Once upon a time, I took my half marathon training super seriously. I mapped out my workouts every Sunday for the upcoming week. I planned my cross training and my rest days and stuck to them like a champ. I was paranoid about injury so I was doing everything in my power to remain injury-free.
Then, of course, because I live in a petri dish of children, I got sick, which is maybe one of the worst things when it’s 100 degrees out. Sniffles that turned into a hacking cough and sinus and ear infections plus pink eye. I mean, I really hit the jackpot. So, I had to take a week and a half off from really running. I did run once toward the beginning of the illness and it culminated in burning lungs of hellfire later that night, so I figured I should listen to my body and take it easy. So I did, even though I was crying a little on the inside.
Once I was better, I slowly picked my mileage back up over the course of a couple of weeks. But even better? I relaxed about the whole process. Sure, I’m not quite where I want to be for my weekly mileage, but I’m also not convinced that the week off wasn’t actually good for my whole body. I’m still pain free. I can go out and rock an easy 6 miles, which I sure as heck couldn’t do just a few months back. I’m not sore even after longer runs, and my body just feels like it’s coping with additional mileage as long as I’m slow to add it.
Now with my new relaxed attitude, I’m not worrying so much about each run or strictly adhering to a certain training plan. Instead, I’m glancing at a couple of plans for guidance, doing what feels good to me, making sure I have one long run and a couple of short runs in each week, and making sure I’m getting in some of my strength training. Mostly, my focus is inching my miles up slowly, never adding more than 10 percent each week — and usually staying under that. This is where my TomTom has come in very handy for recording my exact mileage. I’m a total nerd; I love doing the math and seeing what my exact mileage limit is for the next week.
So I’m still here, trucking away. Mentally gearing up for an hour straight of running today. Trying not to eat everything in the entire house after longer runs. How many miles are you doing this week? —Erin