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Fitness Friday || Frustrations of A Runner and Figuring It All Out

Last weekend I went for a run on Saturday with Chad.

9 miles. Great weather. Dressed perfectly. Felt stronger than ever. I had my favorite Honey Stinger Chews.

I enjoyed my favorite snack later in the day.

A perfect day right? Then why was I so frustrated? A frustration that I’ve felt for the past week or so but couldn’t quite figure it out. Yesterday in Three Things Thursday I mentioned an overwhelming need to change something. Maybe my frustration is the reason. If something doesn’t feel right make a change. Fix it.

Then, yesterday morning while I was getting dressed for work I put it all together and I think I figured out the why!

It seems to come down to 2 things…

1. My pace. Why is it that I’m I feeling stronger than ever (like I could run forever) but that isn’t translating into a faster pace? I’m not much of a big picture kind of person. I love the details and sometimes get so caught up in the details I miss the big picture. I think the answer is having surgery 3 time last year translates into A LOT of time recovering. I looked at each surgery as individual periods of time. Now. Collectively, I see that’s a lot of time with no running. After the first surgery I never really had a chance to build and maintain a 25-30 miles/week base before the next one and I never got back to my PR times.

2. My training. I need a plan! It makes finding time to run so much easier in my sometimes crazy busy life and it’s comforting to know the day to day. A plan gives me direction and focus. That brings me to my second source of frustration. With 12 in 2012 and Ragnar Colorado in July this year is one of my most exciting ever for running. But, how in the world do I train? I haven’t been able to come up with a plan that feels right. A plan that is going to get me to my goals. The way I’ve trained in the past isn’t going to work.

So that’s it. My great epiphany yesterday (or maybe the day before) while putting on my mascara. So I think I’ve figured it out. Now what? The obvious answer. I need to come up with a plan 🙂

What do you do when you feel so incredibly frustrated but can’t figure out why? Do you feel like you need a plan to train for races? 

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

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43 Comments

  1. oh – I meant to comment on this earlier – I definitely am a “planner” and work better with a plan in place – but I agree with XLMIC that you are doing so much racing you might be better served to let go of pace and just enjoy the process!

  2. frustration is the worst. glad you’re figuring things out! I was in a rut for a while and somehow had the ah ha moment a few weeks ago, thank goodness! i sure wasn’t feeling running at all, but found my mojo again, just gotta work on speed…getting faster, i’m getting So fed up!

  3. i know this feeling and it IS frustrating! i always feel like my wheels are spinning but i’m not going anywhere! we’re both the type who need a plan! i hope it passes soon and i’m sure your pace will return!

  4. I’m glad you figured it out! I know it’s tough to be patient but I know hard work always pays off,sometimes it just takes a little bit. Having a training plan and a race definitely helps me to get back on track. Good luck!!

    1. Thank you Christine. The hardest part was not being able to figure it out. That in itself was a relief.

  5. I definitely need a plan, without one I feel lost! I’ve done pretty well so far without a plan but I’m glad that in a week or so my husband and I will have a triathlon training plan to follow!

    1. Hi Jamie. I’m curious to know more about how you’re going to train for a tri.

      1. I’m planning on writing a post about that soon! It does help that my husband and I are former competitive swimmers, but we still need a plan 🙂

  6. i’m horrible with ‘plans’ perse, so i’m not the person to ask to develop one. What i HAVE done though, is make a list of my strengths and weaknesses when it came to running and training and try to work on those
    i.e.- weakness is inconsistent pace— so some of my runs i’ll purposely stare down my garmin and not allow myself to stray from a certain range so my body can get used to that SAME pace– it has been working so far, but again that is just one example

  7. Sorry to be joining late! I almost forgot about your linky party! I’ve linked up two posts again this week. I am so proud of my abs, but more pressing matters…What princess should I be? Tiana or Belle?

    1. Better late than never! The link up is open until Thursday so join anytime 🙂

  8. Love that first picture 🙂

    I don’t think you NEED to figure it all out right now. You are racing a tremendous amount. I think you needn’t worry about PR’s for the time being and simply enjoy the process of running 12 in 2012 and the Ragnar. You’re no slouch so you’ll do fine…and you’ll have more fun if you drop the stress factor 🙂 Them’s be my 2¢!

