If miles were run but they weren’t blogged about, did they actually happen?


I didn’t really know how to start this post. Just diving right in seemed kind of lame. Like oh hey guys, sooooo, this is what I did last week…and the past eight months…

Yesterday, I posted a picture of my new running kicks, and I was overwhelmed by some comments and messages I received from some of you who missed hearing from me. It truly warmed my heart and motivated me to get a post out there. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write – I have – but I just didn’t know what to say. First of all, I am really really really sorry I left you all hanging! That was pretty shitty of me.

Usually when you get radio silence from me, it’s because I’m injured and pissed off. This is not exactly the case this time. I came off of my Kentucky race on a HUGE high. I thought I was “recovering well” because I took like a week off and then started running some “easy, low, mileage”. I signed up for “just a few short distance, local races” and jumped almost immediately back into round two of Hansons in June. A month away from structured training was enough, right?

Looking back, the months that followed don’t surprise me in the slightest. I spent two years chasing a marathon PR and doing whatever I needed to do to make it happen. I suffered through countless injuries and heartbreak. I hired a coach, and then I stopped working with him when I got slower. I tried my hand at writing my own training plan before finally finding my jam with Hansons, which was an integral part of my success last year. It not only taught me to push limits and run harder than I ever have before, but it taught me to back off and understand what it truly means to run easy. This lesson alone has become invaluable to me this time around.

The catalyst for this whole hiatus was in early July. I ran the Belmar 5 Mile, and ran a PR for the distance (I had to look it up, 32:04) but I could have run it much faster. I felt outstanding, but my stupid calf cramped. If you’ve followed my blog for long enough, you’ll know that I’ve battled calf strains before and it never usually ends well. Luckily, a cramp was as far as it went physically, but it triggered some serious mental burnout.

For the first time in who knows how long, I started skipping runs. It was too hot, too hilly, too fast, too early, too late, too busy, too <insert any excuse here>. School started and I was in a wedding in the middle of September. I didn’t feel like juggling it all, so I just…didn’t.  I wasn’t logging zero mile weeks, but it was a big milestone if I racked up over 20 miles in any given week. Coming off of 85 mile weeks at the end of my previous cycle, this felt strange…and really, really nice. I didn’t miss it, even when all of my friends started posting about their fall races all over social media. I was hitting the pole studio almost every single day, so between running intermittently and frequent strength training, I felt good.

In the beginning of October, it dawned on me that I was scheduled to pace a 1:45 half marathon in early November. I spent the month of October “training” for this – running 3-5 miles a few days during the week, and a long run on the weekends. Race day came, I got the job done and had a blast. I went right back to my newfound slacker ways the next day, even though my intentions were to start ramping up my mileage in preparation for Boston training. As the weeks of minimal mileage passed by, I wondered if I would ever feel like training for a race again. The excuses to not run continued to pile up – including a bout with strep throat over Christmas week. I want to say I felt worried about my lack of running, but really I was more worried about my lack of interest in it.

But then, something happened. I still don’t know what it was. One morning, I packed my gym bag with running clothes, and somehow packed my lunch box full of healthy food, and it began. I don’t know what shifted my mentality, but since January 2nd, I’ve been “back”.

At first, it was a struggle. Every mile hurt. Every workout hurt even more. I took the focus off my pace and just focused on getting my endurance back. I started following the Hanson’s Advanced plan, but I’ve been much more casual about it. I don’t skip runs, but I’m not as neurotic as I was last year. I couldn’t tell you how many miles I ran last week – I haven’t been tallying them. I couldn’t tell you exact times from my mile repeats from last week, but last year I knew each one by heart, down to the second. I’ve been following it, taking it one day at a time. One mile at a time. One step at a time. And you know what? It seems like it’s working. I ran a 10K a few weeks ago and my time was almost exactly the same as last year (four seconds off), but I know I felt way better than I felt running that same race last year.

As far as my goal for Boston…well, of COURSE I want to nail a sub-3 marathon. Physically, my legs feel fresh and rested but my extended vacation from running left my endurance a bit shot. I mostly feel that my relaxed mentality towards my training means expecting to run a sub-3 marathon is both unrealistic and undeserved. People pour their heart, soul, sweat and tears into achieving this feat – the way I poured myself into my training last year. Physically, I am going through the motions but mentally, I haven’t been gearing up for such a big hurdle. My primary goal for Boston will be to run a PR for the course (sub 3:11), should all of the stars align that day.

So what else? In terms of our farmhouse renovations, we finished our kitchen and just finished our new pantry, and are almost finished with the laundry room. It’s been an exciting project, and having a new kitchen means I’ve been spending lots of time cooking. I’m back to my Paleo-ish ways for now, but I’ve incorporated some carbs (particularly since my recent obsession with homemade sourdough everything).

