I ran and had a personal best at Dallas White Rock Marathon on Dec. 5th 2010 with a 3:18 time. I then ran a quick 5k just 17 days later with a personal best time of 18:50. To get both of those times it took a number of months of solid running and focus. Then Christmas and New Year's came along and my training took a serious down turn.
I ran the first day of the year like I do on every January 1st and this time I ran 7.77 miles for good luck. I then put together a great training plan the same day that would get me ready for my racing season. That was 15 days ago, and I have yet to start my new plan. I have a 1/2 Ironman coming up in 3 months and I can't seem to get myself back in gear.
From what I can tell, taking off time from running isn't a bad thing. It allows you to recover, focus on some of the things you've neglected because of your training and racing schedule, and recharge your mental batteries. However, if you're brain is playing mind games with you, the time off could do more harm than good to your running by setting you back weeks or even months from what you've achieved.
The marathon took a lot of mental stress with the long hours running and the countless mornings spent alone on the trail with only my thoughts to keep me company. Then, missing qualifying for Boston by about 2 minutes added more mental anguish to mental pain.
I have about 13 weeks to get back into running shape and add some cycling and swimming to my routine in order to be ready for the 1/2 Ironman. My mind tells me I want to train hard so I can do well, but the mental stress from not qualifying for Boston is telling me not to train to hard, it's just a race.
These next 13 weeks are going to be dedicated to squashing that mental voice that has been telling me to take it easy. Game on.