Somewhere between summer starting, working, and most of my free time being occupied, my inclination to “just blog about something!” has turned into, “there’s too much to say, so I’ll just say nothing.”
So, “saying nothing” has unfortunately left this space a little sparse. I go back and forth between wanting to write about all the great things that happen and wanting to keep them all preserved in my real life, away from the tangles of the internet. So, I suppose that’s landed me in more of an “I’ll blog when I want to” mentality — which is probably good for content, not so good for consistency.
Alas, I do want to share some of life’s happenings today. There really isn’t too much of interest, to tell the truth, but all of it has been making me gracious and happy each and every day.
I’m currently training for Ragnar NWP in two weeks. This year’s training has been a little different than last year’s, but I’m excited to see how things shake out. Basically, my method of ultra relay madness has been to piece together about ~40-45 miles per week, including a long run, and to pair that with climbing/hiking a big mountain.
It sounds a little obscure and unreasonable, but it has actually fit really well into my preferred summer routine. For the past month, Adam and I have managed to spend one weekend day traversing up and down a peak, two of which have been Colorado 14ers. While it’s not actual running, I have very little doubt that this kind of cross-training will pay dividends both during the ultra relay and in fall marathon training. The altitude, the elevation, and the time on my feet are all substantial and challenging— and I’m excited to see how these climbs translate into running.
Here’s how the past few weekends have looked in terms of Ragnar training:
June 14/15: 16 mile long run, 8 miles + 3,000 ft elevation gain on Mt. Si
June 21/22: 14 mile long run, 6 miles + 3,000 ft elevation gain on Mt. Sherman (14er)
June 28/29: 18 mile long run, 10 miles + 4,700 ft elevation gain on Mt. Elbert (14er)
Coming up this weekend: 12-ish mile long run, 7 miles + 3,000 ft elevation gain on Mt. Byers
This wasn’t exactly the Ragnar training plan I’d intended, but it allows for me to both gain fitness and partake in activities that highlight Colorado and allow me to spend time with Adam. We’ll see how it turns out in two weeks, but I’m feeling optimistic.
All this Ragnar build-up is really helping me to pack on a base of fitness for marathon training —which will start at the beginning of August. I’m putting together a full, customized 16-week plan (a first) in hopes that I can whip out a really special race by the time November comes around.
Speed wise, I’m inclined to say I wish I was doing better, but instead I’m going to focus on the progress that’s been made. My average pace for runs is inching further down in the 8s, which for a long time felt like a far-fetched dream. It’s been a humbling process, but I’m learning to appreciate the smaller milestones more and more. I recently uploaded my Garmin data for the first time since the beginning of May, and it told an encouraging story of little improvements. No, I’m probably not close to the “easy” 7:30 tempo pace I used to hammer out, but for the first time in a long time— it doesn’t feel quite so far away.
I have a half next weekend, which I’m hoping to run as a moderate indicator of where my speed is at. It will be the weekend before Ragnar, so I can’t necessarily kill myself, but I plan on trying to make it hurt a little —whatever that may mean at this point.
Let’s just all have a big, “Eff ya!” moment right now folks; my health is GOOD.
After crawling back to life in January, followed by a downward spiral in April, I’m really feeling like I’m almost back to “normal.” Now, my version of normal isn’t necessarily the same as your average person, but for me — I couldn’t ask for better. I’m crediting the magical combination of summer bliss and expensive medication. I’m still taking daily pills and have to give myself a shot every two weeks, both of which will continue until the unforeseeable future, but it’s a small price to pay for feeling like myself again.
I definitely live with a fear of things relapsing without notice, but I’m trying to focus on staying gracious for the health I do have and confident in my ability to stay strong. Fitness is a great means of feeling power over a chronic condition, and I’m thankful that running has given me a somewhat tangible way of measuring my progress over Crohn’s.
I do have a life outside of running (kind of 🙂 ), but I don’t need to bore anyone with the details that really only mean much to me. Generally, things are really, really great. I’m loving taking advantage of all the opportunities that longer days and warmer weather offer, and my happiness meter is feeling very high on a regular basis.
We’re slowly but surely settling into the wedding planning frame of mind, too. We have a date and a venue (two very important check marks!), and I’m finally starting to accept that a little more strategic planning needs to happen. I’ll probably buy a wedding planner book one of these days, but for now perusing Pinterest and talking about ideas with Adam are my preferred method of planning 🙂
In hindsight, this post was essentially a carbon copy of my last few posts, save for a few prettier pictures. I promise once real training starts again, I’ll be a little more active on here; I have a feeling there will be a lot to say along the way.
Happy (almost) 4th everyone! Enjoy some watermelon and some sunshine!