How’s the running going?

I’ve been back to running for a couple months now but I haven’t written much about my day to day training here.  I’ve talked about a couple of races and a couple of runs here and there but have kept pretty quiet on the subject.  When I started this blog, it was with the intention to write about my running… well, when I got back to running since I started it while injured.  I guess it was injured runner therapy for me.  But now that I’m back at it, I find myself nervous to talk about it too much.  Afraid to jinx myself if I write too much about my training and my goals.  Afraid of putting out there what I hope to accomplish only to be sidelined again.  Afraid that I’ll never run as well as I was running last year.  I feel like there’s a lot of potential in these legs of mine and am afraid that I’ll never find out what I could’ve done if I had managed to stay healthy for more than 6 consecutive months.  Basically, there’s a lot of fear there.

It’s making it difficult to even figure out where to go from here.  I’m not sure what my goals are anymore.  I’d definitely like to chase some PR’s at some point, but right now, I guess my only goal is run without hurting myself.  Every little ache and pain is scary which makes running a little difficult because running involves a little pain most of the time.  The tricky part is figuring out which is the kind you need to suck it up and run through (I’m tired and want to walk) and the kind you need to take a break for before you do something serious (stress fracture territory).

Having someone else write my workouts has been a huge help for me.  I’ve done much less speed-wise than I would’ve if I were making my own workouts.  And I’ve seen some pretty promising results so far with the minimal training I’m doing.  I ran my third fastest 5k ever running less than 30 miles per week, some weeks half that.  The only speedwork I’ve done is 100 meter pickups at the end of easy runs.  On that limited amount of training, I was able to race well.  I need to trust the process at this point.  Running is honest.  You get out what you put in.  If you try to do more than you’re ready for, your body lets you know.  Even though I was happy with my turkey trot, I ignored the race plan that was set out for me and I paid for it for the next week.  My right hamstring was pretty angry and my foot was sore.  Just because I’m capable of completing a specific work out right now doesn’t mean I should.  I cut my mileage to about 15 the next week and took it very easy.  Luckily my coach understands that better than I do.  Speed workouts that I would’ve thought too easy last year are the workouts I’m using to build the foundation to move into harder workouts later on.  I thought anything less than 800 meters was too short to bother with.  Now I’m sticking to 100 meters.  And holy cow, the stretching.  And rolling.  And icing and heating.  I spend more time after I run than I do actually running.  I guess that’s what happens as you get older.

So, yes I’m running.  It’s going pretty well.  My next race is a relay in February but my focus is staying healthy for Boston.  I’m nervous.  And happy.  Some runs are good, some are bad but they’re all a privilege that I don’t take for granted these days.  Any day I can run is a good day.

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