Before I started training for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, my typical week looked like this: Monday-Wednesday-Friday was a three mile run. Tuesday-Thursday was strength training. And generally, two or three days climbing, either after work or on weekends or both. Often I would do a hike on the weekends, the duration of which would depend on whether I had my kids with me or not.
Now? Four days a week, I run. The runs vary in length, but the shortest is four miles. I climb once or twice a week, because I can’t not climb. I don’t hike. I don’t strength train. It’s not just a matter of time. My legs are tired. I am arguably less active now than I was before I started race training. (Yet somehow eating more? It’s a mystery.)
It turns out you can’t have it all. I don’t know why I thought I could sneak in extra runs and longer runs without sacrificing something else. I’m super frustrated with how tired I was getting during climbing. Instead of six or seven climbs, I do three or four–but they’re harder, so there’s that, too. I’m seeing less muscle definition in my arms, and I’m not happy about that.
There are so many people out there who run much further than I do. People doing halfs and full marathons. People doing ultras. What’s the secret? Do you just let everything else go and focus solely on running? Are you happy with that?
The thing is, I like how much my running stamina has improved. I’m actually relieved when I see a day with “just” five miles on the schedule, and I never thought I’d say that. I don’t want to give that up, either. Why can’t I have both without quitting my day job?
For now, I remind myself that training isn’t forever. The race is over April 2. On April 8, you can find me outside, climbing.