The dreaded post-race running slump.
If you took a peek into my running log today, you would see (perhaps with your eyebrow arched a little in surprise) that I’ve only been on 3 runs since my half marathon a month ago.
Logging only one run the week after the half was acceptable–I was beyond sore from having pushed my body so hard, and I was desperately scared of getting an injury if I pushed myself while in such a state.
So I only ran once that week post-race.
Then after that?
It’s kind of hard to explain.
First, a post-race slump is not totally unexpected—after spending so many months preparing for and training for a long race (which uses up a decent chunk of your free time), you kind of feel like you’ve earned a break. Plus you’re kind of sick of all the running and counting miles and worrying about pace and fueling and all that kind of stuff.
So I (understandably) am kind of burned out.
Second, I was SO convinced that in my later weeks of training, especially, I would finally start to see the last of the weight slide off. You might remember if you’ve been a longtime reader that I was only five pounds away from my goal weight at the end of April (which was about a month and a half before I started training in earnest for my half). I was sure that once my mileage got up to those higher numbers, the last pounds would finally come off, just like they had when I trained for the marathon (when I lost six or seven pounds without even eating very well at all) and when I trained for my first half marathon (when I dropped six pounds in the month leading up to it by watching my sugar intake while upping my mileage).
I thought that surely–SURELY!–they would come off that last month of training, especially as I was diligently tracking my calories and had been eating healthier as a whole than I have since, well, maybe ever. Definitely since moving away from home at 18. (Perhaps with the one exception of the three weeks I was on my elimination diet, but I’m not going to count those extreme weeks since they aren’t a sustainable lifestyle for me.)
Anyway, I didn’t lose the weight. Spoiler: I gained a solid two pounds. (Sure, I’m fairly sure it was muscle because all of my measurements stayed the same or went down an inch or two, but still.)
So, near the end of my training, I had admitted defeat on one count—
Running was not going to help me lose the weight this time around, and it was time for me to look elsewhere for something that would help me reach my goals (because, for some crazy reason, I kept hearing a voice in my head say over and over and over again– “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…”). Curse you inspirational memes that actually stick with me.
So it was decided that after the half, I was going to shake things up—I would still keep running (of course), but I was also going to add a whole lot of strength training into my routine, too. The goal was to keep my cardio fitness stable (by running the usual three times a week and attending my hip hop aerobics class on Tuesdays), but just add in three different strength sessions, too.
I was so prepared to see stunning results that I even took a “before” picture that I planned to post with an “after” a month later.
Well, you might still see that before and after, but definitely not on that original timeline.
The problem was, I was counting on my usual motivation to run to power me through my usual cardio routines. What I hadn’t counted on was how sore my body got from doing the strength training (that it was unused to doing regularly), which directly interfered with my motivation to wake up early and get out and run. Because, you know, it’s kind of hard to run when you’re half-worried that your legs might snap off like a Barbie’s if you try and when your trunk is so sore that it kind of hurts to breathe…
So, no “after” pictures yet. And currently, not much running going on.
The good news is that I’ve at least seen *some* progress as far as my waist size goes from the new strength training routine—absolutely zero difference on the scale whatsoever, but I’ve lost almost an inch and a half from my waist.
So that’s something.
Anyway, this is just to say that I need to figure out something more sustainable than what I’d originally planned for this “post-race” period. This is just to say that as much as I love running, I don’t actually always love running.
So, world (and future me reading this), JUST A LITTLE REMINDER THAT I’M HUMAN (and that maybe expecting myself to do four hour-long cardio sessions a week plus three 20-minute strength training sessions too is a little bit much to ask of myself at the moment).
But at least, by the end of this year, if I still haven’t reached that ever-illusive goal weight (which I’d set as an honest-to-goodness TOTALLY REASONABLE goal weight, I’ll remind you), at least I will know that I sure gave it my darnedest.
Most of the time, anyway.
In the meantime, anyone got any inspirational memes to kick my butt back into gear? Because heaven knows that I didn’t just spend almost a year and a half to get myself into good running shape only to lose it now…