I got my very own pole for Christmas (you had to see that one coming from a mile away) and I’m currently training for the Atlantic Pole Championships. I will be competing in the “Championship Level 4 Senior Category” (apparently, being 33 is old in pole dancer years!). It’s the highest category you can compete in without competing in the professional division, which scares the absolute SHIT out of me. Compared to the little local pole-athon I participated in last year, this is a pretty big deal. My sister in laws are competing together in the doubles category. The competition is in DC on April 1-2. I compete on April 2nd! So, you know. 15 days before Boston. (What the actual fuck was I thinking.)

I probably won’t post too much on here about the competition until after it’s over because I don’t want to post too much about my routine (do you sense my competitive nature?). But I will tell you that I LOVE my song, and love what I’ve choreographed. The problem now is actually getting through the whole thing without stopping. The struggle is so real.  I am really excited, and I truly hope I can do it well because it is something that I’m really proud of and excited to share.

Sooooo…what about you guys? How are you? What are you training for?! Update me on your lives!!! I missed you!


51 Replies to “If miles were run but they weren’t blogged about, did they actually happen?”

  1. Allison!!!! Hiiiiii! I’ve seen your pole progress on Facebook and Instagram so I am absolutely sure that you will have a great routine for the championship. It sounds like you really needed the break from running, both physically and mentally.

    I had sort of a similar fall. No injury scares, but I started graduate school and 2 classes + working full time + training was just too much. I cut way, way back on my mileage (60 miles in November and a whopping 28 in December) and started doing yoga instead. It was just more relaxing for my stressed out head space. I started rebuilding in January and just signed up for marathon #2. Which is not until January 2018, so I have lots of time, which is good because I’ve been tossing around the idea of aiming for a BQ and my endurance is pretty crap right now.

    1. Hi Heather!!!! I totally know how you feel with having an alternative method for stress relief. That was what pole was doing for me! So excited to see that you signed up for another Marathon – which one did you sign up for? I have lots of catching up to do 🙂 You endurance will come back quickly!!!

  2. Yay!!!!! You’re back!!!!! I missed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instagram isn’t quite the same.

    I figured you were taking a well-deserved break, but I was hoping that one day you’d come back to blogging. I KNEW you’d do another pole competition. You said you were one and done, but I told you not to count on it.

    I’m currently training for a sub-23 5K right now. Hoping that this comes together by next month, otherwise I’ll be chasing this goal until I get it.

    1. Hi Elle!!!! I missed you too!! But I have loved following you on Instagram. You and Ben are always doing something so fun! I do remember you telling me that you thought I would do another pole competition. I was certain you were wrong…haha! You totally have a sub 23 minute 5K in you. Do you have a target race on the schedule next month to give it a go?

  3. You’re back! I sometimes lament the loss of legit running blogs, and always loved reading yours for the ins and outs of marathon training. Your work ethic really inspires me and I hope to be able to do the same one day! I figured maybe you took a break after your big spring season, but hoped when I saw your Instagram post about Boston training that maybe you’d be back.

    So exciting about the pole competition! Can’t wait to see it at the end – such an impressive hobby!

    I had hip surgery back in August for labral tears, mostly recovered from that, and now have a stress reaction in my calf. Been battling injury after injury, but still hoping to get back and chase those fast times like you are!

    Welcome back! 🙂

    1. Hi Susan! I totally just needed a break from all things running. I remember that you had hip surgery in the summer and was enjoying following your progress on Instagram. I am soooo sorry to hear it has been a rocky road since then. I know you will be back to chasing fast times SOON – you must feel like a bull in a china closet, ready to go! Sending you lots of healing vibes!!

  4. You just made my day by posting this! I’ve been wondering where you’re running went after last spring. As for me I’ve been conditioning myself for the St Luke’s 1/2 again this year. Looking forward to your posts as you prep for Boston, you’ve always been a running inspiration for me.

  5. So thrilled to see you pop up in my reader because I missed your posts so much! I didn’t know if you were burned out on running or burned out on blogging. I always see your pole posts and they are incredible, so I kind of figured you’d taken up another sport as your primary activity and didn’t want to blog about it on the same as your running blog, maybe?

    As for me, I set a half PR a few weeks ago, then hurt my ankle and am now cross training and rehabbing it. This is my second injury in 3 months, and I have had about 5 quality training weeks in there. I am cross training a LOT but also resting a bit. It’s nice not to have the mental pressure of workouts, but man I enjoy training!

    Do show pictures of the renovations, the training, and anything you want to share about pole. I’m still here and love reading :).

