Why Doesn’t This Running Project Seem To Be Going As Well As My 52 Half Marathons?

Friday, April 21st, 2017

[Yet another backdated post (we’re getting there, my friends!), that seems pretty relevant this week, as I attempt 7 half marathons in as many days.]

I just don’t understand.

This project is going, sure. It’s happening. But it *feels* harder. I feel more exhausted. My body hurts more easily.

And so, it’s like, “well, what are the differences, then?”

Well, there’s the one that seems obvious to jump to, which is that the 52 half marathons was 5 years ago. Soooooo maybe bodies age? But also, like COME ON, MAN. I’m still in my freaking 20s. How much is a body supposed to age in five years (especially when you’re still a relatively young age overall). I mean, isn’t the peak for women’s long-distance runners supposed to be mid-thirties? I should be hurdling *forward* continuing up *toward* my peak as I get older. I’ve got yeeeeeeears before I’m supposed to hit my “peak marathoning potential,” I think?(??)

Also, we could say I was just fitter in general back then… which is… yes and not true, I think. (If that makes sense – it kind of doesn’t feel like “yes and no true” is a real phrase, ┬áit anyway)… yes, I was doing 5ks and 10ks every weekend for probably a couple of months before I headed out for the 52 half marathons in 52 weeks. So, I was maybe a little better trained in consistency.

As I’ve said, part of the reason I wanted to do this 882 Project was to force myself to get out and workout. I’ve had a lot of anxiety of leaving the house or being in workout classes, and I have been gaining weight. And I can’t let it get out of control. So, I would say I had basically zero consistency.

But. I’d also done a full marathon just in December (so, not all thaaaat long before starting this project). And there’s no *way* I would’ve made it trough a full marathon at the beginning of my 52 half marathons in 52 weeks – I barely made it through my first halfs! So, while I don’t have the consistency of last time, I have potentially so much more comfort with distance. Shouldn’t that technically be helping?

Also, when I was doing the 52 in 52, I was on hiatus for much of the first 1/3 of the project. So, I didn’t have *anything* to worry about other than running the races. I could sleep and rest as much as I wanted (and sometimes I would spend a whole day just chilling in a hotel room!). Whereas, in the beginning of this, I was working slightly crazy-hours – and part of the reason they were slightly crazy is because I’d so often be trying to fit a 45-hour workweek into 3 or 4 days to accommodate all my traveling. So, that might be part of it too…

Also, there’s *so* much more traveling this time around (so much more). That’s partially because I don’t live full-time in sunny California anymore with a billion races all year long, and partly for a number of other reasons. But anyway, I used to do a *ton* within a drivable range of mainly So-Cal, extended a bit into the southwest in general (and NoCal sometimes) – all very accessible.

(I did travel around more while I was off work, but it would mainly be go, enjoy a race, spend days hanging out, go to a neighboring city, etc. So, while it seemed like I was “traveling” a lot, ’cause I wasn’t home for something like two months straight, I wasn’t changing time zones a bunch or changing currency, or just a bunch of plane rides.

And I LOVE plane rides. And I’m always like “I don’t know how much I ‘believe’ in jet lag, when it kind of feels ‘excuse-y’.”

But now that I’m on a plane so many weekends, I’m like, “I’m tired!”

It also could potentially (and this is a little grasp-y at straws-y) be in part because I was fully moved in to my LA apartment when I started. Whereas, I still had my storage unit for my somewhat-new New York place at the beginning of this. So I felt the weight of errands and things that needed to be moved or bought and hung, etc. It wasn’t like I got to nestle in the bed I loved and come home to a real home. I was always coming back to a work-in-progress.

Also, weight could be a factor. While I am smaller and weigh less than I did during the other project, that was weight I was used to. I’d had it since all my time in the hospital (so, for over a couple of years). Still wasn’t great. Still didn’t like it. But I was used to that being how I moved.

Whereas this time, the extra pounds I’m carrying – even if they’re not as many – are way more recent! I’ve been gaining weight really for the most part since September when I deferred school again. It felt like I could not catch a break to save my life – and I got more depressed, more isolated, and weirdly more scared-ish of New York, it felt.

And so, I feel every extra pound. I had gotten so used to feeling like a skinny-ish person when I ran, that now all my bones and joints and everything are like “WHAT HAPPENED?! WHERE DID THIS COME FROM AND WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US?!”

And as much as I hate to land on that reason, to me, it seems like it is probably the one. I think that’s the biggest difference, and also the reason I seem to be struggling the most.

I also know if I don’t keep working out, I’m never gonna lose that weight. But jumping into the deep end like this was potentially problematic on my end.

I’m still gonna finish and everything, but goodness, I feel like I’m falling apart while doing so.

2 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t This Running Project Seem To Be Going As Well As My 52 Half Marathons?

  1. Kevin

    Wasn’t the original 52-in-52 project a kind of celebration of your heart working well and not being stuck in a hospital bed or forced to be at low-level activity? I imagine that novelty factor has worn off by now.

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