My relationship with running is...dysfunctional. About 80% of the time, I love running so much and am super thankful I discovered running more than seven years ago. Running relieves mental pressure like nothing else and I always feel so great after a good run. But the other 20% of the time, running pisses me the eff off and I just want to quit.
This past week and a half, I've been in the 20% mindset.
Week two of half marathon training went well. Here were my workouts:
- Monday: 3 miles, race pace on the treadmill at 8:57 min/mile
- Tuesday: Cross-training at the gym with Ashley Horner's Charlie Mike workout, day 34
- Wednesday: 5 miles fartlek run with a 2-mile warmup, 2 miles of 30 second sprints and 1-2 minutes walking, and a 1-mile cool down
- Thursday: 4 miles, easy at ??? (I don't remember and didn't share the workout on social media, ha!)
- Friday: Cross-training at hot vinyasa yoga
- Saturday: 7 miles long run at 10:28 min/mile
- Sunday: Rest
And then during week three and into week four, everything went to s**t. Here were my workouts:
- Monday: 2 miles on the treadmill at race pace, 9:05 min/mile followed by a half-hearted ab workout
- Tuesday: 4 miles, easy at 9:34 min/mile
- Wednesday: I started noticing some shin pain, so I bailed on my run and did a little bit of work with mini bands instead of ignoring pain like I usually do
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Cross-training at the gym with four circuits. Circuit 1: 2 rounds of pull-ups (banded), squat jumps and push-ups for 30 seconds each. Circuit 2: 2 rounds of barbell split squats with 30 lb weight, bent over dumbell rows with 15 lb weight and decline pushups for 30 seconds each. Circuit 3: 2 rounds of 10 burpees and 10 pull-ups. Circut 4: 3 rounds of 15 kettle bell swings, 15 core trainer ab pulls with a 15 lb sand bag and 30 russian twists.
- Sunday: Rest (but I did a full day of house painting!)
- Monday: Rest (but I did another full day of house painting!)
- Tuesday: First run in 6 WHOLE DAYS at the Firecracker 5K, which I ran in 28:22 at 9:09 min/mile. My shin felt fine, but it's still slightly tender when I press on it.
Throughout the past few years of my running career (can you call it a career if you don't make any money from it and aren't that fast?), I've battled injury after injury. I was so tired of the injuries, I decided to take more than a year off from races at the end of 2015 and for all of 2016. My shin pain reminded me of that time in my life, which is when I discovered and fell in love with weight lifting.
During the past week, I've become super frustrated with running and have had the inclination to quit my half marathon training in favor of just focusing on lifting weights and doing HIIT cardio. However, I decided to change my thinking and realized that was a bad idea, and that my fitness routine can have room for both running and weight lifting (and yoga and biking too!). I also know that my body can heal itself (especially with help from the Big Man) and that I just need to do what I can, and train by how my body feels versus a time goal (Competitor.com published a good article about training by feel here). I'm also running my half marathon with my girlfriends and I desperately want us to do that together.
It's easy to become obsessed with a time goal or previous PR's/fitness levels, but training with this mentality often leads to frustration, unthankfulness and injuries. Do I want to run 8-minute miles like I used to? Absolutely. Do I need to run that fast right now when my body isn't conditioned for it? Not at all, especially if I want to keep running and not get sidelined by a major injury.
I guess the reason for this ramble is to remind myself and other people that no running training plan goes perfectly and that you have to be patient with your body, working with it where it's at and not abusing it by taking on too much, too soon.
For the rest of this week, I'm going to ease back into my training. I'm going to run every other day, cross train on the off days, and do a 7-mile long run instead of the 8-10 miles I'm *supposed* to do. I'm also throwing out my time goal for my half marathon, which may end up happening, but if it doesn't I'm comfortable with it as long as I stay injury-free.
Cheers to showing grace and mercy to ourselves in all categories of our lives, including fitness!