Sometimes I just really impress myself by being able to post twice in one week. It’s the little things yeah?
Like I said, I have taken some serious time off of running since the marathon. I think I struggled so much and unfortunately did not run the race I was trained for because I was overtrained. OTS (Overtraining Syndrome) is something Will brought to my attention a few months ago through this article. It’s a fabulous read, and REALLY scary, especially for someone who plans to run until the end of time. It’s when an athlete trains to such a level that fatigue and underperformance become common. And to be honest, I think that is part of the problem I had during NYC.
I trained well, and I trained properly, but my body didn’t have a break from running for the past 18 months. And because of that, I think I was just too freaking tired. And reflecting on the race, I was just as, if not more, mentally tired, than physically tired.
In June, I signed up for a 5K a week after NYCM. I figured I would have had a fabulous race, I would have been feeling good, and I was going to race and win the 5K. Because who needs more motivation than a year of free pizza? Well with the way I felt after the marathon I figured I would still run, but run on feel and enjoy the fact I was out running.
The 5K is a local race of about 1650 runners and it sells out within the first week of signups in June. Free pizza and beer post-race. A year of free pizza to the male and female winner. Who wouldn’t want to sign up?
Race morning was beautiful, unseasonably warm as I was able to run in shorts and a tank top. I didn’t hate it. Although I ran with my watch, I flipped it upside down so I wouldn’t be concerned about pace. I ran the first mile in 6’48”, the second in 6’45”, and the third mile in 6’25”. As we turned the corner for the last 0.1 mile, I kicked it past two women, who then approximately 10 seconds later passed me right before the finish. I thought I had it, but when I saw them go by me I said LOL K BAI and just cruised on in. I placed 8th woman over all, 1st in my age group, and got a sweet trophy. It may not be all the pizza I can eat, but that’s probably a good thing.
I’m happy with how the race went. If you asked me in June, I would’ve said I will run sub 19, but I didn’t and I’m totally fine with that. Since the 5K I’ve run approximately 4 times, topping out at 6.5 miles. Two months ago, my minimal running and low milage would have given me a heart attack and serious anxiety, but I’m feeling pretty good about it right now. I’ve been doing a ton of cross training, a lot of SoulCycle (sorry wallet) and even more stretching. Who am I?
My appetite has returned from “constantly ravenous” to “normal human being”, and my cravings have shifted from “all things carbohydrates and sugar” to “good fats and vegetables”.
If you want to learn more about Overtraining Syndrome, this article outlines some signs and symptoms. And like I said before, this article, Running On Empty, chronicles a professional endurance athlete fall from elite competition. It’s inspiring, sad, and downright eye opening towards the importance of proper rest and recovery. It’s easy to say “I didn’t have a good race so I’m going to train harder”, what’s the more difficult is to take the rest your body needs to recover.
Have you ever experienced OTS? I burned out after swimming competitively for 13 years. I would really hate for that to happen with running.
Is taking a break from running hard for you? This is the first time I’ve consciously told myself I cannot run.