Why you should only sign up for races while sober…

As you know, I am trying to make my triumphant return to running.  My literal first steps towards this goal culminated in a one mile run.  My most recent efforts have included a 38 minute run at an average pace of 7.4 mph.  The hotel treadmill inexplicably displayed my total mileage as 3.1, but I’m pretty good at math and I don’t think that adds up.  Anyway, I have primarily been going to Power Hour because it’s so hot outside, I can’t stomach a run outdoors after work, and my fuse is too short from my lack of stamina and speed that I cannot deal with the people on the indoor track who openly defy track etiquette.  A few weeks ago, I jogged about 3 laps on the indoor track, and a tween walking around the track with his older sister/babysitter dared walk on the inside of the track for a protracted period of time.  When I said “excuse me,” Carrot Top said, ne, commanded, that the inner lanes are for walkers!!!  I calmly screamed “look at the sign!” and gave up in defeat shortly thereafter.  I have not returned to the indoor track, the former home of my winter 18 or 20 milers, since that incident.  I don’t foresee a trip back to the track until I can tune up my anger management techniques.  Maybe I will take a yoga class…

But I digress.  I have been torturing myself with Power Hour, a class which offers ample running, hill work, and strength work to make me feel like less of a sloth when I sit on the couch watching Real Housewives of New Jersey later in the evening.  It also exposes my shoulder scars to enough UV rays to guarantee I will be branded with these imperfections until I am 80 and the rest of my body resembles an old leather briefcase.  Power Hour has introduced me to some people who I find fascinating, because they too enjoy masochism.  On Friday night, some of my Power Hour friends and “real” friends joined me for Happy- not Power- Hour.  This was an excellent way to kiss goodbye one full week without alcohol. I must say, taking a week off of social drinking was remarkable.  I saved probably $12 in cheap wine and staved off SuperBaby learning the term “Mommy Juice” for at least another week.  Seriously though, I feel marginally more energized and think I will make a habit of not drinking during the work week.  Granted, I’m not a booze hound. I may typically consume 3 or 4 glasses of wine total from Sunday-Thursday, but it’s the principle that counts.  I also have cut out virtually all caffeine and processed flour, so I am feeling rather superior these days.  After consuming two glasses of delicious wine, the name of which I cannot recall, I returned home with my friend Erin and we started talking about running. We thought it would be really fun to pick a race in the fall to do.  We decided to choose a half marathon, since Erin is still nursing a back injury and I will be recovering from a second shoulder surgery.  Instead of thinking our choice through in a sober state of mind, we voted on the inaugural Savannah Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon & Marathon on November 5.  I even found a coupon code to get $10 off registration! We immediately registered online, texted a few friends from Power Hour to harass them into signing up also, and patted ourselves on the backs for our foresight to register early and save $10.

The next morning I see a confirmation email from Active.com congratulating me on registering for the race.  My first thought was “Race, what race?!”  My second thought was “Wow, my brain hurts.  Wine has a lot of sugar in it.”  Great, I roped myself into another race without having even built back up to a solid 10 mile per week base.  And by solid, I mean pathetic.  And by pathetic, I mean “I’m not judging you if you consider yourself a runner and all you run is 10 miles per week.  It’s just that you can’t exactly race 13.1 miles at once if you are running/jogging 2 or 3 miles at a time a few times each week.”  Plus, given I am likely having repeat shoulder surgery very soon, I won’t be running until early August at best.   My negative, super sarcastic brain (which typically wins) laughs at me maniacally, telling me I am shooting for a world record for signing up for races I cannot attend/complete.  See, e.g., Myrtle Beach Marathon (not enough time to recover from Kiawah), Corporate Cup 1/2 Marathon (too much pain 5 days before surgery), Providence Marathon (registered before I realized I would need surgery), and The Scream Half Marathon (wedding that weekend).  My positive brain, which is a rookie, is all about promoting good Qi and making sure I get back into the running that I love.  This part of my brain has decided that Savannah is going to be the one race all year that I fully train for and that I can use to accomplish a PR (under 1:38).  So I mapping out my training schedule, just like I have done in the past.  Here is a sampling of my goals for the next month of training, which will probably take closer to 6 or 7 weeks because of my recovery from surgery:

Mondays/Wednesdays: Power Hour

Tuesdays: 30 minute run at HMP + 10%, 10 cycles of Tabata Sprints (30 seconds sprint, 15 seconds walk)

Thursdays: Intervals (4×800, 8×400, 10×200)

Fridays: Off

Saturdays: Start with a 6 mile run at half marathon pace + 20% this Saturday (on the treadmill at the Aria hotel in VEGAS!!!), add 1 mile per week for three weeks, then back down 2 miles on week 4.

Sundays: Easy 2-3 mile jog

Not too daunting, certainly not like marathon training.  If anyone has any suggestions which one may consider constructive, please send them my way. Happy running, and don’t sign up for any races in the immediate afterglow of Happy Hour!

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