Just Like That
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.
What are you training for? What lessons are you teaching yourself this month? Grab a button, link up below and share your goals, your stories, your wins, and your woes. Whatever it is you're training for, we're here for you!