They say nothing can ruin a training cycle like a vacation. Phrases abound in the amateur sports and personal fitness worlds like, “I was really doing good until vacation screwed me up.”
Well, I didn’t go on vacation. On the second of June, in the height of my busiest season at work, I married my best friend on a mountaintop. The wife to be and I jogged for a few miles the night before our ceremony and then it was one thing after another for weeks. Traveling, our reception with family a week later, the summer picnic and ballgame circuit, working my ass off through hay, small grain, and late planting season, couple with 100 degree tempeatures and 200% humidity made for very little running or gym activity. That said, it was a season for celebration, so that is what we did.
And then I returned to work, printed out a training calendar and set out for the first run in over a month and realized, “I suck at this”. The only excuse I’ll give myself is the heat. Every other mile I missed was due to weddings and the subsequent celebration tour. I ran three miles one morning at 6AM. It was painfully slow and frustrating. I took a few days off from running. I got sidetracked by a landscaping project for three days. I went out and ran 3 miles on a sweltering evening. I thought I was going to DIE. I ran four miles on the treadmill one night, finally giving up the sadism of outdoor running. The whole concept of training was starting to feel normal again.
Last week I topped out at six miles on my best day and ran negative splits. I could have kept going, but I want to ease back in. I FINALLY feel excited about running again and anxious for the Baltimore Half Marathon in mid-October. I need to find a couple of short races between now and then to keep things loose and fresh.
On a personal note, I am enjoying being married to a woman who has stood with me over the years. Granted, we have lived together for some time, but despite the “nothing really changes” words from friends, EVERYTHING CHANGES if you take vows seriously. I take vows very seriously, so seriously that I do not make them unless I fully intend to honor my half of them 100%. My wife is in agreement as we start this new chapter in our relationship to one another.