Thursday, January 13, 2011

on not training

"are you training for anything right now?"
i used to be thrilled when a coworker or friend asked me this seemingly casual question. what, someone was actually giving me permission to pepper the conversation with comparisons of various races and training plans, and perhaps even to delve into more specific intricacies of my preferred sport, such as what the BEST gel flavor is and aren't asics wayyyy better than mizunos?

i mean, obviously . . .

i also loved foraging the blogworld for discussions on race selection and -- my absolute favorite -- training plan development. there's something magical about a 12-16 week program, all neatly laid out with a singular goal in mind: kicking your own ass in a race (at least, that's how it always felt to me).

in training for past races, i've done runner's world, pfitz, daniels, FIRST -- i could keep going, but i think you get my drift. the more complicated and specific (ie, run X miles at Y pace, then do these exact intervals, followed by a cooldown of Z miles), the more magical these instructions seemed. and after a few cycles, it was even MORE fun to make up my own mashup plan, carefully copying each week's workouts into my planner leading up to the big event.

fast-forward to now
this is my 4th week of running dramatically reduced mileage from what i am used to: a maximum of 10 miles/week. and if i'm being honest, i might as well admit that this is not doing it for me. like drinking 1/3 of a beer (which i'm also avoiding . . . sigh), or taking one bite of a brownie, the little 3 milers feel like a tease and are wholly unsatisfying.

a far cry from my marathon training days

you all probably know why i'm doing this by now, but if not, it's in the bottom part of this post. interestingly (and somewhat to my dismay), i know from the ultrasounds that are done to monitor my ovaries' response to the fertility medications that my body seems to be a fan of this change. and therefore, i am going to stick with it until (hopefully) it pays off.

but my mind? not so much.

it doesn't help that in the past 2 (two!) days, i have gotten the following announcements in my inbox:

ooh, that looks fun

and so does that!

ooh, and i've done that one before!

not my scene, but interesting!

now that's just rubbing salt in my wounds

training plans are all over the blogworld, too (just a few recent examples: hardcore!, organized, sloppy (but in a good way!), varied). i try to resist clicking on the links -- but i can't.

even josh is training for something -- although to his credit, he chose an event that looks pretty much like my worst nightmare:

i never want to run a race officially called "the gauntlet"

races involving mud and large barriers aside, i have to admit it: i'm envious. i miss feeling really in shape, i miss tempos + intervals, and oh GOD i miss my luscious weekend long runs.

i'm not sure what my point is with all of this complaining, because really? i am so lucky. i could have much, MUCH bigger problems. i know that i will train (for real!) again, and that every mile i'm not pounding out now will be 100% worth it. i suppose i just wanted to share how i was feeling with the change, because it is a significant one for me.

oh, and seriously?

someone up there has a mean sense of humor . . . [source]

i'm happy for her. but i'm also amazed!



workout: nada. i skipped out on yoga yesterday, and it was a mistake. i will have to remind myself of this next time!

so easy: pizza night rules.

amy's pesto pizza + salad

this meal is always a winner -- and takes about 10 minutes to throw together. i like having one in my freezer as a fallback option at all times.


  1. I give you huge credit for cutting back, and I'm glad it seems to be working for you. I've decided that I'm giving myself until June (when my yearly exam is) to see if I can get pregnant on my normal activity level, but I'm trying to use your experience to to wrap my mind around the idea that I may also have to consider reducing my running if it doesn't work out.

  2. Anonymous8:26 AM

    You are in training, and according to your ultrasound you are doing well. In only 4 weeks you have seen changes. Not a bad response.

    When someone asks you about training just fill them in on your regimen. At least for the women I think they will find it quite interesting.

    Congrats on your progress

  3. I know it's hard, but all those races will be around next year and the year after, etc. Hang in there.

  4. Mizunos are totally better than Asics. ;)

    And at least you're seeing good results!! That doesn't help the not training part, but at least it helps the brain from worrying so much in other areas ;)

  5. I am so happy to hear that you already seem to be getting results, that is amazing! Imagine how deflated you would feel if you did this for a year and *nothing* happened. That is great news!

