Hi, remember me? A lot has happened in the two months since Boston, and I’m excited to kick off summer on a fresh, positive note– in life and in running.
First, I’m excited to share that I accepted a new job offer and begin tomorrow (!!!) While I’ve been kinda vague and will continue to keep things brief here, I lost my job back in November due to restructuring at my old company. It caught me completely off guard, but ended up being one of the greatest gifts. While being unemployed is never easy, I viewed it as a much-needed break to focus on the things that make me happy.
The largest part of this “journey”, if you will, was figuring out what I wanted to do next career-wise. I loved what I did at my old job for so long, but took a forced step back to examine what I liked and didn’t like. Which projects did I jump to tackle right away with ease, and which projects did I try to push off ’til the end of the day? I found I gravitated more towards branding strategy versus straight public relations, and I’m excited to have finally found the right fit at a fantastic agency. The new role allows me to shift my career path a bit, focused in the new direction I want to take. I’m nervous but excited for a new challenge and the next chapter!
The last 7+ months have gone by slowly and quickly at the same time. I’m so thankful to have had such an extended ‘pause’ to reset and refocus. This type of time off will (hopefully..) never happen again in my life, and I feel very, very fortunate that I had built up solid savings to enable me to enjoy the time without added financial stress.
Back in November, I spent a week in California with my sister and family for Thanksgiving before traveling to Thailand and Cambodia for 2.5 weeks in December with friends who were also laid off.
Excuse the cheese, but we did a lot of soul-searching on our trip. I credit our introspective conversations to really shaping and developing how I’ve directed my journey these last few months.
While in Thailand, I finished healing from a stress fracture and then got tendinitis in February. I ran the Boston marathon in April. I spent a long weekend in Austin TX. I escaped the polar vortex for another week in LA & Palm Springs. I slept for 8+ hours more nights than I have since college. I tried mid-day BodyPump, pilates and hot yoga classes. I enjoyed grocery shopping when Fairway was near-empty in the early afternoon. I discovered how to be extra frugal at Starbucks by ordering a (free) cup of hot water and bringing my own tea bags, while using their wi-fi. I cooked … a lot. I binged on Netflix.
I took advantage of actually making it to the start of happy hours! I celebrated turning 27. I started dating my boyfriend James and we took our first vacation to San Francisco and Sonoma together last month. I reunited with Karen and Kara (above) in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend and picked up right where we left off.
Through it all, I tried to say “yes” to as much as possible: staying out later, going to comedy shows, concerts, new restaurants, new neighborhoods, new experiences. I don’t have many regrets or things I’d change about the last few months, though perhaps I wish I traveled more. I’ll always want to travel more…
In addition to the great news above, I’ve officially kicked off Chicago Marathon training!
I only took about 1.5 weeks off from running and exercise after the Boston Marathon, which is the least amount of time I’ve ever taken after a race. Since I wasn’t able to run much leading up to Boston and wasn’t burn out, I didn’t really need a long mental or physical break like I usually do. I eased back into running slowly and gradually worked to build my mileage back up with easy base-building runs for the last 7 weeks before starting my training plan this past week.
I’m taking a slightly different approach to training this cycle, working with a new coach that put together a training plain tailored to my goal of sub-3:00 at Chicago. My friend/old teammate Ellen recommended him after he put together her plan for Chicago last year (with a 2:49 marathon debut), and I really like his coaching philosophy. I’ll share more as I get deeper into training, but it’s basically comprised of two workouts a week: one on tuesdays, and one folded into my Saturday long run.
I wanted to shift away from two workouts a week on Tues/Thurs + long run Sat, as I think it may have just been a bit too much for my body… hence my chronic injuries over the last two years. I love marathon-pace tempos and longer runs, so I’m really looking forward to making my 2nd workout of the week part of my long run. I hope it’ll play on my strengths and give me a ton of confidence going into race day.
I’m still running for CPTC but am just taking my training in a slightly different direction than the team-prescribed workouts. Aligning my plan so that I could still run with my friends most days of the week was very important to me! While I’ll likely be doing the bulk of my actual workouts alone, I hope to be able to sync up my easy days and portions of workouts where it makes sense.
What’s that quote, “if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got”? After being injured so frequently over the last 2 years and not running well, I figured it can’t hurt to try a different approach. Who knows— maybe I’ll still get injured or totally blow up during the race.. but it can’t hurt to try. I’m really excited to follow a plan that’s been specifically tailored to peak for my race, versus doing workouts and runs a bit more haphazardly as I have been..
Well, time to get on with my Sunday. Big day tomorrow! Thanks for hangin’ in here amidst my sparse updates, but I hope to share more frequent updates as I dive deeper into the first few weeks of training. 111 days to go…