Off the Wagon

It’s true. I’m off the wagon. Not the running wagon – but the training and eating right wagon. I’ve been running, but not training. I’ve been eating, but not eating well. Combined, this makes me feel like a slug. It also makes for boring blog posts, so I’ve been off the blog posting wagon, too. It’s time for a change.

I had the shocking realization this weekend that I haven’t done speedwork in more than a month. I haven’t been following my training plan. I’ve just been running, randomly. I’m getting in decent long runs – those are the one part of my training that I’ve been able to maintain. I’ve also been getting in lots of nice, conversation-paced runs, but I’m not really training. I’m just running.

Part of the problem is that my brain needs a break. I usually struggle with training when the runs are too precise, or require a lot of thinking. Running is my time to not think. I like to go out for a run and not think, not stress, and run until I’m tried enough to avoid thinking the rest of the night. I like to run first thing in the morning so that I can be calm and focused all day. I like to run to clear my head, and that sometimes interferes with training. Things like 600 repeats, progression runs, and tempo runs all require thinking. Lately, I just haven’t been in the mood to think. Things are crazy and super high pressure at work right now. The summer is over, the days are short, my schedule is a mess, and my general sense of unease has made my brain tired. I need running to be a time to not think. But, I’m over a month into my not-thinking phase and I’ve realized that it’s really impacting my running. I’m slower, for one thing. I’m not feeling as strong, and now my running is one of the many things I am stressing about. Combine this with my propensity for candy, particularly when I’m stressed, and it’s a recipe for sluggishness.

I need to get back on track. I know I can do it. This certainly isn’t the first and won’t be the last time I’m off the wagon. But, I could use your help. What’s the best, kick-in-the-pants advice you’ve gotten?

8 thoughts on “Off the Wagon

  1. I feel ya! After my marathon, I took the following week really easy. I also ate bad 🙁 But, I’m turning it around this week. I guess it’s okay to fall off a little-to give ourselves a little break.

  2. Hang in there, Rachel!!! It’s hard, but you just have to tell yourself every morning “I can do it! I am worth it!” because you are!!! This is a new week! spa love!!!

  3. A few suggestions:
    (1) Sign up for a new race/distance/challenge and that might inspire you.
    (2) Pick out a rally nice piece of running gear/apparel/treat and tell yourself that you get to have it if you stay on track (coaching pun intentional) for x-number of weeks (number of weeks in direct ratio to cost of treat).
    (3) Think about the MRR!!!! It’s right around the corner! Train, Rachel, train!
    (4) Get your eating in gear, but give yourself permission to just run for a while. you’ve done a ton of big races and maybe turning off your watch/GPS and allowing yourself to just run without training is what you need right now – but no one needs junk food!

    • Great suggestions, Dani! The MRR is coming up. Maybe some hill work is in order…or dodgeball? Shopping in a crowded store? How does one prepare for the MRR?!

      Maybe I can combine two suggestions. I’m training for the Disney Marathon in January. I could treat myself to costume components! 🙂

  4. Oh how we can relate, Rachel! I was terrible the two weeks before my half this past weekend. Two weeks before I worked M-F…all 13+ hour days, which meant I lost valuable sleep & got off my normal eating schedule. Last week I was sick, since I ran my body down the week prior, which meant I felt sorry for myself, slept, ate numerous Milky Way caramels & was a lazy slug. Despite the satisfication of finishing my first 1/2, I look bloated, slow & tired in pictures & felt that way too! It’s so easy to break away from our schedule and the freedom of no commitments & coming home and kicking your feet up seems so wonderful. It’s those runs & workouts that keep our spirits up and keep us going~Feeling foxy, healthy & strong! This morning when I got up I thought, “I should just take some time off this week~Reward myself for completing what seemed impossible a year ago,” but instead I packed my clothes, felt great on the elliptical & couldn’t stop thinking about the hot new running pants I am going to purchase! Kickstart it, fight this slump & conquer!!!! 🙂 Remeber how AMAZING you felt after your “Accidental PR”??? Get there again! You can do it!

    • I think we are on the same running schedule! We will both get back on track. Maybe there are some important nutrients in caramel that we both needed. 🙂

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