Good thing I do not make resolutions, it has obviously been way too long since either one of us have written a blog post. We shall be better, at least in my head I think that. Truth is I write better and come up with better ideas while I am running, and my running has definitely been lackluster.
The calendar says April 4th, but I woke up this morning to gale force winds with snow and ice on the ground. I know it can be worse, the east coast keeps getting hit with a series of late season storms. With the Boston marathon around the corner I can only wonder what the weather will be like there. However, the truth is I am ready to ditch the layers and all the cold weather accoutrement and want to feel the warm sun on my skin.
In Chicago, the inaugural race to open running season is the Shamrock Shuffle. As the name implies it is a St. Patty’s day themed run held in late March. The first number of years I ran the race I remember enjoying a post-race beverage in the warm sun and listening to tunes at the postrace party. The last two times I ran were completely different. Three years ago, I was pelted with sleet as we made our way to a taxi and two years ago I was huddled in a tent with a number of grade school kids freezing while we were waiting for the race to start. This year I did not run the race but decided to venture out on my own run early that morning. The temps were brisk, and the wind was howling. However, my run was actually fairly enjoyable but that was because I was not standing around waiting for a race to start.
Besides the weather why has my running been so lackluster? Structure I think. I have been juggling a new schedule that is less than organized and am not currently on a training plan. Well, that was until yesterday but more on that in a few. It is nice to be able to go out and run when you want to and the distance you like but let’s face it most of us do not challenge ourselves when we do not have our sights set on goals. For the last number of years, I have been training for some sort of race from March-October. That means that I go from one training plan to another. It may seem like a lot and I may have complained about it but us Type A individuals flourish with structure. My running goals this year are to run more with Race Guards, the first aid volunteer group I am part of, and to run a half marathon outside of Chicagoland. I realized earlier this week that my first Race Guards run is in two and a half weeks and it is a marathon. No, I do not need to run the full race, but I definitely need to be able to run half. Hmmmm…. The longest I have run since the marathon is 7 miles. Also, I did end up signing up for the Soldier Field 10 Miler. I really like the distance and it is the 15th anniversary so how can I not run this year? My PR for this race is fairly aggressive for my standards but I thought maybe I would try to repeat or beat it. I may be 5 years older and 15 pounds heavier, but I can give it the old college try, right? I again realized this week that I should be in week 3 of the training plan I use. What? Where did the time go? How am I not on top of this? That being said, I dove in today. Nothing like 800m repeats to throw you into a training plan. However, I must say it excites me to literally check off each task as I complete my work out for the day. The upcoming forecast does not look any better but now I have no choice I must run in the cold and rain because my training plan says so.
Good luck to whatever gets you moving at the start of this running season!
On a side note, I would like to take a moment to remember an acquaitance of ours from the running community. Pam Shaffer recently lost her battle with cancer. While we do not personally know her, we have supported each other on social media. Pambikes4donuts showed us no matter how you live your active lifestyle nothing should hold you back and you should enjoy life to the fullest (as her Instagram name can attest to)