Back in Training

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The watch is back…

Now that the wing is healed, and getting stronger every day, it’s time to get back in the saddle and start training again. I’m sad that I’m not marathon training, with my running buddy, this season but I know in my heart (and my weak legs) that it was absolutely the right decision. There are plenty of years to train for and run another marathon. Rushing my body to train for the New York City Marathon this season would be foolish and likely end in injury. Stronger muscles. Stronger runner. Right?

I read a great post last week with a great reminder. It’s not JUST a half marathon. Why do we, as runners, discount running a half marathon? Why do we think it makes us less of a runner to train for and choose 13.1 instead of 26.2? Is it the constant need most runners have to push themselves further? Is it a mentality of once you run 26.2, 13.1 isn’t good enough anymore? Are we just crazy? After suffering a traumatic injury, almost six months ago, pushing my limits and trying to get strong to run a marathon is just plain too stressful. I’m terrified to even sign up for a half marathon at this point (spoiler alert: I did). After a season of DNS’s, it’s scary to commit to training for a half marathon again. But like my wise friend, Steph, reminded me last week, there has to be a first half marathon after injury. Why not just be brave and sign up now? Why are my friends so smart?

I freaking love this girl so much! Also, I would love my stride shorts to fit like that again. #flystyle

I freaking love this girl so much! Also, I would love my stride shorts to fit like that again. #flystyle

And so I did; after hovering over the process my payment button for longer than I care to admit. I’m officially (please G-d) running the Richmond Half Marathon on November 15th. I wavered back and forth with this decision. I’m signed up for the Bronx 10 Mile at the end of September and considered having that as my only goal race for the season.

Last year was so much fun!

Last year was so much fun!

I don’t need to run a half marathon. But at the end of the day, I think my desire to have a bigger goal and push myself won over my fear of signing up and playing it safe. I don’t know about you, but I do much better at life when I’m training. I need to lose weight. I need to get back in shape post-injury. I’ve never been very successful when these are my ultimate goals. I do much better when I have a goal race and these things become side effects of training. Taking care of my body. Fueling it right. Focusing on making it stronger. Ultimately, I think that’s why I finally faced my fear and signed up to run Richmond. Plus, Ashley is running the full and what’s better than a race weekend away with a good friend?

Okay, this isn't a picture of Ashley but we did take this together on the way to the beach.

Okay, this isn’t a picture of Ashley but we did take this together on the way to the beach. That’s the same, right?

As part of my “focusing on getting strong again” plan I faced another HUGE fear last week and took the wing back to Refine Method. I had no idea if I could survive this class so soon. I had originally thought that I’d go back in August or September; as did my physical therapist. But you never know unless you try, right? So bright and early on Wednesday morning I met Liz at Refine Method and got this wing back in action. Don’t worry, it was physical therapist approved. It was definitely tough but manageable. Katie was wonderful and helped me modify all the things I’m not strong enough for or would put too much strain on my shoulder. It took more days than I’d like to admit to walk normally again but for the first time in a long time I feel like I may finally be on the other side of all of this and back on track to feeling like myself again.

Last week marked my first week of training for the Bronx 10 Mile. And I suppose base building for Richmond. It was the first week I did real speedwork in almost 6 months. The first week I did real strength training in almost 6 months. And the first week in almost 6 months that I, 100%, earned my much needed rest day. I was hungry again. I was motivated again. I ate better. I drank more water. I drank less wine. I was a nicer, slightly more patient, person.

Truth.

Truth.

It’s really amazing how I thrive when I’m training. Running has changed my life, for the better, in so many ways and this week reminded me how much better of a person I am when I’m training.

Back to sunrise runs, back to feeling like myself?

Back to sunrise runs, back to feeling like myself?

I know that this racing season will be very different. People have asked me what my goals are. The truth is, my only goals are to train smart, get strong, and be grateful that I’m able to run healthy again. 2013 was the year of the PR for me. I PR’d almost every race distance. I ran my first marathon. This year has not been at all what I expected. But I have to do my best to focus on the positive (I am healed and whole and can start getting back to the things I love) and believe that everything happens for a reason.

Always believe everything happens for a reason.

Always believe everything happens for a reason.

I have to fight the urge to compare myself to myself. I often catch myself running at paces that used to feel easy and now feel incredibly hard and I get frustrated. This season will not be about PR’ing. Let’s be honest, it will be a long time before I’m back running the paces I was running before I fell. And that’s okay. This season will be about gratitude. And reminding myself that I’ve done this before, I can do this again, and, eventually, I will get there. I’m looking forward to working hard and seeing what my body is capable of. I’m looking forward to proudly putting my Oiselle Team singlet back on and racing again. I’m looking forward to learning how to go fast and take chances again. It should come as no surprise that after flying through the air, smacking the pavement, and fracturing my arm in three places I’m scared to push my body. I’m scared to try to run faster. I’m scared to do anything that could potentially cause me to fall again. With that said, I’m looking forward to trying my best to look fear in the face this season.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Head Up. Wings Out.

Tell Me.

How is your training going?

Have you ever had to start over after injury? How do you avoid comparing yourself to yourself?

Have you ever run Richmond?

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9 thoughts on “Back in Training

  1. So proud of my bf who is one of the strongest woman I know both mentally and physically and whom inspires me everyday. Love u !

  2. Love this! I too am signed up for the Bronx 10 Miler. Luckily I didn’t get injured, but after a long harsh winter of training for Boston, I was totally burnt out and have more or less taken three months off of running, so it will be a long climb back up! I am also considering running the Philly half in November, so we are on the same page! Good Luck!

    • Awesome that you’re running the Bronx 10 Mile too. It’s a great race. This will be my third year running it. Taking time off to rekindle your love of running is never a bad thing. Your body is probably thanking you. So much smarter than pushing through burnout. Philly is a great race! I’ll be there cheering.

  3. Way to go! I totally sometimes need to get out of the “it’s just a half marathon” mindset. I think because it’s become so popular and people of all different sizes and paces run them, I sometimes feel it’s not a big deal. Running a speedy half is still a feat though! I might make me spring goal to PR the half. Good luck with training!

  4. I’m excited for you! I know that was probably a really tough decision to make! I got hurt after the NYC Half in March (ruptured nerves in my feet) and couldn’t run for 5 weeks. It was nothing compared to what you went through but having to stop running was so tough for me. Having to start over was very humbling. It was tough but man did it feel good to get back out there! You’re going to rock that half in November!!

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