Goodbye November, Hello BOSTON TRAINING!


  1. Total run miles for October: 55.2
  2. Miles run, year to date1,877.5
  3. Number of races in October: 2
  4. Longest run in October: 26.2 (Indianapolis Monumental Disaster Marathon)

I basically took November off of life. I mean, yes I still ran races and logged miles but once I hurt my calf, I was unwilling to make matters worse. I got through my race and then I rested. And rested more. After the marathon, I thought I was going to go hard on the “recovery” but my plan for recovery didn’t include a lot of rest. Then I got the mother of all colds, which put me in my place and gave me some perspective.

I’ve sort of been forced to rest through the calf and the cold, but I’m also in a bit of a running rut. I am excited to start Boston training and I know once it begins I’ll be on board. I’d be lying if I said that I’m not still a little bummed about how the whole Indy thing went down. I’ve been eating what I want, not getting enough sleep, and not drinking enough water. I haven’t worn my Fitbit in a solid week and I haven’t logged into Fitness Pal. I’ve put in some good hours on my couch watching TV and I’ve drank gallons of coffee. I think I ate two entire pumpkin rolls by myself just over the past week. It’s kind of glorious, but I’m definitely starting to feel ready to get back into a routine.

Now if I can just kick this cold, I could move on with my life. I revisited my November goals and I give myself a big fat F for the month. However, it’s the first time that I can say I totally failed but feel completely fine with it. I shouldn’t have had any goals last month. That was the point of scheduling some recovery time. I’ve been checking off lists and living by a schedule since…I don’t know, January 2014? Here was what I wanted to do – and I had a pretty little spreadsheet saying how I would do it:

  • Diet: get back to my Paleo-ish ways and incorporate more fruits and veggies since for some strange reason I forgot that those are important.
  • Stretching: Yoga, at least twice per week
  • Strength Training: Continue with pole classes, but return to the gym to restart PT exercises
  • Core: Every damn day. I always do core everyday, but the past few weeks I’ve slacked.
  • Cross Training: After my week of doing whatever I want, I want to be swimming, biking, aqua jogging, etc everyday while I’m not running. As I reintroduce running, I want to keep swimming through the winter months.

Just no. The spreadsheet went out the window pretty quickly. I had a good two weeks were I was eating well and cross training like a boss, but that went to shit over Thanksgiving. The rest of the list is laughable at best. It’s okay though – I truly needed the downtime and the lack of structure. I’m super Type A and like to have control over everything. It took about a week for me to kind of let go and it felt GREAT. I do feel refreshed and ready to get back to it, and to start Boston training in a few short weeks. I look back at the years where I did my best, and those were the years that were preceded by some rest. It is not reasonable to train for 12 months out of the year, year after year. I know this. I was kind of forced to take a step back and it was a really good thing. I needed to have some time where I could just do whatever.

I also don’t want my life to just be running and training. When I get caught up in a training block and consumed by a goal, I sort of lose sight of everything else. I don’t get paid for this. I do this for fun. Even with not feeling so hot over the past week, I have had a great month just doing what I want. I’ve gone to dinners with friends, concerts, and had time to just relax after work. I’ve slept in and spent the day with my husband, which is something I haven’t done in FOREVER. I needed that hot minute to be reminded of all of those things so moving forward with my next training block, I can be a little more balanced.

I officially start Boston training during the week of 12/14. Nothing too crazy to start – that won’t happen for a few weeks. I’m getting excited for it! Now to get moving over the next two weeks and get myself ready to beat the crap out of my body yet again.

How was your month? Ever take a step back from running?


