Will I Run Another Half?

bruningstates3

Last week I ran the longest I’ve run in about a month: 5 miles. And it felt hard. I got to wondering will I ever run another half marathon?

Fairytales and Fitness

bstatesleft

There are still roughly 30 states to visit
Yes, I’ve done about 20 states in my quest to run a half marathon in every state. That leaves 30 states. In a bit over a year, I’ll turn 60. I know there are amazing folks that run halfs into their 80s, but will I be one of them? Do I want to be one of them? Only time will tell.

I know why 5 miles felt hard
Because I haven’t been running a lot. Because of SADD. Because of all the stress lately. Because of cumulative stress from the last eight years (ill furkids, losing furkids, moving my parents, my dad’s battle with demetia and passing, the election . . . the list seems to go on and on)

I know that that 5 miles can quickly be turned into 6, then 8, then 10 and so on. But do I want to?

brunning states2

Is the fire still burning?
I am not sure. I know when I tried to keep up with a longer long run this year, I felt run down. A lot. Thankfully not sick, but just as though I wasn’t recovering well from my runs.

I’ve spent most of 2020 running only 3 x week, never double digits, and not much more than 6 or 7 miles in a long time. There are lots of other things I want to do with my time.

Have I lost fitness?
I wonder about that a lot. Not much mileage. No real races. No really long long runs. Not enough strength training most of the time. Plenty of Yoga, though, LOL!

Do those miles feel so hard now because of stress? Because of reduced mileage? Because of all the time I spent with nasal breathing, running so slowly, even though that’s supposed to improve fitness? Or have I just lost running fitness because I don’t run as much?

Final Thoughts
I don’t have any answers right now, obviously. I’ve embraced the lesser mileage, the reduced days running, and tried to be kind to my body. I think most of us need to push less, not more, in these stressful times, but we’re all different.

The fire might return when times are more normal. Or not. I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to run, even if I don’t race, even if I never run another double digit run or half marathon. The call of a beautiful day and a new place to explore are hard to resist! There might also be other quests to conquer. Because life is boring without a challenge (although some challenges I can certainly do without!).

Final final thought: when times are more normal — yes, someday we’ll have a better new normal — the fire might return. All I have to do is look at that photo at top. That was taken during my second to last half marathon, almost three years ago. Let’s just say the race was hard (suspected mild food poisoning) but I still remember that satisfying feeling of conquering a mountain (literally, but downhill, not up) and crossing the finish line.

Can’t wait for your next live race?

Do you feel as though you’ve lost running fitness during the Pandemic?

What thing about running do you miss the most right now?

24 thoughts on “Will I Run Another Half?

    1. Thanks, Natalie. Since I deferred this year’s half, my guess is I’ll run another one and probably fall in love the racecation again.

      Although any vacation would feel pretty darn good, whenever it might actually happen.

      Like

  1. I totally understand all this! Perhaps you can finish your quest to run in all the states but just make your goal a race of any distance, even 5Ks. I know a 5k is such a short distance to make a racecation out of but I know you like traveling so maybe you can fit them into places you and Mr. Judy visit?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Running right now, with no/few races in sight is tough. My hubby and running partner has the same feelings as you. Although he still wants to run 6 or 7 days a week, he only wants to go very short distances. I would like to run fewer times per week but longer distances. I think the answer is for us to each run separately a few times per week. we don’t have to run EVERY mile together.

    I also think stress is stress, whether it’s from running or from stressful occurrences in your life and you have had a lot of stress this year. No wonder you don’t feel like running!

    For what it’s worth, I say listen to your body. Take it easy, do a short run when you feel like it. Maybe the magic will return. I hope it does! We have to meet up at Mt. Hood next year! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you & Bill can work out a schedule that’s right for both of you. Having your spouse as a running partner is great — but that doesn’t mean it’s always smooth, either. Or so I would imagine. 🙂

      I have to find the info about how to sign up again. It’s buried somewhere in my inbox. I did just recently bring that up with Mr. Judy! I’m sure it would only take one great racecation to change my mind. 🙂

      Like

  3. My running partner and talked about this exact question yesterday on our run! You beat me to it to write about it. I also just ran my longest run since spring. It is hard! I am not sure what lies ahead for the year to come. With so many unknowns it’s hard to plan. I am content right now with my mileage. I don’t think it causes you to lose fitness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do feel as though I may have lost some running fitness, but it’s hard to know, really, with everything going on.

      Funny that this seems to be on several people’s minds! I thought it was just me. 🙂

      We’re not planning anything long range right now, but by Feb, it will be a year since Mr. Judy has seen his family.

      Happy Birthday again, Deborah!