    That said, I totally understand the pain of not running. Feel free to vent all you need! I ran through my pregnancy, but the physiological changes made it feel very different from “real”, un-pregnant running and I just didn’t enjoy it as much. I missed it SO much!
    I made training plans for post-delivery, planned future races and really used the time to load up on motivation. Maybe you too could try to use this time to plan a really strong come-back? Make a “Get Back to Running” plan for yourself, check out running strollers and plan ahead. Dream big! I had huge PRs the first year after giving birth. Part of it was probably that I was super motivated to use the (few) hours I had for running, part of it was the physiological changes from pregnancy such as increased oxygen uptake etc. Also, pushing a running stroller will make you really strong and fast. You will get back out there and you will be fast again, I promise!

    I recommend the book “Exercising through your pregnancy” by Dr Clapp, by the way. What are your plans once you get pregnant, will you try to up your mileage then or will you keep mileage low until after delivery?

    I am sorry for the novel. /Jenny

  6. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Stop bitching. Be thankful for what you have. You are the one who decided to decrease exercise; no one is making you. Geez, your blog used to be cool, now it sucks :(

  7. Sarah, that's great news about the ultrasounds!! And your blog rocks, and always has.

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  9. Yay, Sarah! That is great news about your ultrasound. Keep at it and keep sharing all your many feelings about this. Absolutely better to vent and get it out and know that you all have all these people who LOVE your blog and are rooting you on!

  10. Anonymous1:56 PM

    @Anonymousher blog is still very cool she is brave to share something as intimate as ttc with us and i assure you having lived through it myself that whole experience is scary. many women gear their lives around becoming mothers and that you might be denied, well.. the trick is to show up daily and embrace the struggle as an adventure and not a trial to do is not trivial in the end the experience will be woven into the fabric of who you are

  11. It was so hard when I had to stop running because of my knee so I totally know what you mean!

    I am glad that the ultrasound went well and I think your blog is awesome just the way it is.

  12. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Yay for progress. I know its hard, but you're doing a great job!!! You go girl :-) Oh and Saucony's are totally better than Asics and Mizunos ;-)

  13. Anonymous6:20 PM

    i really hope that your dedication pays off real soon. not only is this something you want i can see you being really great at it too. great news about the ultrasound. hopefully more good news comes your way

  14. thank you all for your support! it really means so much to me.

    anon: i'm sorry you're not a fan of these posts, and that you think my blog now sucks (i can't imagine what i did before to be COOL!). i'm just sharing my honest thoughts. and i know that if i were reading someone else's blog that talked about this, it would help me, so i have to imagine someone might feel differently than you do.

  15. atilla8:02 PM

    Pizza night what a great concept, if we add that to our sub night, we'd only have to challenge our culinary imaginations five times a week...I love it!

  16. Thanks to my nasty hip injury I can totally relate to you. It's gotten to the point that I get really angry when I see people running on the sidewalk while I'm driving. Why can't I do it too??! Ugh.

  17. Even change that is good is hard. Hang in there and don't worry about what others think of your blog. It is yours...they can stop reading. Change is hard period.

  18. Haha love your inclusion of Mama Spice! I also found it weird that Natalie Portman lost 20 lbs. for Black Swan and is now preggo. Your time will come, Sarah!

  19. Posh is pregnant? Huh...

    I had lunch with an old friend who spent about 3 years trying to get pregnant and then randomly did after she went off fertility drugs.

  20. How awesome that you are seeing a change after only 4 weeks! All the changes you've been making are paying off! That has to be so encouraging to others going through the same thing. When people ask about your training - tell them you are looking to balance out your running with practicing yoga more!

    Posh is preggers with a 4th...and will leave the hospital minus all the baby weight, like the last 3 times!

    I haven't followed your blog for very long, so I can't speak to how it "used to be", but I do enjoy your blog! I appreciate the honesty in your posting- and things aren't always sparkles and butterflies and rainbows! and from comments on your previous posts, it's clear that there are many others out there who have been in or are currently in a similar situation. Keep doing what you're doing!