I swear, it’s like my fingers were on autopilot at work Tuesday! I have no idea how that email got into my inbox…
Okay that’s a blatant lie. I’ve been thinking about running this race since I heard about it a few weeks ago. Is it risky to go back to training for a race when I’ve only been running for a week and a half? Yes. But am I doing it smartly? Yes.
Before I talk about my running lately, let me just say that my decision not to run cross country had nothing to do with signing up for fall races. this is the only race I plan on doing and the biggest motivator behind it was to convince my parents to let me come home for my mom’s birthday (which happens to be race day). Running one race is very different from training hard and racing every weekend.
Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. Anyways, back to running. As you know, I’ve been running again. I won’t be putting specific miles in my weekly training plans (although I may change my mind) but for the purpose of today’s post, I am going to.
I’ve been building back up slowly. Very slowly. Last week I ran 2 miles every other day, and this week I’m alternating 2 miles and 3.5 miles every other day. This may not work for everybody, but it is working for me. On the days between my runs, I’m going to spin classes. I’m enjoying it.
I think the last time I tried to recover from injury, I went about it all wrong. I was anxious to build up mileage, run in a certain time, fit in two-a-days, and just overall pressure myself to do something I wasn’t ready for. I was focused too much on pleasing other people- my coach, my team, the blog world- and not enough on taking care of myself.
Since I started running again, I have not worn a watch. I don’t look at the clock before I go for my run and I don’t look when I come back. If there’s a chance I’ll be tight on time before work, I wait until after. That adds too much pressure to run faster, which is what I’m trying to avoid.
I also haven’t carried anything with me. No phone, no iPod. Just me, my sneakers, and my thoughts. I’m a big fan of technology free running. I own a garmin and I have worn it maybe 10 times in 3 years. I rarely wear my kids timex watch. I just prefer running simply.
Ever since I started running, I’ve used it to clear my head. When I run, I’m doing it for enjoyment. Not to set a new PR, or a new distance, or even to make new friends and blog about it. I’m running because I love it.
Running helped me recover from an eating disorder. Some would argue otherwise, and there were times it got out of hand, but it gave me the extra push I needed to eat some of the more caloric meals (that far outweighed the ones I was burning off). It made me feel good about myself and I liked feeling strong. With time, it did become a somewhat unhealthy obsession, but it has become a healthy habit once again.
Running has allowed me to stay on track with making good, nutritious food choices (and the more-than-occasional equally not nutritious cupcake). Before I started running again last week, I was in the middle of another mild restrict/binge cycle. The first 2 mile run I did, that went away. And nobody can say that it was to “burn calories” because we all know that running 2 miles isn’t going to burn enough calories to offset a binge. It stopped me from the cycle because I felt good. I felt happy. I felt strong. And I felt like I was above the disordered eating.
Running has allowed me to figure things out for myself when nothing else I did was working. It has given me the ability to channel my energy into something that I care about. While swimming was my sport, running is my passion.
My schedule is going to be all over the place this year. Since I will be in DC 3 days a week, my time to run will be limited to 5am wake up calls. For me, this is actually a good thing. I do better without a training plan because I tend to be someone that goes over the top with everything I do. I’m very much an “all or nothing” person which doesn’t lend itself well to injury. If I can run 5 days a week with a longish run on the weekend, I will be in good shape for this half. Far better than I would be if I was left to my own devices running 7 days a week at very high mileage like I had hoped to do.
My only goal this fall is to make it to that race smartly, and more importantly, injury free. I don’t want another DNS. That’s another $70 down the drown and I am not doing that again. Newport is gorgeous, and I signed up for the race because I want to run that course. I want to enjoy the race, not psych myself out before it even starts. If I am able to do that, I have a very good chance at a big PR. While that is not important to me, it isn’t something I would complain about, obviously.
Because of those goals, my runs will continue to be technology free and injury free. The moment I feel pain, I will stop without any questions asked.
Do you put too much pressure on yourself to do something and take the enjoyment out of it?