Observations from the six week break:
1. I hate not getting out for a morning run.
2. Even though the scale didn't reflect any more than the usual +/- 2lbs, I felt flabby and crappy and self-conscious for that entire six weeks.
3. I occasionally did like sleeping in, especially when HK had nowhere to run off to, either.
4. Walking is no substitute for running, fitness-wise.
5. The elliptical trainer is no substitute for running, fitness-wise.
Observations from the first five weeks back:
1. The first week back sucked. It felt like I'd never exercised before. See 4 & 5, above.
2. The second week back didn't suck any less.
3. The third week back, I finally started to feel like my body remembered proper run mechanics.
4. The fourth week back, my ankle got sore, like it usually does at 75+ miles, not at 40 miles. Even my ankle was confused. I could only run every other day.
5. The fifth week back, I'm supposed to start speed work, but I still can't run sub-8 comfortably, and I'm battling to just run consistently and not hurt myself.
6. I am happiest when running 6-7 days/week.
7. The sunrises are gorgeous. The sunsets, too. Vog makes everything especially beautiful.
8. My body immediately dropped weight, quickly. But seems to be evening out back to normal.
Clearly, run time-off isn't like that whole 9 months up and 9 months back down they say about pregnancy. I'm in the fifth week back, and I'm not even half the runner I was before I quit. Races are coming up. I have a short race (8 miles at the Great Aloha Run) on February 18 that I would be embarrased to race, because there's no speed or fitness here. I will either skip it, or perhaps keep HK company, since I made him do it. I have a half marathon on March 10 that I'm committed to, and already I know I can't do what I did last year (1:25 or 1:26, I think). That's just over 4 weeks away, and I'm not confident I can run 13 miles. I have the Boston Marathon in less than ten weeks, and that doesn't seem like nearly enough time. If I could ramp up fast, maybe I could be prepared. But I can't, because my body thinks that I'm running huge volume as it is, and is complaining about consecutive running days. So double-days are probably out.
Experiment over, and lesson learned: purposeful and extreme off season? Never again. Maybe it works for the pros, but it doesn't work for me. Next December, I'll drop speed and tempo for the month, but not running.
Look, I ran into the other mother runner recently. Actually, we see each other often and run together as much as we can, we just don't see her much around the blog anymore. She owes us some news. Sometimes we accidentally run into each other dressed like twins and it's a little weird:
Look at him, blissfully unaware that I signed him up for the Great Aloha Run.