Let's be honest....March was a tough month for me. With the IT band issue creeping up at the end of February, my running time took a hit. Don't get me wrong. I am glad I eased up for a few weeks as my body is good to go again. It is better to run less and avoid serious injury than to run the same and be completely knocked out of the running game. I get that. Honestly I do. But it did cause some mental challenges within myself as I started viewing myself as weak, not strong. The good news....I did eventually find my strong again....at least, on most days.
My running streak stayed alive throughout March. March 31st marked day 458 of my streak and yes, I am still running daily. I concluded March with 104 miles bringing me to 384 miles so far in 2013. For those who are interested, it also brings me to 1,852 streak miles. Nice! The downside, my weekly miles average dropped from 32.9 miles to 29.8 miles for the year. I am confident I will bring that back up in the months to come as I have officially started my new training plan (and yes, that began on April 1st so I will talk more about that later).
My Body and Mind
My body's hiccups and minor complaints did fill me with doubt but I feel by facing those challenges head-on I had the opportunity to work on my mental game. There were many crossroads that I faced this month, which seem so small for a distance runner but yet so big at the time. After my IT band seriously yelled at me I was nervous with each run. I read that it can act up in the first 1-2 miles. Breaking 2 miles with no pain was a relief. I then had another limit on myself. Running any longer distance at all. Accomplishing 6 miles made me smile and feel stronger but yet, there was doubt. 6 miles paled in comparison to the 13.1 miles that was on my plate. Could I do it? Would my leg hold up? The second was the real question. I knew I could as long as my body stayed with me.
First Race in 2013
I can't believe it took me until the end of March to run my first race! I do love to race and since I am being more selective in what I do race, they are more spaced out. I am putting criteria primarily to budget the costs of running. It is a necessity when dear hubby and I both want to race and our race favorite, the marathon, can be costly...especially when we both are running. You can read more about my Valley to the Sea Half Marathon report HERE but in a nutshell, I did it! My leg stayed strong. I ran smart, and I PR'd. What a great way to start the racing year!
For some reason, the expression April Showers Bring May Flowers keeps popping in my mind. I can see how this may be significant in other parts of the world but here, our climate is pretty much the same year round. But yes, we have had more showers. And no, that has nothing to do with my running goals. But yet, the expression sticks in my mind. Isn't it optimistic? Think of the dreary rain but yet it promises colorful beauty is right around the corner. Endure the rain. Discover the beauty. Very appropriate for training after all!
April marks the cycle in my training plan focused on building base. I am not trying to up my weekly mileage too much but to get my body more acclimated to the weekly mileage I want to be running during future cycles of my training. I want my weekly average to go up. So I am focused on that for 21 days. If I was doing a greater build-up, I would have devoted more time to it. But like I said, my increase isn't a huge number. So for three weeks in April I am focused completely on hitting my target miles and running easy. No speedwork. No tempo runs. No crazy intervals. Just run. Slow is even better sometimes. Each run is a run dedicated to time on my feet. Sounds nice, huh? Perhaps...if I don't let myself get too bored.
In addition, I want to be a step closer to better abs at the end of the month. Four weeks isn't a huge amount of time so I don't expect a night-and-day transition. Mainly, the establishment of a good daily habit committed to my abs. Baby steps......
How did your March go? Any April goals you want to share?
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my health. Daily Affirmation: I have a beautiful home.