Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Endurance Junkie

It has been 6 weeks since I ran my last marathon, and only 2 weeks since I ran my 2nd half marathon in a row, but those races feel like forever ago. You would think that after running 3 marathons this season, 5 if you count my 26 & 31 mile long runs, plus 3 other long runs of 20+ miles, I would welcome the break for low mileage and shorter races. But these past 2 weeks of 6 mile long runs have not been enough. I know my body needs the break and I'm glad to give it, but my mind needs the stimulation.

The truth is that I feel a little lost without a big training goal. I have no real training schedule for the next 2 months, and the lack of structure is driving me crazy. I do have a maintenance schedule, but really I'm just winging it as I train to PR at these shorter races and maintain some of the endurance I built. I'm pretty confident I'll meet my goals on my extra endurance alone, as long as the weather cooperates and I am willing to push myself on race day. But speed is not what I really crave, and meeting these goals leaves me a little empty.

I've come to realize that I'm an endurance junkie. I'll take a slow 20 mile long run with friends any day over a 5K PR. 5K races are over far too quickly and the amount of effort I have to spend for 30 minutes of work is so not worth the reward for me. A gut wrenching effort for a 5K is over in the blink of an eye, and I often feel defeated when it's over even if I gave it everything I had. But finishing a marathon is always rewarding, even when things don't go as planned. I always feel accomplished no matter the outcome.

I never thought I would run a marathon because the training seemed like too much work, but now I miss it. There is something truly special about training for a marathon and nothing else compares. It requires everything you have; you dig deep within yourself and come out the other end a new and better person. I think it's time to seriously venture into the realm of ultra marathons.

Oh how quickly the post-marathon amnesia sets in. :)


Jen Juneau said...

"5 if you count my 26 & 31 mile long runs, plus 3 other long runs of 20+ miles"

Ummm yeah that counts, lol! I want to say we should run together since you're devoid of a schedule at the moment, but we know my ass is going to put off getting up at the butt crack of dawn for as long as I possibly can. Are there no half marathons you can sign up for anytime soon?

You are such a runner. I hope to be there one day. I feel like I "run" but I'm not a "runner", you know? It seems like a technicality lol, but I know you know what I mean!

Kitzzy said...

I do have a schedule, is just not leading up to anything big enough lol And it's ok, because I need to enjoy it while I can but I am getting antsy and just want to go run a crap-ton of miles again :)

Yeah, I know what you mean about "running" vs "being a runner" It's a lifestyle. The marathon may change that for you, or you may decide that once is enough and is not worth everything you have to give up to do it again. But I always have those thoughts during training, then amnesia sets in and I do it all over again :)

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