Adventures in flora, fauna, food, and the great unknown.

Take a breath and slow down.

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This post’s title should probably be my new mantra. Training for my second half marathon has been a weird mix of exciting and awful—on several runs, I’ve managed a sub-11:00 pace, but just about every run has been somewhere between grueling and generally unpleasant. Despite my increased pace, for the most part I never felt like I was pushing myself too hard—only when I was actively trying to push my limit did I feel seriously out of breath—but I was unhappy on every run, and the only fun part of training was after it was over. Thursday’s run was so bad that I cut it down from four miles to two, and I felt completely demoralized afterward. I’ve been dreading the half marathon and longer training runs something fierce.

Well, today was nine miles, and by slowing way down—we’re talking ~12:30 per mile pace—I finally found my groove again. It was good deal slower than my past race paces, not to mention my more recent training pace, but it did mean that I actually (almost) enjoyed it again. It just goes to show you that sometimes we have to continually re-learn the same lessons year after year. I might not break 2:30:00 for my second half, but at least I’m feeling better about my chances of actually finishing it strong.

Moreover, spring has finally returned to the Pioneer Valley, and we made a brief trip to Boston late last month for a wedding, so it’s looking like the worst of the endless-winter slump is behind me. We have two more trips into the city scheduled this month—one to see the brilliant Eddie Izzard, and of course one for the half. The latter will be especially nice, since we’ll be there for the weekend and will have the pooch with us.

Fire and ice at the Hawthorne.

A post shared by JD Doyle (@floraphage) on

We’re looking forward to even more-exciting adventures in June—more on that next time—but for now, I’m enjoying the mid-60s weather, pulling the skirts out from under the bed and stashing the wool sweaters, and, after a number of hectic weeks at work, taking a breath and slowing down.

She thinks she's people.

A post shared by JD Doyle (@floraphage) on


Author: JD Doyle

Bookbinder, knitter, spinner, singer, runner, vegetarian, & sometime poet.

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