Is This Normal?

Do you pick the rocks out of your shoes?

I don't know if this is normal behavior!

I don't pick them out of any of my other shoes, but those shoes aren't my running shoes!

It's a funny thing really, but I like them all out, and will pick them out after every run!

Sometimes I even do it during a run!

There have been times I've stepped on a rock and it has stuck out of my shoe enough that I could tell I wasn't hitting the ground completely flat.  Really, I tell you!  I stopped and picked it out!

So?  Normal?  Not normal?

I was looking back over my Garmin record and I ran outside 6 times in January, 0 times in February, and am back up to 6 times in March.  

February was brutal!  It was below zero most of the month!

So, I've felt frustrated.  I've felt slow.  This month I've been trying to keep calm and just run.  Don't worry about pace, it'll all be back in a couple of weeks... as I come out of hibernation!

Two weeks ago this is what my week looked like: 

Mon: 6 outside

Tue: 4 treadmill

Wed: 5 hill workout tml

Thur: x-train

Fri: long run... 12 outside

Sat: 3 tml

This long run was my first of the season.  I'd run 10 on the treadmill in Feb. but this was my first outside this season.

I felt slow.  The middle six miles felt fine, the first 4 felt off, like I didn't have a rhythm.  

Mile 1 isn't on here because I'd stopped to talk to my neighbor, until Garmin started beeping at me.  I got going, but forgot to resume myself!  I restarted at mile 2.  

The last 2 felt hard on my legs.  But the middle six were good.  It felt good to run up, and down a hill.

I try, really do, to be okay with seeing slower times, on my Garmin.

I tell myself things like: This run is about distance, not time.  It will take you a bit to speed up, you haven't been running through the winter.  Just enjoy.  This is not about time.  You know, talking myself off the ledge.  Running is about more than a time.

But, if I'm being honest it is downright frustrating!  I hate it!  I don't like seeing 8:55!  And I don't like that that pace felt hard!  But my time is a reflection of my training.

It just means my body is not there yet!  It takes time to condition it.

It really does come back quickly, when I am consistent.

This past week I ran mostly outside: 16-21

Tue: 5 hills tml

Wed: rest

This past week I've also been sick. It has hard to breath, it's tough coordinating too much snot, spitting, breathing... :)

Saturday I felt a little discouraged.  I'm tired of cloudy days.  They are bringing me down!

The sun peeked out in the evening and I decided to run 8 miles.  I'm so glad I went!  I needed that run.

My stride felt good.  It was easier to breathe.  I felt 'in front' of my running and it felt easier!  AND, I felt a bit more like myself each time I looked down at my watch!  I needed that.  Totally.

(mile 8: cool down)

I still have a ways to go, but the 7's are good.  The 7's are where I want to be!

I don't know why I do this to myself every year!  I 'slow down' my off season, to a near stop!  Then I have to get back to where I was.  If I'd just stay at it I wouldn't have to make a come-back.  I guess that would defeat the whole purpose of 'off season'.  I don't know...  Just. Keep. Running.