    1. A voice of reason! Thank you! I know you’re right. Racing this much is new to me and it’s just taking me a bit of time to change my way of thinking. Definitely worth more than 2 cents 🙂

  9. I can relate to your frustration! I haven’t been training consistently since the year started and it’s b/c I don’t have a plan. I just workout when it’s convenient or try to do 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, mainly at home around my toddler.
    Good luck with your plan1

  10. I’m so new to running that getting to the point where I actually feel like a runner is the frustrating part! I need a plan in order to get to the point I want to be because otherwise I wouldn’t know what the heck I am doing!! Its good that you had your “aha” moment because now you can move forward 🙂

    1. Thanks Kenda. I remember what it was like to want to “feel” like a runner. It’s an amazing sense of accomplishment that never goes away.

  11. I can’t say I’m frustrated yet.. I’m still newer to running…I just look forward to be able to improve …thanks for much for hosting the linky! happ Fitness friday!

    1. Hi Susie. Fortunately, I don’t get this frustrated very often. Thanks for linking up 🙂

  12. I feel your pain! I feel the same way but in my case it is with life in general! I think that with running, I had to make a plan, even though what I came out with is that I am just going to try to run about 25 miles per week, race week or no. So even if it’s a simple plan, it’s still nice to have one.

    1. Hi Kyria. To me a plan is a plan. Even simple plans keep me feeling focused and productive.

  13. I’m frustrated, too! I’m tired and can’t seem to recover from my race in order to be ready for my next one. I just bought some of those stingers! I can’t wait to try one in the morning. Also, thanks for all your sweet comments on my blog! I love reading them!

    1. Hi Kat. Hang in there with the same determination you had for the last race and you’ll be fine 🙂

  14. Yes, I try to figure out problems like that. And usually the answers come to me when I’m doing something, like you putting on your mascara!

    I think you need to give yourself credit where credit is due. Just having 3 surgeries alone would stop most people in their tracks, but running in all the events you’ve been doing is totally amazing! I call you an inspiration and motivation to most people out there!

    And training plans – I use them loosly, but I’ve signed up for Chicago this year and really need to find one that I can stick to!

    1. Amy you said exactly what my husband said. Thank you 🙂

      You will love Chicago! I ran it last year. Be prepared for the challenge of 45,000 runners and what I thought were narrow roads. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  15. Yes! I rarely have a plan and I would be so much faster if I did. I guess it’s not a priority right now for me. If I want to break 2 hours in a half marathon, it better become a priority! Good luck:)

    1. Sub-2 is my goal for this year in general. I think my first try will be in April.

  16. I definitely think that you aren’t giving yourself enough credit. 3 surgeries in 1 year. You are an ANIMAL!

    Love that you and your hubby ran together.

    1. Thanks Laura. That’s what my husband said.

      We try to run together as often as possible. It’s tough. He’s not an early morning person and that is my favorite time to run. He prefers trails and I prefer roads. A lot of compromising 🙂

  17. Sorry that you’re feeling frustrated– I’ve definitely been there! I do like having a plan, but then I allow myself to be pretty flexible with it, especially if there are extra races in there and I need more recovery time.

    I’ve found that making sure I have adequate recovery time goes a long way in helping me increase pace. With 12 in 12, most books I’ve read say plan to really “race” just a handful of long races per year, and use others more as training runs. So maybe you could pick a few key races, and build in some speed work and a “plan” with tapering for those, and use others more as training runs? Good luck!!

    1. I agree. Experts will advise you not to races back to back like that because it doesn’t give your body adequate rest time, which may be why you are feeling like you’re in a funk. But then, I am not one to give any advice on this because I always do back to back races. lol

      1. I was careful about the back to back races. I think my race calendar gives me adequate rest time between as long as I’m not thinking every race will be run for a PR.

    2. Thanks Laura. I learned the hard way how important recovery time is. Using the half marys as training runs and only “racing” for a goal with some of the races is exactly what going to do. It’s such a different mindset it took me a little time to get there 🙂

  18. Awesome that you solved your problem while putting on your mascara… may only have been a bit more symbolic if you had the epiphany while running 🙂

    Glad you’re figuring things out. I hope you figure out the plan that gets you where you want to go.

  19. I’m like you…when I feel frustrated, I immediately try to diagnose the source and then come up with a plan to fix it. I do so much better with everything when I have a clear plan that I can follow daily. Keeps me focused. Helps me see progress over time that I would not see otherwise.

    1. Hi Sandy! You’re so right about being able to see the progress with a plan.

  20. I feel your frustration…I’ve been feeling like I’m in a rut recently. I haven’t figured it out yet 🙁

    1. I’m not alone! Sorry to hear your in a rut Jennifer. You’ll figure it out or maybe it will just pass with time. We both know it’s temporary right 🙂

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