The Most Inspirational Post. Not.

As is true 99% of the time, I am completely enjoying running.

However.  I find myself feeling disassociated from any semblance of....a goal.

I'm going through the motions of "training" or running--again, enjoying myself--but not mustering the passion to care about the results.  Not particularly concerned that more often than not, the results aren't impressive.

Example one:

My easy runs have gradually gotten slower, and slower, and slower over the course of a year.  There was a time when easy runs were a 7:40-8:00 pace.  They have been 8:30-9:30 pace forever now.  It's a rare peppy day when I'm mindlessly cruising at an 8:00 pace.

Example two:

I ran 12 x 400s last week as my once/week hard run to motivate myself for the San Jose RnR half marathon in 2.x weeks (boooooooo hisssss RnR.  Since it doesn't affect me, as a non-elite and as someone who has unimpressive knowledge of elites, it's not my place to rant.)

I ran each one in 84-87 seconds.  Aka 1:24-1:27.  I'm not sure why I'm in the habit of typing it out in seconds instead of minutes:seconds.

That is exactly FIVE seconds slower than what I could and should be running them in.

Earlier this year, 79-82 seconds was the game (1:19-1:22).  No problem.

A five second difference for a little one-lap repeat is pretty huge, no? That's a 20-second difference per mile.  Ouch.

So here's where I am at, to bring it full circle: cognizant that my running progress is stagnant, or in decline, and then not really.....caring.  Noted. Move it along.

This entire year has been so non-running focused for me.  You've heard it all before: I have more responsibility and have been consistently busy at work.  House hunt.  Wedding planning.  Honeymoon planning. Bachelor watching. Food.  So much food to eat.

There are other shifts in my devotion to goal-based running this year.  I find myself caring more about getting in some healthy socializing at 11:00 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday night than being up early for a weekend run.  I care more about visiting my niece at TrainTown at 10:00 a.m. than waking up early on Labor day for a run.  I care more about getting early brunch with the Gentleman on a Sunday after a week of seeing each other for a collective 3 waking hours than going on a 3 hour run.

Trying very hard to suppress a smile at Train Town

I cannot focus on running goals.  I cannot get myself to care about them this year.  When it feels like a huge accomplishment to peel myself out of bed after 5.5 hours of sleep to go for a run, I can't muster the extra energy to care what my pace is on that run, or if I follow some speed work plan.  Just going for the run is enough.

Speaking of being underslept.  I also hit the track last week Friday for what I hoped would be a 5-ish mile tempo run around a 6:30 pace.  It was my fifth morning in a row of sleeping 6 hours or less, and I was feeling the weight of the lack of sleep.

The way I would describe how it feels to be running when you are underslept, is like having a bad dream.  Like you're doing everything to propel yourself forward, but some mysterious force is holding you back and it is confusing as hell.  Like you are underwater.

My first mile was 6:53, and so that game plan of 6:30's went out the door.  I managed to succeed in turning the run into a "progression" 5-miler instead, with: 6:53; 6:48; 6:42; 6:38; 6:24.*

That will do I suppose.  I'm too tired to care.

*ya know, track miles are so, so much easier than normal miles, so I take these numbers with a huge grain of salt.  I would add 30 seconds to each mile to reflect what I would probably be running on the open roads.

In further pathetic news, I also have this problem where internet "inspiration" has the opposite effect on me.  Reading about other runners on twitter and blogs who are so devoted to catching their goal--their Olympic trials qualifier, their sub-3:00, their BQ--makes me feel like sighing and giving up.  Like, THAT'S what a goal getter talks like.  It's on their brain and fingertips all the live long day. It's the first thing they think of when they wake up; it's an intense drive for them.  My drive to reach running goals is just this little whisper buried underneath piles of youtube videos and legal papers that says "if you feel like it, run hard today.  Or tomorrow.  Or whenever."

Does anyone else get unmotivated by vocally motivated people?

I need some diversity in my twitter feed.  The running chatter is sometime a bit much.

Swimming And A Tummy Picture So Be Warned

Since I quit the fancy gym with the adult-only, underwater music enhanced, saline lap pool, I haven't been swimming.

Which is really too bad, since Free Country sent me a swimsuit at the beginning of the summer.  I needed one pretty badly; the one-piece I was wearing was a tad tiny (it was meant for high school water polo players, who wear their suits very snug to avoid the grabbiness involved in the sport) and it would rub against my skin and chafe if I was swimming for an hour or more.

The Free Country selection isn't very large, and isn't necessarily targeted at performance swimming, but I settled on two reversible pieces I liked.

I just want your creamy thighs -- Prince quote that I try to incorporate into daily conversation as much as possible

I wore it for a number of minutes of strokes against the current in the Russian River during a July camping trip.  Other than that, I wore it to vogue for a selfie for the benefit of the blog.  See above.  Creamy thighs.

One of the best parts of this summer.  She's a world class camper. 

It does the trick! And now I am really craving a swim.  Especially after peeping on Page's swimming pool of choice in Portland.  Bay area pals: anywhere in the east bay I can drop $5 ish to use a lap pool? Anywhere 30 minutes of Oakland works for me.

That's it folks.  Hoping to find my goal-motivation sometime in 2014.  Maybe a little race in Boston next April will get me pumped to make something happened.  I signed up and was accepted.  Jubilated and terrified at the same time (because of the crowds...I don't like big crowds...)