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Spring Training

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Not the baseball kind (opening day was last week, and our home team had to shovel off the field in order to play-) but the “get ready for race season” kind of training. There are so many races to choose from, I find myself wanting to run them all. But after making a not so smart decision last Spring to run a challenging half marathon halfway through my goal race training cycle, I ended up with severe ITBS caused by glute medius tendinitis. Not only did I make the poor choice of running a half marathon instead of going for an easy long run, I continued to go to the gym, lift weights, (deadlifts, squats, lunges) and run because I needed to prepare for my goal race.

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By the time I limped across the finish line of The Wallis Sands Half Marathon 4 weeks later, I could barely walk and had to give up running for 3 months. I should have given up going to the gym and I would have recovered much more quickly. I tried walking, swimming, and pool jogging. I went to physical therapy and was taught glute strengthening excerises, and received Graston therapy. My left thigh looked like a piece of raw meat. In the end, the only thing that worked was rest.

During my period non -running rest I had time to reflect. Alot. The previous year (my first year being a runner-ever)I had competed in 24 races- two of which were half marathons. I ran 5k’s, a 4 miler, 5 milers, 10K’s, a 10 miler and the two halfs. Maybe I tried to do too much.

5K PR!

5K PR!

 

During my rest and recovery I would share my thoughts and progress on Facebook to keep my friends and family updated. Although everyone was encouraging and supportive, my Uncle’s words were the most powerful:

Don’t become a “Type A” runner.

He said, “Don’t let running control you. Remember why you run.”

During those days of thinking I might never be able to run more than 20 minutes without feeling pain again, I prayed, “I only want to be able to run for an hour. I just want to be able to put on my shoes, go out the door and run for 60 minutes and feel good. I don’t care about my pace, I don’t care about racing or PR’s. I promise. I won’t become a “Type A” runner.”

So here I am a year later trying to follow my own Spring Training advice. With 5 weeks to go, I have been fairly diligent about sticking to my training plan. Yesterday was the anniversary of that fateful training half marathon that put me over the edge. It also just happened to be the day of the Red’s Race for a Better Community 5 Miler. Last year the races were a week apart, and I had to walk the Red’s Race-and even that hurt. This year the Red’s race fell on my long run day, but I really wanted to run it. This is where my brain sometimes gets in the way of common sense. I mentioned it to my trainer and he said, “Why not? Just run the route twice.” That seemed like a very bad idea, because I usually race to race, and I do not hold back. On the other hand, I really wanted to run the race: it supported a good cause, it was a beautiful spring day, and I wanted a re-do.

I thought to myself,  what if I ran from my daughter’s house to the starting line downtown, ran the race, and then ran back to her house? Could I run an easy warm up and finish with a cool down run? (For a total of 12 miles)

I decided to go for it! It was such an amazing feeling knowing that last year at this time my running days were over for months, and this year I was able to run a total of 12 miles-pain free and feeling strong.

I have 5 more weeks of training for my BIG Wallis Sands DO OVER. Like the pitcher who needs to get ready for Opening Day, just because you can throw 100 pitches doesn’t mean you should.

IMG_20140504_145104It is supposed to be near 70 today and I am fighting the urge to run when I should be resting. My plan is to go to the driving range instead. There is another season of golf to get ready for, too.

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