Up Tri.

Fast forward another 6 months to July.  Marathon training was underway and I was past the 10 mile mark for my long runs.  I was training with a friend, which made it easier to actually complete each training run, but I still couldn’t shake the “I hate this” feeling.  Then the summer heat hit and what was already bad became worse.

In August, I decided to defer the marathon.  I hated to defer the marathon knowing I wouldn’t reach my 100 mile goal, but I know it was the right decision for me.

Now, after a few months break, I’m running again 🙂  I’m currently in week 4 of the Couch to 5K program and feeling great.  I’m starting to look forward to my runs again and I’m proud of myself after I complete each run.

Next year won’t be as exciting but I have a few races in mind starting with the Marine Corps Marathon since I can’t defer the marathon a second year in a row without losing the initial entry fee plus the defer fee.

Lessons Learned:
1. Sometimes you have to start from the beginning
2. Pay attention to nutrition, especially during a race
3. Pay even more attention to hydration
4. It’s so much easier to wake up and do your long run when a friend is waiting for you
5. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

How do you get back into the groove after a long break from exercise?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2012 8:57 am

    Great post! I love the lessons at the end- sometimes you really do have to start at the beginning. Here’s to 2013 RHHT! 🙂


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