    1. I think I was burned out on both! I need to get back into a routine of reading and posting because I miss it all so much. I have had a pretty busy year with work, making it harder for me to get out regular posts but no excuse not to stay in the loop here. I think I saw the half PR on Instagram (congrats!) and read about your injury too. What the heck!!! Heal fast, my friend!!!

  6. Allison! I’m so glad to see a post from you, especially since I’m working on a Wednesday Workout Music post today. 🙂 I hope to read more from you soon! Your pole fitness is so inspiring to me and I love seeing your beautiful photos. I’m glad to hear you’re running again, and not tallying mileage. I kept track of every single mile I ran last year, because I felt like I had to, because that’s what “serious runners” do, and it was exhausting. Here’s to a relaxed, healthy, happy new start to running!

    1. Ahhh love workout music posts so much! If I can get one out, I want to do one this week 🙂 It truly is exhausting trying to keep track of it all. I am going to try to get a workout recap post up for last week but I don’t think it will be quite as in depth as it used to be! Too stressful!!!

  7. Great to read your blog again! I truly missed reading about your running adventures, workouts and races. It’s very inspiring what you can achieve and how much hard work you put in it.
    I completely understand for a need to take a break, even from something one loves so much. It’s good for a body and mind. I’m sure you didn’t loose that much of your endurance or speed ( recent 10 K is a proof of that ). You will rock Boston and break your PR there. There is no reason you shouldn’t be ready for it. Good luck with training and I hope we’ll read about it some more soon 🙂
    As for me, this spring my main goal is St Lukes half. In the fall I’ll do a marathon and maybe few more 5Ks sprinkled in between. Maybe we’ll meet at one of the races again. It’s been too long.

  8. Of course the miles happened. 🙂 Glad to see you back! The break will definitely help in the long run. Even if you don’t make and meet mega goals the first part of this year, you recovered properly from your efforts last year and may even surprise yourself at Boston!
    And it’s so cool you have your own pole now… you can practice at odd hours of the day or night… whenever you want to try out a move.
    I myself am striving for a sub-3:30 in April. No pole dancing for me.

    1. Ohhhh you can definitely get that sub 3:30!!! Can’t wait to get caught up and read all about your training. I’m not sure that I will hit any milestones myself this spring, but I feel good about where I am, and mentally so refreshed!

  9. So great to see your post. I was JUST thinking about you and hoping things were going well. I actually LOVE that you took some time to just run when you felt like it. We all need that. I’m kind of in that situation right now. Not perfect timing, but you’ve got to listen to your body and your head. So great to see you back. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    1. Sarah!! How are you! How is your beautiful family – Rock and Mary? I needed the rest so badly, but I certainly missed hearing what everyone has been up to. Lots of catching up to do. And hey, if you need time to do your thing and run what your body wants to run – I am a huge advocate of that 🙂

  10. Welcome back, lady! I’ve been thinking about you recently, hoping all was well. Glad to hear you took the break you needed. I’m currently on a complete running hiatus (haven’t run since November), but I started doing CrossFit and LOVE it, so whatever. Your interests shift, your focus shifts… It’s life. I’m glad you’re enjoying pole so much–I love all your pictures and video! A pole studio FINALLY opened near me, and I’m trying to work up the courage to go.

    1. I STILL need to get into a CrossFit gym one of these days! Everyone loves it, and I need to try it. I think that what CrossFit has become for you is what pole was for me. Like you said – interests shift. Speaking of- you HAVE TO TRY THE STUDIO NEAR YOU!!! That is so freaking exciting. And then of course report back to me what you think of it!!! 🙂

  11. Oh yeah! We guilted you into posting!! bahaha! No seriously, I’ve missed your posts. Hmmm, in the past 8 months I’ve missed another BQ attempt, and actually finished in 4:00:00 exactly, instead of the hopeful 3:52. Wa wa wa. Dang, that sucked. Got totally burned out on marathon training, and now just thinking if I ever want to run a marathon again. Which, is totally ok really 🙂 Girl, you’ve got some awesome pole moves. Such strength! I’m glad you are enjoying it! We will be in Boston again too. Maybe our paths will cross!

    1. Awww thank you Lisa!! I’ve truly missed you guys, just one of those things where I keep saying I am going to get back on the blog train and then keep putting it off. My goal this week is to get a post or two out and get back on reading everyone’s blogs! Wooohoo!! You will hit that 3:52, sista – I know it! But I know what you mean – I really wondered for awhile if I was going to ever run another race again. But then one day, I realized I missed it 🙂 I hope we can meet up in BOSTON!

