Like any easy break in habit, not running and resting my legs was easy at first. Like, really easy. First came a voluntary week off. Then a slow transition into training that resulted in some combination of the following: "Tomorrow's just a day away, and I'll run then." "Oh… I'll get out this evening after work. It's light out later now!" "It's pretty much the weekend now, I'll just run then." "Etc."
The past month has been rough. There's been a bit of good and a lot of bad. The good: I ran a half marathon. The bad: just about everything else that tangentially has to do with my training. My post-race recovery has been dragging for weeks; as my training has fallen off so has my motivation. Following a rough week immediately after the race, I planned to take time off and slowly wean myself back onto a training plan. I hadn't planned for the resultant dip in motivation.
That dip is goddamned HARD to get through. A good run here or there has done little to help me drive through it. Worst of all, I'm antsy during the day.
Becoming accustomed to physical exertion results in a very specific and peculiar drawback: the general angst that results when that exertion doesn't come on the regular. Many of us run in order to find a sort of emotional or mental balance -- sometimes we can pound out the demons, after all -- that doesn't recede into the background until we've earned it. When the running or lifting or endurance-hula-hooping go, so too goes the balance. As of late, I can tell the balance is shifting away from where I'd prefer it lie.
The few runs that I have had in the past two weeks have mostly been good; the weather has been cool and breezy, everything wonderful about spring with none of the drawbacks. While I've been out running, I've felt great. Usually that balance lasts a day, after which I revert into my lazy state, hitting snooze and writing my legs a mental IOU. What started as conservatism regarding leg discomfort has slowly grown to become a more general low in energy -- one that comes coupled with mental component that's getting harder and harder to kick by the day.
A year that started with high hopes is trending downwards pretty badly, and it's time to put my foot down -- and then do it more than a few more times (running jokes). I've bought new shoes, two months later -- so that excuse is out the window. It's time to wake up early again -- summer's heat is here, at least for a few days.
Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I'm going to work to make the steps needed to 1) help fix my legs and 2) get my training back to the level I'd like it to be at. Small things -- time to be more cognizant of the small things, enable running, and mitigate any and all distractions.
I'm tired of being angsty. I'm sick of the dip. Boston can be my muse this week, but soon enough I'll need to find something more permanent -- and that's something that I'll have to worry about in the future. If I worry about that now, I won't get started back up. In the mean time, here's to Wesley and Sharon and everyone else who finished. I'll get to Boston some day, but I won't get there if I don't work for it. Starting one day at a time, and hopefully the runs start to build. I also hope that I'm not saying the same thing in a few weeks.