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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?