Zero Month is (finally) coming to a close, and I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with how I handled it. Sure it took daily reminders that “this is GOOD for you” and “you’ll be STRONGER in 2013” and “just let the fatness happen”, but reveling in full laziness and soaking up all the butter and booze it came with was more fun than expected.
Fun when I forgot about my rapidly growing double chin to load up on Christmas cookies or hit up another fried-food-and-beer gathering after work. Fun when I ignored visions of the pain of getting back in shape and slept in every morning. Fun having a wide-open schedule and the freedom to make plans on the fly. Fun having time for friends and family and sleep and Christmas Ale to my heart & liver’s content.
(In case you weren’t aware those are the only things higher than working out on my priorities pyramid, which for your viewing pleasure (and to break up this word-heavy post) I made this little diagram to illustrate… )
I will admit there were some embarrassing “I HAVEN’T WORKED OUT IN ___ DAYS!!” meltdowns here and there, usually following a cookie binge or having to last-minute scramble for a new outfit because Hiii Muffin Top is not on the menu for tonight’s party, but I managed to keep my shit together (for the most part) the rest of the time.
What may have gone forgotten or maybe I never really talked about it, is that Zero Month was about more than physical healing. Yes the tib-strain needed rest, and the pre-melanoma sutures needed time to fuse non-sweaty skin back together. But more than anything else I’ve learned, my soul and head needed a break.
Honestly, it took a while to feel like I MISSED running. I’d lost the joy training used to provide – hard work that used to invigorate and motivate me slowly became just… WORK – and the easy “fun” runs required being forced into my Brooks and drug out the door.
Burnout, party of one!
want need that hunger (fat joke) back before jumping into another big goal year. I’ve said it before and you can put it on my grave, I’m not a “happy runner”, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my workouts. There’s an obvious difference between giddy smiling through every step and masochistically looking forward to a puke-inducing interval sesh, but it’s not to say one camp “LOVES” running more.
I know the love of the sport still burns inside me, it just needed some time to rekindle. Stifle a flame and it’ll slowly peter out. Breathe fresh air into it and you’ll set the trees above ablaze with an alarmingly aggressive bonfire and have the fire department at your door.
confession– this is a real Corntown photo but I wasn’t there. stole it from L’s facebook
With the green light to return to running just around the corner, I’ve shifted my focus to attempt reviving that flame; from wallowing in the bummer ending to 2012 to reliving the great lessons and successes from the year. Falling in love with speed workouts, discovering my long-lost competitive spirit, and realizing a hidden well of untapped talent thanks to my fast and encouraging friends. Letting myself honestly admit how far I’ve come since my Sub4 days and how I’ve grown as a runner.
And dreaming of all that’s left to be discovered.
I’m feeling that itch to lace up again, drawing up plans, visioning cresting big hills (without wanting to throw myself off the edge), and daring to claim big dreams.
2013 is going to be a good year. I’m not sure where my goals stand or how this start-from-scratch return to running might shape them, but I’m excited to see what comes. Long, short, fast, or… faster.
Better go dust off the Garmin…