OK, let’s talk about running, baby. Seriously, let’s address a few things that I haven’t taken the time to address on this blog lately… You may have noticed that I haven’t said much about half marathon training recently, or done any recent workout posts. Even if you haven’t noticed this, I definitely have. So in the spirit of getting back on topic, as well as motivating myself to stay focused, I’m going to make much more of an effort to write about running from now on.
A few months ago when Joe and I moved back to Canada, I was smack in the middle of a half marathon training program. It was going pretty well, and I was definitely enjoying it. I had my routine down; work my 9-5 job, come home, have supper, hit the gym/road for some training, shower, bed, wake up and repeat… even as I write this, that sounds incredibly monotonous, but at the time it was actually pretty fun. I love the gym, I love to run, and I have to say, life is pretty damn good when the only thing you have to worry about is how many miles you’re supposed to run on a given day.
Moving was a huge wake-up call for me. I was back at my old job, where we were (and still are) completely swamped, being called for overtime every single day, working days, nights and weekends, and all 12 hour shifts. I had a suuuuper hard time keeping up with my training. Trying to fit in time to go out with my girlfriends, then going for hungover training runs the next day… eesh. Working 16 hours and telling myself I’d still have the energy for an easy 3-miler afterwards… eesh. And with my husband working even worse hours than I was, any possible time we could have together would trump all of our other plans. The half marathon dream was slowly dying…
Pretty much right after starting back at work, I was approached by a colleague who informed me that she and a few of our other coworkers were signing up for a 10K in October, and they wanted me to do it with them. I hesitated… I was planning to do a half marathon in October, but now I was having so much trouble keeping up with my training. I thought about doing both races, and then found out they were on the same weekend… If I held onto my goal of running a half, there was a good chance I wouldn’t be able to do it this year, with the way things were going. But if I signed up for the 10K, it would be completely attainable, and could work as a stepping stone as I train for a future half marathon.
In the end, that’s what I did. I’m still not sure if I should have just gone for it and run the half… sometimes I could have pushed myself and done it. But I decided not to kill myself in training, since I was already getting killed at work. I ran the 10K without really even training for it. I’ve been running 6-7 miles on my days off anyway, so this race wasn’t really about the distance. What it did for me was keep me from falling completely off the running wagon. I forced myself to go on hour-long jogs after work, to get off the couch and run after night shifts. In a way, preparing for this 10K helped me adjust to my new (old?) lifestyle, and re-learn how to fit running into everything again. Not only that, but it helped build my circle of running friends, most of whom I work with, and are also faced with the challenges of working a crazy nursing schedule. I started jogging home from work after day shifts with one of the girls. I started having more accountability for my training. So even though it felt like a bit of a step backwards, adjusting my running goals this fall ended up being hugely beneficial. Instead of going it alone at a half marathon, I got to hang out with my running buddies at a 10K (still an accomplishment, as this was my first official 10K race,) and will hopefully be doing that half marathon with them at my side later in 2015. 🙂
There we are after our race, with me on the far right… All 4 of these ladies are not only better runners than I am, but they’re amazing nurses as well.
That was back in October, so let’s fast forward a little bit. After my 10K, which I ran in just under an hour, I started focusing a lot more on training. I got serious about speed work and became much more disciplined about getting outside and logging miles. With winter approaching, I knew I’d have to sign up for a gym in order to keep up my fitness, so I am now doing a lot of my training indoors. I’ve signed up with a trainer, who is kicking my ass with tons of strength training. I’m going to work with her all winter and into the spring, and then get outside and start increasing my mileage when the weather warms up a bit.
I’ve made a lot of serious decisions in the last few months about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and a lot of those decisions relate to work. I intentionally signed up for a gym that has a location next to my house and a location next to the hospital. Instead of working extra hours, I stop at the gym on the way home from work. Instead of spending my post night shift days sleeping all day and then lazing around the house all evening, I schedule time with my trainer when I’m post nights to force myself out of bed and onto the treadmill. So far, it’s working. And so far, this has been a pretty fun winter!
Oh, and one last thing… this year’s Christmas present from Joe: a brand new pair of bright and shiny Mizunos!!! Feast your eyes on those babies!
Do you have any winter training tips that help keep up your fitness during the frigid winter months??