      Like

  4. I ran 3 yesterday and it felt hard. I know that I can do more if I push themselves. But I have want to.

    I run at least 10 for all my weekend. Yes it’s hard. But I just push myself.

    And I don’t die. And I feel so much better that I challenged myself.

    That being said. I’m the only one of my friends running long. Many are just walking. Most say that they may not race again. That’s ok. We do our Saturdays for food and friendship.

    I do miss racing. I am racing Sunday. My previous two half times have been 3 hours. So of course I’ve lost fitness. It will probably be my hardest half.

    But nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.

    Everyone is different. Running half marathons and marathons is not what everyone wants or needs. Especially during these times.

    I’m nearing 70. 60 seems young. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know what though? You don’t have to have an answer right now. Continue your quest if and when you feel like it, and it not, then move on. Many people try to lock me down on whether I’ll ever run another full marathon. My answer is it’s doubtful but never say never.
    This issue is precisely why I roll my eyes when younger people say they’ll run a BQ when they’re 80. It’s so very rare for someone to maintain that kind of running intensity and desire, not to mention the physical aspect required.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing I know for almost sure — I’m never gonna BQ, LOL! I haven’t closed the door on a marathon, either, but my life has been stressful (for me) for quite a few years now, and I just don’t have that desire right now.

      Yes, you are absolutely correct, I don’t have to decide right now. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

      Like

  6. I can’t wait for my next in-person race. It’s supposed to be in April but I’m not counting on it. Even if you never run another half marathon in another state, you’ve got some wonderful experiences and memories to look back on. If another race is calling your name, you’ll know. If not, then so be it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I know, I was just musing aloud. My husband may have actually come over to my way of thinking. I mentioned a few years ago that maybe we should try one of those small RVs. He seems to be researching those now. At the time he was not at all interested.

      Like

  7. I’ve lost stamina but gained some short-distance speed, mainly from being desperate to fit a run in and get at least x miles to get the value, etc. I miss running long as I used to love a great big exploratory run. I’ve definitely lost all round fitness as have lost my yoga habit and have not been doing strength training – I hope when Mr Liz has sorted out his old office, I will have the room for that again. Keep being kind to yourself and doing what fits in with your life, I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think “Because 2020” explains a lot for many of us, in addition to what you’ve personally gone through.
    I haven’t hit double digits since Bermuda and I’m OK with that. I may have a Half in Feb if it feels safe, but I can always walk after eight if I need to. I dropped down my long runs the last few weeks as a matter of self care and listening to my body, but 7 yesterday felyt good. This year is all about listening to our bodies. If it’s in the cards, you will. Good attitude about it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because 2020 absolutely. Unfortunately.

      I was trying to slowly increase my long runs — not by much. Although actually running was surprisingly good this week. But the last few months have definitely been tough.

      Like

  9. I feel you on this. A half marathon is far and it’s hard. A while back, I wrote a post about why do it if it’s not fun? You wrote your own version of that. I think that’s your answer.

    For me, I have that trail half in May next year. Will I do any others? I don’t know. As you know, I don’t plan ahead very much. I like to go with how I’m feeling. I’m enjoying running right now; shorter, faster distances feel good. We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was 64 last month and have noticed that since Covid19 my 5km time just increase and increase. Its hard enough dealing with that but to have no goal in sight I do sometimes think what is the point. I am though trying to alter my route, buy new shoes and change my music – all the stuff in the past has got me through. Any tips on motivation and goal setting when your times are going in the wrong direction most welcome

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The very first thing is why? Why do you want to improve your time? Once you come up with the answer, ask yourself why that’s important to you — 4 times more. The final answer might surprise you.

      Then I’d ask things like are you varying your distance, are you only running hard once or twice a week, have you considered a longer long run, are you really recovering well? Are your easy runs really easy?

      The list goes on and on.

      Don’t forget that it’s also ok — sometimes it’s imperative — to take a short break from running so that you come back to it with fresh legs & a renewed fire in your belly.

      Keep in mind, too, that most people do slow down as they age.

      Of course I am not a coach, but I have written some on how you may get faster:

      https://chocolaterunsjudy.com/2020/09/15/i-feel-the-need-for-speed/

      https://chocolaterunsjudy.com/2020/01/17/5-reasons-you-should-do-speed-work/

      https://chocolaterunsjudy.com/2019/11/08/prs-dont-just-happen/

      https://chocolaterunsjudy.com/2017/09/06/improvment/

      https://chocolaterunsjudy.com/2017/08/02/does-it-feel-like-that-breakthrough-will-never-happen/

      I hope you find something in here that helps!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s