Life lately has been sort of a jumble. Orientation the last week of August. A long weekend in Northern Michigan to celebrate Labor Day. Classes and a never ending pile of coursework starting immediately after. And running. Or at least trying to find the time and energy to run.
Mileage was a little light during orientation. After extra long days on campus (both work and orientation) I was just too tired to head out for more than 4-5 miles. But the weather finally started cooling down and I had a really excellent HILLY 14 mile long run that weekend.
And then things really got off track. On Tuesdays I work from 7-3:30, have a two hour break for dinner and homework, then am in class from 5:30-8:30. Add in some time commuting and it is about a 15 hour day. Right now, Tuesdays are my rest days. After the half marathon I might change that by making better use of my gap. Last week I was exhausted on Wednesday and took that day off as well. I filled up Saturday with errands and homework, and somehow the day passed without finding time for a run. Sunday was a miserable 14 miler.
Part of this is my fault, because Saturday’s “dinner” consisted of wine, cheese, and crackers. When I tried to step the pace up to sub-8:00s, it was nearly impossible and felt awful. And the other part was that I could not stop thinking about just how much work graduate school is going to be. And how I haven’t really put together a solid training week since before my vacation. Which means I’m probably not going to have an awesome race in two weeks. And if school means less running, I’m probably not going to be making any massive strides in the next 4 years. Running is a major part of my identity. If I’m not running anymore, than who am I?
And at that point I had stopped running and was crying. Just awesome. I decided I would walk for a quarter mile and try to calm down. I know I will still be a runner even if have to cut back on my training. I know that if I am really proactive with my scheduling and time management I can still train at a high level. But first I need to adjust to being a student again.
I’m trying to take any expectations off of my upcoming race. I’ll train the best I can over the next two weeks and whatever happens on race is what happens. I’ve put in a lot of solid mileage since my PR last fall, so it is possible that I will see another PR. It is also possible that it just won’t be my day.