It probably seems that I dropped off the face of the running trail after my 100% Irish for a Day 10 Mile Recap, and I sort of did. At least for a couple weeks. Training for an early- spring mid- to long-distance race is hard in Minnesota. I logged a lot of time on the treadmill, which I hated. then I transitioned to the indoor track (at 11 laps/mile), which I also hated. I skittered around some icy sidewalks, which I just barely tolerated. Winter training was hard on my body and hard on me mentally and after a pretty rough race day, I just needed some time away.
I took two weeks off and then jumped into my training plan for the Fargo Half-Marathon on May 18th. And then injuries, overpacked schedules, and some late March/early April snow really messed with my plans. I just completely lost my interest in training and was sort of sick of always being worried about a stinging foot or aching leg. I took essentially 2 more weeks off, though at least I have been biking a bit more. On Sunday, I faced a 7 miler after having taken the last 2 weeks off, save for 3.1 miles last Sunday.
I was pretty sure I was doomed.
And it didn’t help that when I left the house, my face was being pelted with micro-blades of ice/slush/sleet. Seriously, this weather sucks.
I started out just saying “If you can run 5, it would be enough” and “Don’t look at your pace, just run.” And… it worked. I avoided most temptation to stare at my Garmin the entire time, and instead just lolled along. I ran a mile to Lake Nokomis, lapped the lake 2 times, and cam back home. It was admittedly pretty slow. BUT! BUT! Almost no pain in my feet/leg. Which wasn’t even true of my 3 miler last week.
I did come home and KT Tape my shin as a pre-emptive strike, which appears to be keeping pain to a minimum. Still, it reminded me that I do know my body best and my needs best. It does not serve me to run through an injury, even if I am training for an event. It also doesn’t serve me to run when I absolutely do not want to. Running is not a chore, and I would hate for it to ever get to that for me. Running is time for me to think, to reflect, to push myself, to better myself, and to make a grocery list. It is never something I have to do (even when it is something I should do).
The Fargo half is the next big thing on the radar, and then I have not signed up for any other events until Ragnar in August. I am sure that my schedule won’t stay that empty for long but I am not too worried if it does. A big change this year is that I have decided not to run the Buffalo Triathlon, which is one of my favorite events. With the half-marathon only 2 or 3 weeks before and my complete and utter lack of dedication to any swimming, I am going to sit this year out. I will miss it, but sometimes we have to make room for other goals and I did not want to overdo it. Maybe there is a late summer/early fall tri I can get into before it’s too late.
So yes, I am still running. I am still training for an event. But I am also enjoying a less rigid running schedule. It might mean that I run the half-marathon at 11 minute miles, but it will still be a PR for me!