Just Like That

It's been a strange couple of weeks. Since RnR, pretty much nothing has gone according to plan.

March 16–22: 2 runs, 5.26 miles • Learned my shoes were shot and would have my foot seriously injured if I didn't hang them up.
March 23-29: 0 runs, 0 miles • No shoes to run in as I waited for the store to receive my new pair, plus recovery time was needed.
March 30–April 5: 1 run, 2.18 miles • Finally got the shoes! But a weekend trip prevented much running.
April 6–12: 3 runs, 11.03 miles • This is where our story begins.

Let me walk you through a bit of a crazy person's (that's me) thought process: Just a few weeks til Superhero Half! I need to get the mileage in. I missed three weeks of scheduled runs. I need to make up those miles. Or I can just pick my training plan back up where it's supposed to be, ignoring the missed three weeks. That'll be fine. I can go from 0 miles per week to 15 and it totally won't hurt at all. I'll be fine. I need to do this anyway. Or else I won't be able to run Superhero.

For those of you who aren't runners or racers or insane like me, let me sum it all up for you: I WAS WRONG.

As I talked about in some of my Sunday Sweats posts (which I won't rehash here; you're welcome), this excessive boost of mileage that goes against every runners' rule, in conjunction with my chiropractor waking the beast that lives in my right hip, could only add up to frustratingly awful long runs that had to be cut short, pain, a compensatory injury and...more pain.

Somewhere along the way I forgot about one of the most valuable lessons I learned in my first few months of running: Slow progress is still progress. Slow progress is healthy, sustainable progress.

It was during a hopeful 8-miler that had to become 5 miles two weekends ago that it clicked in me. I shed tears over this run; I convinced myself I had no right to even think about a marathon this year; I believed my running career might have peaked. (I'm an idiot, btw.) And then I got home and looked at my spreadsheet and saw, in black and white, what the problem was. I saw what I should have seen a week before. (I have to also thank Tracy for saying the magic words that helped me realize it: "tired legs.") I can't make up missed weeks. I have to run from the place I am in.

And just like that, I rewrote my training plan. I acknowledged that, hey, I'm a bit behind and I have to adjust. I stopped trying to force my body to unsafe places and settled for pushing my limits. Because shit happens. Training plans get derailed. This year I've made huge strides in being more flexible, more adaptable, more okay with not having every detail of my life planned out on paper. (Why it took months for me to fully apply it to my workouts, I don't know.)

And the amazing thing is this: Once that part clicked in my mind, everything else just...got better. I forgave myself for missed miles and allowed myself to alter my plan to fit my body's current space. And do you know what happened next? I had a great week of running.
Friday's speed workout // Sunday's long run
Some lessons, I've come to realize, need to be learned the hard way. This is exceptionally true for me, in all facets of my life. In this instance, it took weeks of pain, of frustration, of beating myself up (You can't miss runs! You're not good enough to skip weeks of your training. You can risk injury to get the miles in. You need to get stronger; you're not doing enough. You're not working hard enough. You haven't earned rest yet.) about situations I truly couldn't control for me to let go, and let my mind adapt to meet my circumstances.

Shit happens. You roll with the punches. You adapt, and you let go of what you can't control, and you do your best. And along with putting the miles in, treating my body right, and literally working my ass off, learning and accepting this has been one of the most important parts of my running journey.
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alyssagoesbang

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Comments

  1. I'm not sure what I love more. Slow progress is still progress - YES. Some lessons, I've come to realize, need to be learned the hard way - DOUBLE YES.
    Seriously, why can we learn the lessons so much faster in other aspects of life, but not with working out? Why so much pressure? Why so much ignorance? I'm not calling you ignorant, of course, but I have done some stupid things in the past because I straight up ignore my body. Recently I have tried to do what I *think* I should be able to do, rather than what I am able to do. And it's so hard for me to accept that I'm not where I am in my mind, so I just ignore it and give up. Which is obviously super helpful. Haha. Anyway. I'm happy for you, and as always, selfishly happy you once again helped me. Kissy face emoji ;)

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  2. for sure slow progress is still progress! you can't rush your body to be ready if you're hurt, injured or just haven't trained in a while due to life circumstances...it happens.

    when my knee crapped out last summer, it broke my heart that i had to stop trail running and i haven't run trails since. then last week when it was a nice day for a trail run, i thought "pffffft! i'm in great shape, this 12K trail run will be a breeze" until my other knee crapped out at 6K (actually, it was my IT band) and i had to bow out at 7K and crawl back to my car. it was pretty deflating but i quickly realized that i can't just jump back into trail running no matter what shape i'm in.