45 Replies to “Goodbye November, Hello BOSTON TRAINING!”

  1. Oh girl. I could have written this!! I’m pretty sure I ate two pumpkin pies by myself and I went almost a week solid of doing NOTHING. Gained three pounds. And it was delicious. I feel your type A woes and I believe we need this time to keep our sanity. I’ve often thought about why the heck I’m so crazy over training because it’s not like I get paid to run slow. Haha but people like us just have this innate desire to pull the best out of ourselves every damn day. But, relaxing some times is the best way to pull the best out of ourselves. Relax, recharge, then go conquer the world!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks Jess, you make me feel so much better! I am definitely not stepping on a scale. I bet I gained 3-5lbs. Totally okay with it (or telling myself that I am) and ready to get back on track soon! Glad I’m not alone in my type A-ness and giving in to laziness last week 🙂

  2. While I have raced and such, this fall was kind of a stepback from running- or at least formalized training. I went with the flow most days after my goal marathon, and if i didn’t want to run I didn’t I did workouts occasionally, raced when I wanted to (which actually ended up being more than normal, but no stress). The last week I took a total week off of running after running a half marathon PR the weekend before. i figured it was as good of a time as any for a break and recharge my batteries! Now back into the swing this week of building and also getting into Boston training in a few more weeks! Looking forward to seeing your training progress, and how well that mental and physical break helped!!

    1. Feels good to step back, right?? I think I needed it. I think I was overwhelming myself even in my recovery and it felt good to just let it all go. I’m so excited to get started with Boston training! Looking forward to following you, too! We will have to try to meet up at the expo – it’s so crazy there, but it can be done!! LOL!

  3. I didn’t realize it until I read this post, but I am pretty sure we are having the exact same fall. First some kick ass summer training, then some shorter distance PRs. A random injury right before our goal marathons so hardly any running in the couple of weeks before the race. Take most of November off (in spite of having goals) and end it with getting sick. When I reached the part about not drinking enough water I made myself get up and go get a glass of water. I’ve been slacking on that as well.

    I won’t be starting my next training plan until February, but I’ve been sort of scheduling some running for the next two months (yes, type A over here too). I’m looking forward to getting back into it, but I’m glad I still have some down time in front of me. Can’t wait to start following your Boston training!

    1. OMG we are definitely twins! Except you are much more concise than me and wrapped it all up in one great comment. I think it took me a whole fall of blog posts to say that! I am sitting here with a bottle of water at work trying to force myself to drink it!! I am finally – just today- feeling slightly better. I think it took getting a cold to make me rest. I hate getting sick, but I’m a little thankful for it!! Excited to follow YOUR marathon training next year! So exciting!!!!!

      1. Bahahaha….like I’m ever going to run another marathon! The next time I train for a marathon I want BQing to be a somewhat realistic expectation and I think I need to take 4-5 minutes off of my half PR for that to be a possibility. Next year is going to be all about shorter races. I will be working towards a sub20 5k and a 1:39:59 half.

  4. haha we are so similar. After Indy i’ve been eating crap, not working out very much and this week I turned it around. Since Sunday i’ve worked out every day and began running on a plan again. Although i still don’t have a focus if i’m doing a full or half marathon. So i’m just taking december as a base building month and strength training hard

    1. Feels really good to just not care for a few weeks. I’m getting antsy now and ready to get back to it, especially today because I am *finally* starting to feel better! In my head, I’ll run on the remaining days this week and then be back at it next week. Still laid back, but doing something everyday again. And the shit eating needs to stop yesterday. I might have went a little overboard. I ate fries last night. Oops. I needed it!

      1. Hahaha omg those are so good. I bought these yogurt covered raisins on Wednesday, and ate about 2/3 of them in the car on the way home from the store. I ate the rest leaving work yesterday. Because yogurt and raisins are healthy, right?

  5. I think the best thing you can do is let yourself fail at those goals if it means you succeed at recovery and feeling better! I am glad you’re feeling better from the cold finally, too. All of us are struggling with things like diet right now because let’s be honest, it’s the holidays, but they only come around once a year and food is a big part of being with family and friends. I too am very type A and have training and running goals this month, but ultimately running will always be there but you only get so many chances to be with others and enjoy the holidays. I think Boston training will go well for you, and I can’t wait to see how you do!

    1. I agree, first time that I failed at something that I am proud to say I failed at it! I am definitely not feeling guilty about the food. In a few weeks, Boston training begins and after the holidays I will completely clean up my act – I do every year. Not worried at all. You are so right, running will always be there!!

