First of all, THANK YOU for all the birthday lovin’! You guys are all amazing! I’ll be sharing with you some of the fun I had over the next couple of days but since it is Sunday, I am sticking to a running-related topic. Beware of a wordy post- I had a lot to say.
I love to run and I love to run far. (that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone…)
The problem is, my body doesn’t love to run far and then run far AND fast for the next 3 workouts. It can barely handle fast on its own. Last week, I didn’t run a lot of miles at all, actually. But I was still recovering from the 15 miler with Christine on Saturday and Sunday’s rest day wasn’t enough. Add in 9 miles Monday, 11 miles of a hellish track workout Tuesday (I’ll get to that later), another 6 mile speed day Thursday and 6 mile tempo run Friday and you’ve officially pushed my legs to their breaking point.
I decided to run the rock n’ roll half a few weeks ago and was really excited about it. I wasn’t going to race it- I was going to run it as another long run. I’ve been doing a lot of training runs 10-15 miles recently and didn’t think it would be a big deal. Earlier this week, I started developing a cough. I never get sick but it kept getting worse. Problem #1
On Tuesday, we did our first attempt at a 10,000 meter track workout. In previous years, 10K runners would train at 10K pace at a 5,000 meter distance during practice. This year, our coach gave us a set of 3x(1000, 2000) with a 1000 tacked on at the end. After the first 1000 Christine and I were on pace and then the 2000 we were about 20 seconds off our goal pace. My coach readjusted and had us doing 1000 repeats up to 6,000 meters then we did a 1600 at the end.
I started feeling a twinge in my back, my legs were still aching from Monday’s boxes and drills, and I knew Thursday was going to be hard. We did 10×400 under our race pace for the 5K. My shins started to get shooting pains and the trainers decided it was early shin splints. I was out for a week during cross country and missed the first meet because of these exact symptoms. Problems galore
At this point I made the executive decision not to run the half on Saturday. I did still go for a 6 mile run with Chelsie on Friday (how could I not run on my birthday? We all know that would never happen) and it was really speedy. That girl is FAST (she ran a 1:30 half marathon on an incredibly hilly course. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what does). It didn’t feel good on my legs but it wasn’t really a bad run either.
I spent Friday and Saturday getting caught up in the excitement of the race with Alex, Sam, Chelsie, and Megan (who I used to consider my blog friends but now I feel like I can say they’re my real friends too) and while it was hard at times not running with them, I also had an awesome time. I had planned on doing a short run while they were running but ended up walking from the start to the finish (about 4 miles) plus another 4 miles with my friend from school later when I woke up to my legs not feeling so hot yet again.
This week, my coach gave us a really light training plan. Most of our runs will be between 30-40 minutes when I usually run 60min+. I’ve decided to take a few days completely off running instead of doing those shorter runs this week. If my legs start to feel better by Tuesday, I may start running again. If they don’t, I’ll wait until Thursday.
For the first time in years, this decision isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I want to be that crazy runner finishing a full marathon when I’m older. Not the crazy 20-something who can’t run ever again because she pushed herself to injury. I know this isn’t a serious injury by any means (although the back problem is a bit worrisome), but I’m teaching myself that time off can be a good thing. If my body is telling me it needs a break, it’s time to give it that break.
And with that, I’m off to Florida!
Have you ever made a last minute decision not to run a race?