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  3. Why is it that we are all so hard on ourselves? Myself included! I probably (like 99.9% probability) would have had the same thought process as you. But it's ok! We can miss a run and slow things down if it means we're taking care of ourselves. That is pretty important!

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  4. I think i tell myself that with the training I do too - slow progress is still progress even if it's not as fast as I want it to be - it's still happening!! So happy to hear that once you sort of let your mind go with things your body followed suit! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  5. Hooray! I'm so glad you realized you were being too hard on yourself and that things are going better now. I've been frustrated with slow progress, too, but you're absolutely right, it's still progress and it's still a positive. I always have to learn things the hard way, too! Usually I make a mistake at least twice before finally wising up.

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  6. Yes for being able to see what was wrong at least! Training plans are gradual for a reason and I'm super proud that you applied your roll with the punches attitude to fitness!

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  7. #truth! 'Shit happens. You roll with the punches. You adapt, and you let go of what you can't control, and you do your best. And along with putting the miles in, treating my body right, and literally working my ass off, learning and accepting this has been one of the most important parts of my running journey.'

    My April has been the worse in a long time.....but May is around the corner....LET'S GO!!!

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  8. Very proud of you for listening to your body and making the needed adjustments. It's SO difficult when we have these goals and plans in our heads to shift away from that allow the natural flow of life to take over. I read a card at a gas station over the weekend that said, "Life is all about how you handle Plan B." I loved it! Isn't it the truth?! No matter how much we strive for Plan A, it - like - never happens that way. Kudos for recognizing Plan B, and rocking it out. :)

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  9. it can be really hard, especially when you're so determined to achieve something, to take it down a notch. I missed a few days of my insanity program and was considering doubling up on a day to JUST BE DONE WITH IT ALREADY. I had to stop myself and really think about what I'd get the most out of, half assing two workouts in one day just to be done with it or just push back my end date a bit and actually get something out of it. it was a struggle to get to the right decision but I got there in the end. this post affirms, I think you and I made the right decision to slow down

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  10. Progress is progress my friend!!! And I am so with you, shit happens and you have to listen to your body and just do the best that you can. There is no need in beating yourself up over an injury or illness or a little down time. We all need it sometimes. You are always such an inspiration. You just keep doing you!

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  11. i love this-sometimes it is so hard when things don't go according to plan but you gotta roll with the punches because life happens!

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  12. I probably don't need to tell you for the eleventy billionth time how proud I am of how far you've already come, or how proud I am of for recognizing that slow progress is progress, but here I go...The latter is a really hard thing to learn and I have no idea why. I know that we both experienced a lot of surprising and, honestly, kind of shocking running success early on and I think we just got used to that. It's tough to switch gears once that stops happening (and it would have regardless of waiting for shoes or being injured or traveling or whatever else...it's just natural). It's also tough to reevaluate and re-plan but I think you've handled it with such grace. If your performance at Superhero is anywhere close to what it was at RnR, you have nothing to worry about. And if it's just not your day? Psh, you've got bigger fish to fry this year anyway ;)

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  13. Do you ever not speak to my soul?! Thank you, thank you for the whole "slow progress is still progress" because as you know, I needed that. Glad that you were able to recognize (even if not right away) that you needed to adjust your training schedule and that it led to a really good week of running! It's never easy having to admit that things aren't always going your way in fitness world, but I think we are all much better off for it when we accept where we are & what we can truly handle! xo

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  14. "I can't make up missed weeks. I have to run from the place I am in." YES, YES, and YES. I need to write this out and tell myself it every second. I still get so frustrated with myself for not being where I'm supposed to be right now with c25k (or just in general), but I can't go back in time so I need to just focus on where I am right now. I was kind of sad after yesterday's run even though it really did go well and I really had to remind myself that even if I'm not to my dream goal, I have improved-- slow progress, is still progress. LOVE that! You had an awesome run on Sunday- I can't wait to see where the next month takes you!

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  15. i feel you!!! I hadnt run in a week and thought I could run my usual times this week. NOPE! I love that you recognize what was up. "I have to run from the place I am in" - truth on so many levels!!! Shit does happen and you really do have to roll with the punches. Lessons Im learning every week and frankly lessons I needed to learn.

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