October Runfessions 2017

Time flies when suddenly summer screeches to a halt and leapfrogs over fall.  Here in Chicago, it went from 80 degrees to 40 in a matter of two days.  With an entire day of rain in between.  Goodbye Summer, hello Fall, oh wait where are you going, wait Winter?  When did November arrive? It’s the last Friday of October so I’m linking up with Marica for October runfessions and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday Five.  Here are my five October runfessions…




I runfess that I did not take well to the “no formal training” plan for October. Initially my thoughts were to give myself a month off of running after the Wisconsin 50k.  But that didn’t last long.  By the beginning of October, I had crafted myself a new training plan that focused on speed, strength and yoga.  I call it a “refocus period” where I am building a solid base fitness and working on areas that I neglect.  I guess I just need some sort of structure.


I’ve never like the term “off season” It makes my ED brain anxious ? I don’t want to take off, to lose the fitness I’ve built this year, to have to start from the bottom again come January ? But I also don’t want to maintain the same amount of mileage I had been and run myself right into the ground and the burnout pit ? So how do I balance these opposing forces, the desire to keep making progress with the need for a mental and physical break? I reframe my perspective Instead of “off season” I call it my “refocus period” I work on aspects that I neglect like strength ??‍♀️ It’s the perfect time to work on developing a stronger foundation upon which I can then build up the running ??‍♀️ ? New goals are refreshing: 4 days a week of running, as opposed to 6, Lower mileage (35-40 now as opposed to 70+) More strength (3-4 days a week vs 1 day) All of that will lead to future results when the training season starts again ? pictured above are squat jacks ?? . . . What do you do in your off season? . . . .

A post shared by Becca Menke: MEd|Blogger|Coach (@rabbitfoodruns) on

I’ve added in speed work because I must runfess that I am upset that I’ve lost my speed this year.  Getting slower is one huge mental hurdle for me.  I’m planning to sign up for some faster races this fall and winter.  I’ve run both the Turkey Trot and F3 Half before, numerous times.  However, my recent hard, 9-out-of-10-on-the-RPE-scale runs have been at my old marathon pace, no where in the vicinity of my old half or 10k pace. That is a huge ego gut-punch.

Logically, I can explain to myself that I’ve been training on trails and running ultras this year. That slowing down is the nature of the ultra beast.  At least, that’s the advice that I can give the athletes I coach.  But in that same area of my brain where my eating disorder lives, I’m upset and am disappointed in myself. I don’t like feeling slower than the old Becca.  At times, it makes recovery really hard.  It’s much easier for me to coach and help someone through those feelings than it is to do myself.


Because I’ve been working on speed, I runfess that I only went out to run on trails ONCE all of October!  I joined EDGE last weekend at their Flying Pug Trail run and had a blast.  Oh, how I’ve missed the trails!



I also runfess that I have yet to plan my race calendar for 2018.  I have the F3 Half marathon, and I’ve put my name into the Berlin lottery (it would be Marathon Major #5 for me, only London would remain!).  However, I have no other plans, but I definitely want to take a runcation!  Any suggestions?




Finally, I runfess that I’m looking forward to the cooler weather.  I’ve officially swapped out my summer running gear with my winter wardrobe.  The thick jackets, fuzzy buffs, and cozy ear-warmers are like old friends.  I do need new gloves though, I can’t seem to find any that keep my fingers warm!


What do you have to runfess from October?  What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year?  


Happy running,



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My 2018 is wide open at the moment, too.

I think a lot of runners simply won’t run trails at all because you must slow down & they just don’t want to be that slow. I know I’m incredibly slow on trails . . . most people are like a minute slower, I’m more like 2-3 minutes slower. Too easy to trip!

Kimberly Hatting

I have my first double digit run (in several months) on tap for tomorrow morning, and the temps are gonna be bitterly cold. Double whammy! Hoping I get the layering right!


I’m also SO looking forward to cooler weather! I am not a good hot weather runner so I welcome the change of season with open arms!


I always like runcations to Disney! Just be sure to book your trip that follows the race and not before. Too many people go and walk around the parks all day before their race and they get tired fast during the race! But it is definitely a fun one and people dress up!

Nicola @ Running Happy

A refocus period is good. I call them base fitness periods, where you can concentrate on building on your fitness without the strain of running a race and the work that involves.

I’ve also missed running on trails recently as I was training for a road marathon but last weekend I went out with folks from my club for a great 6 miles trail run and it felt fantastic!


I think changing the focus is so wise. It’ll make running seem fresh again when you go back to that as your focus. The Utah Valley half and full marathon in June are awesome! I highly recommend!

Deborah @ Confessions of mother runner

I like the idea of a refocus plan-I actually did something similar last spring. Great to mix it up throughout the year