I completed post-baby half marathon #2 over Memorial Day weekend. The race itself was amazing...over 11,000 runners tackling the streets of Boston. The course was beautiful. The weather was pretty perfect for a long run and I enjoyed my run. I finished in 2:17, which is barely progress since my February race and no where near my PR or where I thought I would be.
I wasn't upset about it at all. In fact, I was really happy. I was happy that I stuck out my training and finished the race because I had truthfully thought about switching to the 5 mile race....several times. I was happy about my mindset on race day and I enjoyed myself. And then there was my revelation at the end. I was happy to be finished because it crossed my mind that I finished my training plan. I felt relieved. Mentally, I was relieved of not thinking about running X amount of miles at Y pace so many days per week.
I decided to let it ride with my relaxed mind set and see where it takes me. Here we are, 2 months since that last half marathon, and I still don't have the bug to sign up for something else and map out a training plan. This is very unlike me. I have been spending time doing some much needed strength work with Ms. Jillian Michaels (she's tough!), which I end up neglecting when training for a race because of time. I take the dog for a walk. Sometimes we throw in some quick sprints. Sometimes we don't. I am revitalizing my yoga practice.....and I am still running a couple times per week but shorter distances, no pace, no GPS monitoring, no daily mile logging and I have even stopped to walk...gasp...on occasion when I just felt like it.
I can't say that my training regimen had been so intense that I physically needed the break. It certainly wasn't that. Mentally, I am enjoying the relaxed attitude and the focus of just staying active. I'm getting some things done at the house. I'm squeezing in a quick Jillian Michaels DVD or a short interval workout, soaking in the endorphins and then moving on with my day. I almost signed up for an October half-marathon, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet....
Other quick updates- I did finish out the 10 Day Detox by Dr. Mark Hyman and would highly recommend it. The plan definitely restored my energy. Once I got through the first 2 days, I felt great and I really loved the focus on relaxation techniques and proper amounts of rest (I know every parent in the world slightly giggles at that!). I can honestly say that I no longer need a morning coffee. That said, I do enjoy one every once in a while. They just smell so good!
After the ten days, I slowly migrated away from the plan and back to old habits with some traveling, family celebrations etc., but I am heading back in the healthier direction now. It's a work in progress. My weakness is gluten. I don't know that I need to be entirely gluten free. There seems to be some debate on this issue and I do love some homemade bread! That said, I certainly could benefit from less flour in my diet.
Now, some questions for you as I would love to hear your ideas and experiences!
Have you ever dialed back the mental intensity of your running or fitness endeavors? How did you feel and did you return to training for races?
Any thoughts on the gluten free issue?
Have a wonderful week and enjoy this summer weather!