Spring Training Ups and Downs

In my last post, I wrote about having some mojo issues. I was having trouble finding the motivation I needed to complete my training requirements. I thought I’d overcome that and was ready to rock, but I was wrong.

My training schedule for the Saskatchewan Marathon started out enthusiastically enough, and I completed all my prescribed runs for the first couple of weeks. Then they started getting longer and more difficult to fit into my schedule. Juggling my three children, our farm, my part time work off the farm, my horses and my household and yardwork jobs was just becoming impossible. I was volunteering on two different boards in addition to being a 4-H leader and it was just too much. I had no breathing room and the things I loved were being cut back. I took a step back and rearranged my priorities and the one thing that I honestly wasn’t getting excited about was running.

I was already registered for the half marathon in the Saskatchewan Marathon, and I thought several times about changing my distance to something shorter. However, my friend Leeanne was running this event as her first half marathon and her determination inspired me enough to make me want to complete what I’d committed to. It was the long runs that I found very difficult to make time for, to the point where I resented them a lot. It was on these runs that I decided to cut back my distance for the remainder of the summer, and focus on the 5K. I was a sprinter in my high school days, and I often joke that I’m a barrel racer because my attention span only lasts eighteen seconds anyway. The 5K distance is painful, but short and fast, and this just feels like a better fit for me right now.

I continued to get in the critical work outs that I needed to in order to finish my eleventh half marathon, but when my free time was limited in a day and I had to choose between running shoes or cowboy boots, I chose boots and saddled a horse every single time. My good mare is starting to really run barrels this year, and my other one will be for sale in just a few weeks, so they really needed my time. The order of my priorities is showing in my horses – Lux ran right up there with the top horses at a recent jackpot, placing me fourth overall. She has made money at four out of her last five jackpots, and is really loving her job. Wynn and I ride through the pasture and check cows and fences and she just never quits. She’s a tough, quick horse who will make someone a fantastic all-around partner, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made this spring.

Michyla2 May 16, 2016

The Saskatchewan Marathon felt different to me this year. I lined up at the start line a ways behind the two hour pace bunny with zero expectations other than finishing. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but that was where my training and level of fitness was at. I still teared up during the national anthem (I always do when everyone sings along), and I still followed my usual fueling plan. My pace was slower, but still decent, and this was honestly the first half I’ve run where I felt comfortable for most of the race. Nothing hurt until the 18 km mark, and every time I checked my watch I was farther along than I thought I was. By the time it got hard at 18 km it was fairly easy to motivate myself to keep going – after all, I only had 3 km left!

I crossed the finish line in 2:02, a full seven minutes slower than 2015, when I ran my personal best. I was okay with that, and even though the race had been easier than I thought it would be, I’m sticking with the shorter distance plan. I can put my kids to bed, run 5K and then also ride a horse before it gets too dark. I think for me, for now, shorter runs is the key to putting the fun back in running.

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One response to this post.

  1. I agree! 5 km is the best.

    Reply

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