Having not posted in two weeks indicates a multitude of things:
- I’m busy. I just haven’t had time to sit down and write anything.
- I have too much to say. It’s hard to pick back up with something after you’ve dropped it for a while. You go one day without blogging, and then two days, and then two weeks. Where do you pick up from there? I’ve had a hard time figuring that out, I guess.
- I’ve been feeling oddly more private lately. In addition to the reasons above, I’ve also just sort of felt like keeping quiet, which is really weird for me, right? I normally like to share every detail of my run splits, my fro-yo toppings and my Crohnsing, but I haven’t felt that urge to share for a while.
But here I am today, ready to ramble!
And I’ve got two main things on my mind:
- My stomach.
- The New York City Marathon.
As far as the stomach goes, for a while I was psyched to be feeling better. I never actually got better, but I saw dramatic improvement over a period of time. First I could get off the couch, then I could leave the apartment. Eventually I could try a spin class, and not too long after that I could actually stay on the beat for at least part of that spin class. Finally, I began running again, which was so hard in every sense of the word. It hurt, it felt awkward and it was more of an effort than I ever knew.
But eventually that got easier, too.
I started with a half-mile “run.” I built up to a 1.57-mile loop of the Reservoir, and worked my way up to a 20-miler two and a half weeks ago.
Running never felt easy, per say, but it felt good, in every sense of THAT word. Emotionally, being back in Central Park did wonders for me. And physically, I started feeling stronger and I wasn’t heaving at the onset of every tiny incline.
All the while, my stomach was never amazing. I still had to stop during every run, at least once. Usually way more than once. But I didn’t ever care, because I was still out, which was more than I could say for the previous seven months. So the stops at Starbucks, then another Starbucks, then back to that same Starbucks, then at the Great Lawn, then at the Great Lawn again, and then at the tennis courts, never seemed too daunting.
Plus, my paces were apparently pretty impressive (for me), all things considered. I was consistently running sub-9:00 miles, even averaging around 8:45s for that 20-miler.
I’ve been running using my MapMyRun app on my phone. I always assumed it probably wasn’t as accurate as running with a Garmin, but I banished that watch in a corner back in January and had no desire to whip it back out. When I run with a watch, I stare at it and obsess over it, and coming back from a very loooong hiatus didn’t seem like the time to willingly induce mental torture.
So the app.
It seemed to work well enough. There were times during my first mile when it would signal early — I know Central Park and those mile markers far too well — or it would tell me I was running a pace that seemed downright unreasonable. (Kicking off a 5 AM run at an 8-minute pace? Probably not.)
But overall, I didn’t question it much.
Then, last Friday, I had an 18-mile run to do (before work, which I’m not sure I advise…) and I decided to find my Garmin, charge it up and see if the results were comparable.
My “low 8:00s” and “long run average of 8:45s” were now much closer 9:30s.
And that’s fine. It’s not that different — only around :45 per mile. But the difference between seeing 8:xx and 9:xx is noticeable to me.
Except that for a month or more, I’ve been thinking I was right back at my old paces, and I thought maybe that would mean I’d be able to run the New York City Marathon without making it a personal worst, and rainbows.
If I had known I was running a slower pace all along, it would be fine. But I was tricked! So then I felt sad.
I can see you shaking your head.
I can hear you saying, “Ali, stop being crazy. Stop being hard on yourself. You just started running again.”
YES, I’m thrilled, seriously thrilled, to be running again. I’m happy to be out of the house, off the couch and in the park. I assure you I am beyond grateful every single time I get to run. This weekend, especially, I was hyper-psyched to be putting one foot in front of the other.
I’m just surprised. In a not-awesome way.
So there’s that. And I’ll be sticking with the Garmin now. (I ran with it over the weekend, too, just to see what it would tell me, and the paces stayed consistent. At no point was I running what I thought I was running with the MapMyRun app. Ah well.)
And my stomach? That’s been getting better, right?!
That’s another “or not” situation.
Three skips forward, two runs back?
I had gone on the steroids (Budesonide) and they seemed to do the trick. And then I most likely came off them too soon, and now I’m traveling backward. So I will probably be going back on the steroids, which isn’t thrilling but if it’ll help, I don’t care. Bring on the face puff and whatever other side effects come my way.
So maybe I just haven’t been writing because I knew I’d sound a little too in-my-head, which tends to happen.
I’m coming to terms with my “new and just slightly adjusted” run pace. I’m not coming to terms with the fact that I still seem to be in a flare-up, even if it’s nothing compared to what I went through in the early half of the year.
This is apparently the last week of “training”—if you can call mine that—for NYCM. After that, I’ll do some sort of taper. Having not had much of a plan all along, it’s impossible to know what race day will bring if I make it to that start line.
All I’m hoping for at this point is to make it to Staten Island, to smile through all five boroughs and to get a fantastically hot meal and shower (perhaps at the same time) when I finally make it back to my apartment…however many hours later that may be.
AND JUST SO I KNOW WHO I’M LOOKING FOR OUT THERE: Who else is running the New York City Marathon?