Get into the groove? Gotta find the groove first!

21 Dec

Usually, when I get sick, I can bounce back fairly quickly once I recover.  The recovery itself may take time – I had a particularly nasty bout of bronchitis early this year that grounded me for about a month – but once I’m on my feet, I’m pretty solid.  This time round I seem to be having a much harder time of it.

Yesterday I wrote about my run on Sunday, which was really tough.  I had more reasons for it then, though. I mean, I was hungover and getting over this bronchitis. I thought that I would feel better after this morning’s run for sure. So confident was I that I bounded out of bed at five in the morning, quickly got dressed, and headed over to the gym.  There I got onto a treadmill and did a twenty minute hill workout.  And it was TOUGH.

Granted, I always pick the higher-level settings when I’m doing treadmill workouts, but it’s always a bit of a breeze.  Running on the treadmill is a lot easier (albeit a lot more boring) than running on roads or trails.  Usually I can knock off a thirty of forty minute workout and still have enough reserves left in the tank for a weights workout or a go on the rowing machine.

But this morning, after twenty minutes, I was done. D-O-N-E. I completed the workout, and I was even able to up my speed a little bit at the end, but afterwards there was nothing left in the tank at all. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t feel bad.  I wasn’t on the verge of collapsing or anything like that. I was simply not capable of doing more.  It was a somewhat dismaying feeling.  I mean, c’mon.  I’m a distance runner.  I’ve done three half-marathons in the last fifteen months and I have two more planned for 2011. I’m used to going out and running ten miles before breakfast on Sundays.  And now I cannot even cope with more than a paltry twenty minute hill workout on the treadmill?  What is that about?

There are a number of explanations, of course, the biggest one being that this bronchitis did knock the stuffing out of me a bit, and it may take a couple of runs for me to find my groove.  The enforced three-week break from running won’t have helped either.  Nor will the lack of sleep.  I have been going to bed far too late over the last little while, and my sleep deficit is just frightening.  And then there’s the fact that my nutrition leaves much to be desired.  It’s not bad bad, but I’m definitely not following the kind of diet a runner should.

These are all things that can be fixed.  It’s just up to me to make the choice to follow better eating habits, take my vitamins (that’s one thing I have been doing better at), and get to bed at a reasonable hour.  And the rest should follow.  These choices are especially important if I am going to achieve my goal of breaking two hours for the half-marathon in 2011.

It’s just that I hate this feeling of not being able to push my body as far as I want it to go.  I need to break out of this funk…

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