  6. That rest period will definitely do you some good. I’ve also had great running cycles after some sort of rest, which was always forced due to injury of course! Funny how it takes an injury/sickness to get us to slow down. There is always that worry of how hard it will be to come back to a “trained” level again I guess. I’m a slacker during the holidays, but heck, isn’t that what it’s all about?

    1. Honestly, I’ve never really taken a legitimate recovery period. One where I run no races, follow now plan, and just go with the flow. I was scared I would just not run if I didn’t have the structure. And what happened? I barely ran. But my legs feel good, and I feel better about starting up again for sure! This is the first time in years that I didn’t have the weight of a training plan on my shoulders over the holiday season and I LOVE IT! I am repeating this next year 🙂

  7. I generally do a good job stepping back from training after a goal race. I’m a high-stress, high-anxiety person, so I need those breaks for my sanity. I felt so great at the end of the summer/early fall after my goal race when I had worked structure back into my routine but was doing my own thing and just having fun. It was a great reminder to me of how important rest is to training. After my marathon in February, I have about four weeks before the start of my Ironman training. I plan on taking that time nice and easy and trust that I won’t lose a four months of marathon-fitness because of four weeks of recovery workouts.

    1. That’s the hardest part – thinking about how much fitness I could be “losing”, but really I feel like now I will just be able to build on what I had before. I hope I’m right. I am terrible at the stepping back from training so I hope this is a good experience to encourage me to do it again after Boston!

  8. november was interesting. it went by quickly! But my december goals are to get through the month. and have a painless, as seamless as possible move back to New England. Good bye palm trees, hellooooo winter!

  9. I’m glad you had a good month life wise. I’m also glad we could catch up this morning. I feel like these months are important life wise because you do get the itch to get back into training, etc.

  10. You’ve got a great perspective. I’m so the same way with the whole lists and spreadsheets and control over everything. But as soon as I screw one thing up, the whole damn thing goes out the window. I agree with you that this rest is going to work wonders for you though. No doubt.

    1. OMG so what I do, screw up and it all goes out the window. Like one missed workout is enough to bring down the weeks/months of consistent training. I let a lot of workouts go out the window this time. We’ll see!

  11. I wish I liked other workouts as much as running because then I’d do them. I always resolve to do more core and strength training but often slack on it! I’m not sure how I ever convinced myself to stick with running, but it’s the only thing that’s stuck!

  12. I am in a running rut right now too! 😦

    Last winter, I spent about two months walking. I walked a lot and didn’t run at all. I think that was my longest step back from running ever.

    How is your calf feeling? What are your favorite core exercises? I am stuck in a rut with those! I mean, I know they are effective, but I am just a little bored. Normally I do bicycle crunches, planks, plank with a knee tuck, stability ball pass, and stability ball pull ins. I do don’t these all each time, they are just in my rolodex of core stuff.

    1. How did you feel when you returned to running after your two month hiatus? I am going to run today. It’s nice out and I feel better. I didn’t run last week because I was sick, but I ran the week before that and my calf felt great. I am going to go nice and easy today and just run on effort! For core exercises, I like basic planks but also the Nike Training club app. There are 15 minute workouts on there. Or I do abs at the gym with weights. Or I say I went to pole class and did enough abs 🙂 We will get our running mojos back SOON!!!

  13. Oh girl, you know I have so much to say about this topic, as taking a step back from running has been my life for the last few months. Oh where to begin…

    Eventually I had to come to a point where I asked myself honestly: “if I’m not training for anything then why, exactly, is this ‘break’ making me so anxious?” I get the sense that you are like me in that you are a success-oriented person and having trouble letting go of the high you were on a few months ago (or, in my case, 6 months ago). I’ve learned that taking time off after an incredible race/training cycle is like still being in love with an ex: you can’t stop living in the past and comparing your life to what used to be. Even if you didn’t have a great final marathon, you had the training cycle of your life this summer and it’s probably just hard to accept that all of that is over now. We can’t be in peak shape all the time but that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye! And, also, you are probably just not used to not being in a state of training for something and it’s stressful to adjust to a new normal. Your process of trying to over-schedule your recovery time was likely your mind’s way of trying to normalize something that is unfamiliar to you (down time). Anyway, maybe I’m just projecting because all of this was the case with me, but maybe something similar is going on with you too.

