Bruised ego

What could go wrong?

What could go wrong?

A few years ago I took Tilly on a trip to Florida and since she loves swimming, I thought she'd like to come with me to this remote island for a day at the beach. We canoed over to the island and started throwing a stick around. Hours later, she was still at it: swimming in the ocean, battling waves, digging holes in the sand, playing fetch with me (and sometimes by herself). She had inhaled so much saltwater and sand and couldn't have been feeling well, but her enthusiasm for water sports far exceeded her endurance. She spent the next hour puking up sand, poor girl.

It's all fun and games until someone starts puking up sand.

It's all fun and games until someone starts puking up sand.

That's how I am feeling with running. I am out of shape, obviously. It's mainly in my chest: An 8:30 pace gets my heart pounding, and I start gasping for air. And the heat isn't doing me any favors.

I've been running a little, along with some strength training and bike commuting, but I haven't done any workouts and my longest run since April was about 8 miles. And every time I lace up my shoes to go for a run, I start out stupid fast and wind up pulled over on the side, head between my knees, heaving and fighting off nausea. It's terrible. After work today I attempted a "hard workout" on the Al Buehler trail (a 5k cross-country course), but made it only a mile before I had to give myself a huge reality check. My enthusiasm is all the way up here ^^^^ but my fitness is completely womp-womp.

I know I'm doing my easy runs too hard, and generally just being a total fool about getting back into shape. Part of the problem is that I just don't have it in me right now to be a "professional" when it comes to running -- you know, in the Steven Pressfield "War of Art" way, not the actually-getting-paid-to-run way. Turning pro is simple: Show up every day, do the workouts, not bitch about it, etc. I've been making a lot of excuses about the weather, being busy, and just plain wanting to do other things -- all valid I guess, but it goes without saying that excuses aren't going to get me a BQ. It isn't just that, though. I'm afraid that my problem is more about just being caught in a bad cycle of having another a miserable run > ego and body are beat up > wait until I forget how bad it was > REPEAT, with virtually no improvement from last time. 

Meanwhile, the weeks are slipping away from me. I had my eye on the High Country Half on August 30, and of course the Peak to Creek Marathon in late October. I know I won't have my shit together to race a half marathon in four weeks (obviously) and I'm starting to doubt that I have it in me to train like I should for a fall marathon.

The High Country Half -- not a very promising-seeming candidate for a PR attempt, but it looks fun!

The High Country Half -- not a very promising-seeming candidate for a PR attempt, but it looks fun!

In lieu of having someone just pick me up off the beach and take me home, I do have one more last-ditch idea to try to break the cycle: I'm planning to join a gym for a month. The gym is about a half mile from my office, and the goal is to get rid of at least one of my main reasons why I skip workouts: gross weather. All the pep talks in the world can't get me out the door in 90+ degree weather, or during a thunderstorm, or in 100% humidity. Just, no. Never.

My plan is to do speed workouts on the treadmill (I love to go hard on that thing for some reason) because I am about 200x more likely to go to the gym than to the track in the summer. Then I can do ACTUALLY EASY runs outdoors, and if by the end of the month I am feeling like my old running self again, I will strongly consider Peak to Creek. Otherwise, I can find one in December farther south, or start a very long training cycle for the Tobacco Road Marathon in March.

Anyone else struggling to get back into running?