So, I’ve re-entered the wild and wonderful world of CrossFit competition training. Which is always a wise thing to do when you’re training for about one million running races. Since The Unfortunate Incident of the Runner in the Night (please read this book if you have not), me and running have been kind of “on a break”. (It’s not you…it’s me.) I’ve had a few things nagging me knee and hip-wise and my work schedule has changed approximately a metric shit-ton in the last three weeks or so, which has totally ruined my ability to sleep or function with any kind of reliability. Tomorrow I have to go in to work for a training on “Operational Stress Control” (hilarious!) – on my day off at 1000 when I would otherwise be running, jumping, climbing trees or whatever. Coming in for Navy training on my day off makes my levels of “operational stress” jump off the charts. Luckily for my stress levels, I go back to night shift semi-permanently (at least a month?) which means I can hopefully get back to running somewhat steadily.
In general I find CrossFit to be about 97% less stressful to me than running. Most people would probably find this kind of weird considering the wonky and cultish culture of foaming-at-the-mouth competitiveness CrossFit seems to have the reputation for these days (I’ll let you in on a secret: just because you read something on the internet does not mean it’s true). It’s probably because I feel like I’m generally better at CrossFit than running (looking at me this is no surprise – I’m a little hefty to be a runner but can pick stuff up like a champ!) so I’m less stressed due to a generally increased confidence level. I still love running, but sometimes I get a bit neurotic about paces and this and that. It’s bizarre how I can go to CrossFit and fail a lift and shrug it off as “just not my day” but if I run below a certain pace I get all ornery and beat myself up about it. I don’t really like to get all neurotic about running, so hence the break.
I didn’t stop running for two weeks, but I definitely just ran slightly leisurely…and without the watch. There is no such thing as a break from running where I still wear the Garmin. Not ever ever. I’m sure all this leisurely running isn’t doing wonders for my future marathon, but it’s not like I’m BQ’ing or anything anyways – with birthday cake and Nutella at the aid stations we should all probably just forget about any dreams of elite speeds occurring at this race. I still want to do my best, so don’t be mistaken about that. It was more important to me to get my brain and body right for the future. I did this a few different ways:
- Picked up heavy shit.
- Put it down.
- Foam rolled like it was my freaking job.
- Worked on hip and ankle mobility like it was my freaking job.
- Went shit-nuts seeing my favorite band live:
Among other things, most of which involved chocolate. And today, Thai sticky rice with mango. If you have not had this amazing Thai dessert, please put your pants on immediately and head to your local Thai place to consume this heavenly dessert ahora mismo. It’s just plain good for your soul.
Anyways, so CrossFit has eaten my life for the past few weeks, as I mentioned. The past three weeks have almost literally been: wake up, eat (maybe), work, work overtime (that’s not a real thing in the military), go home, change, CrossFit, eat, sleep, repeat. Working day shift has been totally consuming my time, mostly because when I get put in to sub for other people on day shift they sub me for about three people. Which means I end up doing the majority of things that need to be done – including juggling three clueless trainees – while my team lead walks around looking important. Which is okay. But it’s time-consuming. I often stay way later than I should. Unlike CrossFit (which takes less than an hour on a good day), running 10-14 miles has been difficult to fit into the afternoon schedule.
So that’s the story. Lots of CrossFit and less running makes a 185 pound front squat PR (booyah!) but not really a 60k night race PR, but my
operational stress brain is a little better off for it. (I needed a win, guys…give me a break.) I have a race in a few weeks (30k) but I’m not too worried. I’m going to run hard and try to have fun. My marathon is in thirty days, but I’m at peace with that. There have been times I could have been running and instead I was passed out on the carpet in a pile of Kill Cliff cans (the intervention is nigh), but I have made my peace with that too. The more I fret, the less enjoyable running becomes. However, I’m still back to the schedule next week – just with less stressing. Hopefully the pace goals will come with time. Hopefully Cactus Rose comes and I’m not still retching with fear at the thought of fifty miles at Bandera.
We’ll see, I guess. In the meantime, sticky rice and sweet tea.