    And, Boston training will be here before you know it so enjoy this time while it lasts! Whether or not our breaks will help our running next cycle remains to be seen but, at the end of the day, we needed it for some reason. You start a week before me so I’m so excited that we’ll be training buddies all winter!!

    1. Nope, you are so right about all of this! Thank you so much. My biggest fear is that I am being too relaxed (I literally took 20 days off of running. It was broken up with a week where I ran a few times, but it was 10 days off, run for a week, 10 days off). That’s a lot of time off, but I also spent a lot of time ON. I ran 5 miles yesterday and it was HARD. I believe it will come back fast, but it scares me that I screwed myself for this next round of training! All I can do is take it one day at a time and hope for the best, I suppose. I am so excited that we are going to be training buddies again SOON! Yay!!!! I am really excited to follow your training. You do such an incredible job of really listening to your body and trusting your instincts. Maybe that will wear off on me!

  14. I can totally relate – I took November off from running also! We all need a break after focusing much of our time on training. I started this holiday strength streak so I can get back into the habit of including strength training even while I’m running. Wow Boston training already – exciting year coming up for you!

  15. Totally been there. And I feel a bit that way myself. I feel awful guilt for it. But you know what? Every runner and every person needs some rest. You need both the mental and physical rest. You will come back refreshed and with a new bounce in your step.

    1. You are so right. It’s hard on your mind and your body to always be in training mode. I ran 5 miles yesterday and it felt so hard. It scared me! I guess we’ll see how the next few weeks go. I think after a few easy runs my legs will remember and I will have that bounce in my step! At least, I hope so!

  16. That’s exciting that Boston training starts soon! I feel like I’ve taken November off to, from everything. After being sidelined with a nasty sickness that took three weeks to clear up, I’m just starting to feel good about running. I punched out a great 7k last night and it felt so good to run fast again! I’m hoping to get back on track this December and re-build my base, strengthen my hamstring, glutes and core more and then figure out the races I really want to commit to in 2016.

    1. It sounds so encouraging to hear that you are having some good fast runs post sickness. I ran yesterday and it was not fast or too comfortable and I felt ROUGH! I also need to get motivated to get strength training for my lower body and my core again. I’m with you for committing to that in 2016!

  17. Glad you’re feeling refreshed. 🙂 Are you going to be trying the Hansen marathon method for Boston? I’m curious because I’m thinking of possibly going that route whenever I do end up signing up for a full next. Also, I love the new background on your blog! Do you change it every month?

    1. Thanks! I get so bored with my background of my blog so quickly that I usually change it every season, lol! Maybe I will start doing it monthly. That sounds fun. I am going to do Hansons for sure. I am a little worried because it does start off with some challenging runs so I need to really make sure I am back on track next week to get my legs ready! You should try it too – there are a few of us doing it for spring and it would be fun to all be training together 🙂

  18. Oh food and I have spent way too much time together the last month. Paleo/Atkins went out the window. I need to get back on track, partially to feel better and partially to figure how much my recent gain is due to new medication or just out of control snacking. Grrr. You worked like a bad ass all year, taking November super easy was probably something your body needed. Why can’t our minds and our bodies just agree on what needs to be done? 🙂

    1. Sister, I am so with you. I feel like garbage and I gained a few lbs. I’m cool with the lbs because I know Boston training starts soon, but not cool with the feeling like garbage. I need to clean up my diet like yesterday! But the holiday food…the cookies…the struggle is REAL!!!

  19. You continue to inspire me everyday! I love your perspective on running…and life.

    There’s nothing wrong with taking some time off to just relax and take things easy.

    I’m excited for your Boston training though. It’s going to very exciting! 🙂

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