Wednesday, October 3

Re-drawing the training map

Recalculating route... (said in my best Garmin-sounding voice)
Image source

My training map needs to be re-drawn.

While I was on the road toward two autumn half marathons, my route was clear: 12 miles one weekend, 6 the next. Run up and down some hills. Sprint around the track. Repeat until fully prepared. Reduce speed to a taper before arriving at final race day destination.

Unfortunately my training took an injury detour.

Nearly two months have passed.
My training calendar, hanging on the refrigerator door, still had a series of big 12s circled on Saturdays.

Last weekend, when I was out for my new "long," run (5.5 miles) I felt strong and wanted to push the pace. I had promised myself walk breaks every couple of miles, but wanted to keep going. It took every bit of willpower to slow down and rest when I planned to rest. (This is supposed to work the other way around, no? It's supposed to be hard to keep going, so if I feel good, I should push on, right?)

When I got home, slight throb in my calf, I realized I made the right decision by walking even when I didn't want to. I took it easy, even though my heart really wanted to run sprint intervals. Those sprints - which seemed like a shortcut at the time - would have turned into a much longer detour.

That struggle, between what I think I should be doing - feel like I could be doing - and what I really can do right now, has been eating at me.

So this morning, while I sipped a cup of coffee, I tore my training calendar off of the fridge, got out my biggest eraser, and started writing out a new plan.

If I can follow directions when my map tells me to run up and down the same hill over and over again, 'til I feel like I'm going to hurl, surely I can follow my map when it tells me to slow down, back off, glide around the block, and take walk breaks.

Tonight, with Hubby, I ran a few miles through our neighborhood. Toward the end, he was feeling his oats and started a sprint toward home. I felt a tug in my calf, and chose to walk the last few blocks. I called it a "cool down lap." Because that's what the new map directions say.

Do you rest when it's "doctor's orders" or do you burn the candle at both ends?
Do you revise your training plan?
What is the longest injury recovery period you've ever had?

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