Half Marathon to Couch Potato: Or how I Failed myself this Summer

I hit a personal fitness goal this year.  In April I ran the Scranton Half Marathon.  It took me over 3 hours and I did have to walk a small part of it, but I did it.  I trained for and accomplished something I really never thought I’d be able to.   It was an amazing feeling.

But, for me, it came with baggage.  Northeast Pa winters suck.  2105’s spring was mostly winter and I was out there running in the rain, snow, cold and misery.   I got my miles in at the cost of my enjoyment of running.  I hate that.   I miss running through Dunmore Cemetery, getting 3 miles in before work, the antsy feeling if I didn’t run for a few days.   I miss the runner’s high!  The first run after the half was a chore.  I’d gone from seeing 3 miles as the home stretch of a long run to 1 mile having me winded.

So I stopped.

In July I did the PA Spartan Sprint.   I ran with a friend who stayed out till 4am, barely trained and kept the pace ahead of me.  She’d have finished 45 minutes earlier if she wasn’t waiting for me.   I struggled…I was out of shape, winded, tired.   When I stopped running, I lost a key part of my fitness program.  My resistance workouts suffered.

Oh, and I ate like I was burning 5000 calories a day.    Rocking 260 baby!!!!!   I wasn’t worried about sharks at the beach this year….I was worried about whalers!

All this time, I’m registered for the NJ Super on Sept 12th.  My first blue medal and shirt.   I start training half-heartedly.  I’m crushing 15-20 minute workouts….but not running.  I’m working on pullups, but my elbow is sore (tennis elbow, had it before) and geez, my ankles are sore too.   I think I’m going to work through the pain and it will get better.

It didn’t.

Today I had to drop out of the NJ Super.   I’m disappointed in myself.   All my talk for how important health and fitness is and I’ve been a hypocrite.  My shirts and pants are tight in all the wrong places, I’m out of breath doing simple thing and I get in my cellar to work out and get overwhelmed with options and things I don’t want to do.

I’m a mess.   And I’m glad.

My body was telling me I’m not ready for NJ.  I finally realized that running the race would mean a struggle.  I’d probably finish, but be miserable.  I’d fail obstacles, do too many burpees and collect that medal with a healthy dose of disgust.   I don’t want that.  I want this to be fun.  I want the Trifecta next year and don’t want 2 bad races to turn me off the sport!

So it’s back to the drawing board.  Thinking of starting with the basics:  Couch to 5k and sandbag strength workouts.  Get some fitness wins under my (hopefully decreasing) belt and build my confidence back up.  Get the taste for running back and make the time to be better than I have been.

I am very un-Spartany right now.   I have till April (the NJ Beast) to rebuild myself.   Stay tuned…the transformation will be blogged about.

Aroo!

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Half Marathon to Couch Potato: Or how I Failed myself this Summer

  1. Very honest post. Don’t beat yourself up too badly. Today’s a new day! You got this!

    • Sean

      Thanks Michele. I needed to swallow some pride and accept that I’m a few steps behind where I want to be. Take some sand out of the bags, lower my expectations for runs and accept that I’m not a kid anymore, can’t power through everything and sometimes I’m going to fail.

      All that matters is what I do next, right?

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