Winter running is hard. Mentally hard. It seems harder than normal this year, and it’s not even *really* cold and snowy and icy yet. I have a harder time adjusting to cold, dark running than I do to hot, humid running. It really takes my body, and my mind, quite a while to get in the swing of things and have it be normal. And if I can’t run outside, it takes my body and my mind quite a while to get used to the treadmill. It’s not my favorite way to run, I’ll just leave it at that.
I also think I’ve been in a bit of a running funk lately. Not necessarily so much running, but racing. I did 16 races in 2015. That’s a lot of races. I PR’d my 5k, 4 miler, 8k, 10k, and half marathon times this year. I had fun and pushed myself in my races. I improved so much, besides racing. I got faster, I became more confident, and I began really and truly running for me. But towards the end of the racing “season” this year, I didn’t really want to do it anymore. I think 16 races is too many for one year, at least for me.
I still love running, don’t get me wrong. But running has felt difficult lately, and I’m positive that has to do with the winter coming. The cold and the dark. Running is a sport with no off season, and that’s one of the things I love most about it. There’s training, there’s racing, and then more training. I love running, but I’m glad to be done with races until April-ish of 2016.
I really wanted to reach 1000 miles this year. I don’t think, realistically, it will happen at this point My initial goal for the year was 1100 miles. After going through a divorce and moving this past spring, I reevaluated my goals and aimed for 950 miles for the year, but in the back of my mind, I wanted 1000. When November was said and done, I was at 894 miles for the year, meaning I would need 106 December miles to reach 1000, or 56 miles to reach 950 miles. My monthly totals average between 80-100, so I knew it would be a hard month to go for 106, especially with no half marathons.
Yesterday and last night, I came down with some sort of stomach bug, and it took me down and knocked me out, hard. I planned on going to the gym last night and running about 4 miles and doing some upper body strength. Then tonight I had planned 3-4 miles. I didn’t run at all last night, except to the bathroom. And today, I have so little energy, and am still fighting some queasiness. Needless to say, without two days of running, missing about 8 miles, that goal of 106 miles this month is even harder to attain.
I’m going to reach my 950 mile goal, there’s no way I won’t reach that. But 1000 miles, quadruple digits, that’s going to have to wait until 2016. So much is going to happen in 2016! It’ll be the year I complete my 10th half marathon, the year I complete my first full marathon, and the year I run 1000+ miles in one year.
I’m not giving up on myself. Quite the contrary. I’m thanking my body for what it’s given me this year, I’m dealing with issues that were out of my control, and I’m celebrating that I have the ability to run 80-100 miles in a month, healthfully and happily. I’m going to end the year without stress, and I’m really excited about it. 2016, I’m coming for you.