Saturday, March 18, 2023

Spring Break

I have not updated my blog in over a month! That is a long time for me to go without blogging. That's because my running life has been pretty uneventful. I haven't run any races and I am not training for anything at the moment. I'm fully recovered from Covid and I am not injured; but I have decided it would be a good idea to take an "off" season. 

Even though I only ran one marathon, I trained for two marathons, starting in August of last year. This meant way more long runs than I ever want to do again in a 5-month period! I was only doing 1-2 hard workouts a week and the mileage was low for me. But the long runs gave me a bit of mental burn out. Maybe if I had been running my normal 65-75 mile weeks, the long runs would have felt shorter because they would have been a smaller percentage of overall volume. Because I was averaging 55-65 miles a week, the 20s really started to take their toll. Toward the end of the cycle I was starting to dread them and I usually look forward to my long runs!

Strength training in my home gym
I had been registered for the One City Half Marathon the first weekend in March, but I didn't have enough time to train given marathon recovery followed by Covid. I am sure I could have finished the race, but I didn't want to do it without proper training. Of course the weather that day was perfect! 

After One City, I didn't have anything on the schedule so I kept it that way and decided to prioritize strength training. Instead of doing 1-2 sessions a week, I am now doing 3. One of those sessions is an hour-long workout with my strength coach Angela, and the other two are about 25 minutes each on my own. I think I have reached the limit of how much running I am able to do in a training cycle, so the gains I make in the fall will come from being stronger. 

I had planned on taking up swimming again to change things up, but it's difficult to motivate to drive to the pool, change, swim, shower, change, and drive back. If it weren't so logistically involved, I would do it every day. But now that I have a gym in my basement, it's so much easier to work out there. 

This spring break has been nice. I've been keeping most of my runs easy, throwing in a few strides here and there just so my legs remember how to turn over quickly. It's a good mental break and it's freed me up to focus on other areas of my life that I typically de-prioritize. 

The good thing about having had so many bouts of mono is that I know I can quickly ramp up training and get into race shape. I only need about 6-8 weeks to get myself to a good place and a few more to be in "race shape". 

Right now the plan is to focus on strength training, mobility and stability. And then I will begin training for my annual July 4th 5K. I might do a few tune-up 5Ks before then. I suspect that this break from racing will leave me super hungry to get out there and grind when the time comes. 

In the meantime, I will continue to blog. I have a few ideas of posts that I have been meaning to write!


  1. Nice to catch up! I'm just ramping up my training for my upcoming trail races. I've struggled with getting in quality runs this winter because it's been so muddy. So a lot of my miles have been on pavement. Not optimal. I'm doing speedwork in the pool--Fluid Running has some amazing workouts! And strength training to make up for the lack of climbing. Should be interesting!

  2. Well Zebra, a break for you will probably yield benefits down the road when you go back to the training grind. The fact that your doing this layback probably means you recognize you need to do this to recover, then be in position to rebuild your racing caliber when your ready to commit. I see a Smart Zebra!

  3. Hi Elizabeth. Great to hear from you. Glad that you are taking a break. I'm sure that you will come back to race training stronger and more enthusiastic than ever. Look forward to hearing all about your other activities too. Love your blog. Kind regards, AV

  4. Enjoy spring break! Swimming is such a pain because you have to haul all of the gear, shower, blah, blah...anytime that the prep is longer than the workout it's really tough to fit it in.

    Bring on the blogging!

  5. Taking a break from all the training and running isn't a bad thing. Usually when I take a break I allow myself to become a couch potato (ha my job doesn't really allow that honestly but I do so outside of work.) It can be helpful mentally and I hope that's the case for you