  12. Welcome back, missed your posts! You had such an intense year last year training, I get it. I still feel a little burned out from marathon training last year and I ran no where near as many miles as you did. Not even close. I should be training for some upcoming half marathons but I’m having trouble getting on the bandwagon. Oops! Glad to hear all is well!

    1. Hey hey!!! I really think that is the best way to describe how I felt. Burned out. You will get back on the bandwagon when you are ready – don’t rush it! I tried rushing it and that was really what did me in. When are your half marathons?? Your body will know what to do!!!

  13. I’ve been thinking of you my friend and following your photos of IG. I think we all go through those lulls and I’m glad you aren’t injured and just took time for you.

    1. Yes, you did the RW Half when I was smack in the middle of my low point and I missed out on seeing you!!! UGH! Looking forward to getting caught up on your posts – you have been straight killing it these days, from what I see on Instagram!!!!! Your husband too – did I just see that he nailed a sub 3 marathon?!?!!? In ridiculous temps??

  14. Yay!!! You’re back! I’ve been loving seeing all of your pole fitness posts on instagram. You are so incredible. My training lately sounds a lot like yours was. I’m having a lot of trouble with motivation, but I think once my life settles down a bit, running will get easier. Can’t wait to read more of your posts!!!

    1. That damn motivation gets us every time!!! I really had zero motivation and wondered if it would ever come back. I’m glad it did. You’ll find yours again too. Excited to get caught up on some posts this week and see what you’ve been up to!!! 🙂

  15. Yay! I’ve missed your blog. I’ve pretty much dropped off the face of the blogging universe myself. Living more than writing, I guess. But I will probably get back to blogging this summer when I start training for my first marathon, Chicago! Ack!

    1. I want to say I was also living more than writing, haha! Except for me, I was being lazyyyyy and unmotivated. Here’s to a fresh start, though. And OMG CHICAGO – girllll that was one of my favorites!!!!! Eeeeee so exciting!!!

  16. So glad that you’re back!!! I too struggled with a “running slump” but I moved/started a new job/recently got my groove back. My next big thing will be the New York City Marathon. My friend and I are running together and fundraising for Team for Kids…exciting but intimidating!

  17. You’re back! I missed your blog! Please keep it up! I have taken time off under various circumstances, and while returning always took more time than I expected, it’s also always been a necessary break. After my second hip surgery, I was really excited to return to running until…suddenly I wasn’t. The amount of work I had to put in for recovery after two surgeries in a row had just worn me out. I did the same thing you did – had a bunch of excuses handy – until I finally just admitted that I needed a break. I think physically it wasn’t necessary, but mentally I needed to do something else to avoid losing interest in running altogether.

    1. I think once I told myself it was okay to just take a break, I calmed down a lot. Sometimes you need to just give yourself permission to just do what your body needs! I can’t imagine how tough it would be to come back from surgery TWICE. Damn!!!! I am so excited to be back. Planning to get caught up on everyone’s lives this week and hopefully get a few posts out too!!!

  18. I have missed you!!! I’ve enjoyed following your pole escapades on Instagram but I’m glad to see this post. I know how to feels to just need some time off; I’ve felt that same worry of “will I ever want to run again? Why am I so blasé about it all?” I’m glad you’re back and feeling running again!! Welcome back!!

  19. Oh my gosh, I am so glad you commented on my blog post so I knew you were back!! I have missed your posts! I totally get it about needing a break though. Between blogging and running high mileage weeks, it gets to be a lot sometimes. So do you have a marathon in mind after Boston? Is sub-3 something you want to go after this year or are you still enjoying the feeling of being more relaxed with your training? Can’t wait to keep reading about your running/pole adventures!

    1. Aw, thanks Nora! I missed you guys too! I was just so burned out from running that I really needed some down time. I think I’m going to run the Shires of Vermont Marathon in May, because it’s near our lake house. I’m thinking I will try for sub-3 in the fall if the summer goes well! If I start to feel burned out like last summer, I want to not take a huge break like I did this year but just run lots of long, slow miles to build endurance, and then bring in the speed again and see if that helps get me closer to that sub 3!

  20. Tooootally how I felt after NYC (and I wasn’t even as fast or as “neurotic” as you, lol) but training for Phoenix was NOT AT ALL like New York. I was tired and while I still liked running, I didn’t care about miles or plans or paces or anything. I ran 4, maybe 5 times a week for Phoenix training. I do think that that more relaxed mentality helped me PR even though like you said, in a way I felt a little bad about half-assing and still PRing. But I think my fitness from NYC had a lot to do with it.

    Anyway, again, I’m so glad you’re back. You are a big reason why my running has changed and I need you as I attempt my first BQ in September! ❤

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