What happens when a long distance runner doesn’t run long distances? After nine years and dozens of finish lines, this is why I’m giving up distance running.
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Gasp! What?! NICOLE! WHY!?
I know. I know. For as long as this blog has been around, I’ve been talking about my love of the long run. You all have been with me through my first marathon. Countless halves. You’ve seen the bling. You’ve read the recaps. You’ve celebrated my PRs.
But over the last few months, I started falling out of love with long distance running.
Nothing dramatic. I had half marathons lined up each month toward the end of 2018, so I was constantly in training mode. Rather than looking forward to my weekly long runs, I found myself dreading them. I didn’t want to get up early to fit in the miles. I didn’t want to take time out of my day to run, stretch, recover. I didn’t want to stick to my training plan. I’d go weeks without doing a long run, but I knew my fitness was still there to run a half because I’d just run one. I went from half to half with barely any runs in between, and the runs I did do I didn’t enjoy. Simply put, I just wasn’t feeling it.
So you’re just not running?
I’m no longer running long distances, but I could never not run. Half and full marathons were burning me out. I was worried that if I kept pushing myself to run them, I’d get injured (thanks to my sporadic training) or worse, I’d start to hate running.
So, I’m simply shifting my focus. Instead of halves and fulls, I’m working on 5Ks and 10Ks. I’m still running. I’m just running less. I’m hoping that focusing on shorter distances and having new goals to work toward will reinvigorate me. I have no idea what my 5K or 10K PRs are, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
How’s that going for you?
So far, so good! I don’t have a rigorous training plan. In fact, I don’t have a training plan at all. I simply aim to run three times a week. Sometimes I do speed intervals. Sometimes I run hills. Sometimes I run for thirty minutes. Sometimes I run for five miles. I’m making sure I keep my endurance to a point where I can run a 10k fairly easily, and we’ll go from there.
Are you still going to race?
Yes! Races make me happy, and so does bling! I can’t imagine not racing. I’m currently signed up for four 10Ks, and I’ve got discount codes for ALL OF THEM if you care to join me:
3/9, The Zooma Texas Lost Pines 10K (Get 15% OFF with code “ZOOMABR15”)
4/7, The Cap 10K (Get $5 OFF with code “BibRave2019Cap10K”)
10/19, The Runners World Festival Five & Dime (Get 15% OFF any distance with code “RWHALFBIBRAVE19”)
11/2, The Zooma Texas Wine Country 10K (Get 15% OFF with code “ZOOMABR15”)
Will you ever get back into distance running?
I think so! I’ve run 18 half marathons and 4 marathons. I’d love to get to 20 and 5 in the nearish future. My plan at the moment is to take a year off from long distance running and go from there. It’s possible that in a few months, I’ll be itching for longer runs. It’s possible I’ll spot a deal on a race and want to sign up, but right now, I’m enjoying these shorter runs. I’m enjoying having more time to do things other than run on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I admit I felt pretty guilty about my decision for a while. I felt like I was cheating on half marathons. I felt like I was taking the easy way out. I felt like wasn’t a real runner. But you know what? I run because I enjoy it, and I want to keep enjoying it. I want to keep loving running, so this is what that means right now. I’m still a runner. I’ll always be a runner.
The good news is I’m enjoying my runs again. There’s less pressure. They take less time, and my shoes last longer!
What’s your favorite distance?
Do you have a favorite 10K race I should look into?