Thursday, January 02, 2014

RW RunStreak post-mortem

One of the things about running is coming to grips with failure.  You're not going to PR every race you run, sometimes you're not going to have good workouts, and you're going to face occasional injury.  These are simple facts about the sport.

I'm an unabashed fan of the Runner's World Holiday RunStreak, and was really looking forward to this serving as a platform to jump back into a groove.  It appears not to have taken hold this year, but I just cannot identify a reason. 

Let's review:

This year's RunStreak days:  35.
Last year's Run Streak days:  41.

Number of 2013 Streak days missed:  0.
Number of 2012 Streak days missed:  0.

Number of 2013 Streak miles covered:  97.46.
Number of 2012 Streak miles covered:  131.59 (but it was 6 extra days).

Number of days for 2013 Streak on treadmill vs outside:  18 to 17.
Number of days for 2012 Streak on treadmill vs outside:  20 to 21.

So for each of the Streak years, roughly HALF my runs were on a treadmill.  I had mused making the Streak HARDER, by running 2 miles on "rest days," but that QUICKLY got thrown out.  Ever since Richmond I've been flat.  And fat(ter).  I've been eating poorly, running slower, and generally "blah" about running.

So, basically, the two years of streaking are very much alike.  But the effect on me is quite different.  I'm TIRED.  I'm asking my body to go faster, and it's not.  I'm a little lost after having done this year's Streak.

Additionally, unlike last year, the Streak didn't serve to motivate me.  Unlike last year, the Streak actually saw me GAIN weight over the holidays (not much, but I lost weight last year).  Unlike last year, the Streak was more a chore than a communal thing to be enjoyed.

I think part of the answer for this year was poor weather.  We got rough weather here in early December.  Some snow.  Because this is DC, it shut the government down (white death from the sky, you know), and I don't run super well if I'm unsure on my feet.  So that meant I had a HUGE stretch on the 'Mill.  In 2012, I had a few days here and there, but they were more spread out.

But the end result is that I ran this year's streak far more flat.  Perhaps, just maybe, it's because I trained for 2 marathons 20 days apart, and basically ran the most intense year of my life.  Hell, my obsessive self ran Yasso 800 repeats once a week for six months straight.  I focused so hard that I gave up biking, and barely swam.  I wonder, just a little bit, if I'm a little burned-out.

It doesn't make sense, though.  I still eat and sleep running.  I think about it, I joke about it, and I am still looking forward to whatever I decide 2014 will hold for me.

I'll shake this off.  I know I will.  But it feels good to put this post out there.

You want the good with run training, you have to deal with the bad as well.

Keep running, folks.

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