It’s probably good that I’m not embarking on a new year’s resolution sort of fitness plan right now. At least I already know that I’m capable of committing for big long stretches and that I will still be struggling with and whining about this in July. Instead of starting something all shiny and new, I’ve just got to get myself rolling back into the groove I had deeply ingrained before the Christmas sloth took over.
I’m not a fitness expert, so I don’t know exactly how to plan for a groove getting back. Should I try to run a 5k in the same time that I did a few weeks ago? Or how much slower? Should I lift the same weights and potentially do fewer? Or lower the weight? Shorter intervals? Slower intervals? Or fewer intervals? Oh, what to do… what to do….
The groove is not literally engraved in stone. I know the answer is to just give it a whirl and see how it goes, but I’m really neurotic, you see. I like to know exactly what I’m doing at the gym before I go, so that I can flagellate myself afterwards as appropriate. And if I go in there with a lackadaisical I’ll-just-do-what-I-feel-like attitude, chances are good I will feel like watching old reruns of Charmed while loafing on the recumbent bike, followed by some active sitting and staring.
So, here we are: week 2 of being back to normal, trying to be in the groove, ordinary life again and I’m still kinda floundering. The plan (in my head) for this morning was to do 4 5 minute intervals with 2 minutes in between on the treadmill. How fast? I dunno. Fast. But not sprinting.
But I had to stop and retie a shoe in the middle of the 3rd interval. And then I just crapped out and walked the final 2 minutes of the last one.
Resulting in a sum total of about 2.7 miles in 31 minutes and some choice thoughts of criticism. Not a great workout in terms of distance, duration, or feel-goodery.
The best thing I’ve done in the past 2 weeks was to get myself up and on a bike at my gym’s Monday 6 am spin class. My spin attendance is a little sporadic most of the time, since I feel like if I’m gonna do cardio it should just be running. But at least in the class, I know I’m getting in a solid hour of committed exercise. Which suggests that maybe I should just start going to spin 3 mornings a week, but there is that half marathon on March 25 breathing down the back of my neck….
And then there’s the part of me that gains some perspective from trying to explain and write about all the deliberating and agonizing (which only represents about 2/7th of actual experienced agonizing). That part takes a breath and says “Margaret. You funny, yet tightly wound, little bundle of wack. Settle yourself down. There is a glut of half marathon training plans cavorting amongst the interwebs. Look one up now and you will do whatever it tells you to do tomorrow. Whatever other sorts of goals you have right now will have to be secondary. 13.1 miles of running is no joke and you are only 10 weeks away from it now, so stop with the pussyfooting around.”
The other parts agree. There’s a coordinated effort, a training plan is printed out. I’m only a week behind really. A 3 mile tempo run is totally acceptable for tomorrow. The 6 mile long run prescribed for this weekend is not *too* long. I can do that.
And the groove… it stretches as far as the eye can see.
3 responses to “getting the groove back”
I’m supposed to run a half in four and a half weeks. I thought I was okay, as I did 10 miles both on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, even if I was missing some short runs. Then I didn’t run at all for a week. Then my long run last weekend pretty much didn’t happen…well, it didn’t happen at all. Then I went back to Bodypump on Sunday and have been so sore since then that I can barely walk. I ran one mile and ran/walked one mile yesterday. And after that the DOMS really set in and I’m like an invalid today. I’m also supposed to a 10K THIS Saturday. Right now, six miles does not seem doable. How am I going to do 13.1 in four weeks? I’m in trouble.
You’re doing anything at all, and you’re thinking about how to do more. For that I declare: yay, you!
I am taking a somewhat laissez-faire approach, myself. I insist on getting activity done (so there’s a pass/fail grade on done/not done) but let my body and mood in the moment dictate time and distance. Con: It means progress can be sloooow – I broke the ten minute mark on my mile in November and haven’t gotten below since. Pro: It also means that I’m improving heart and lung health and feeling proud even when I don’t set any records, because I showed up.
PS A 6am spin class? That’s a super-duper kind of showing up!
To motivate you and help you feel better about yourself, I’ll share my current routine: I spend five to ten minutes convincing myself I’m not the fattest person here. Then I actually leave the locker room. I mess around on some weight machines for 15 minutes before I realize that all I’ve focused on are my legs, and it’s my arms that lack muscle, not my gymnasts legs. But my arms “still hurt from yesterday”, so I give up and do an hour on the exercise bike while I watch soap operas on the gym TV. Groove? I gost it. A healthy groove? Eh, not as much. See? You could be doing so much worse!
Also, I like the phrase “bundle of wack.” 🙂