After my running hiatus thanks to the broken rib I am back on the road to the Disney Marathon. I am not sure what happened during those weeks off, but running is no longer the same. Prior to the accident I felt great on most of my runs. I could easily run a 5K in under 30 minutes. I regularly ran 4-5 miles without even a brief walking break. My pace was steadily improving. I longed to be out on the trail running.
Now I feel as though I am starting at the beginning. I feel like I’m moving slower than ever. I take walking breaks within the first three miles as it takes me a little longer to get my breathing under control. The worse part about this is that I think about quitting long before my intended mileage is complete.
It has been really frustrating. I need to figure this out soon because I have a marathon to run. Then I saw this quote on Twitter the other day and it really hit the nail on the head for me.
“If fitness is your goal, not a marathon PR, you don’t need radical training programs. Let running/fitness chase you, not you chasing it.” Hal Higdon
I was never planning on winning the marathon. I registered for it to set a goal for myself, to increase my level of physical fitness and to set an example for my son that you can do anything you set your mind to and that physical activity is integral to overall good health. Why then have I been spending so much time wallowing about my running time? Why have I been chasing the running?
So what I’m slower and taking walking breaks. Big deal, I’m still running. My rhythm is off and my breathing a bit uncomfortable…and? I just took three weeks off because of a broken rib. What did I expect upon my return to running, that I would lace up my running shoes, bolt out the door and set a PR? I am different. I’m a little more cautious and more focused on how my body feels while I’m running.
I’m genuinely happy to be running again. I know from my past experience I will continue to improve again. I am firming up my training schedule to reflect the changes that have occurred both mentally and physically. When it comes right down to it, running is a mental sport. I really believe it is more mental than physical. Normally I can tune out the negative messages telling me to quit or shorten a run. They are louder right now because my body isn’t as physically comfortable with the run. I think it’s time for a new music playlist with some new tunes to distract my thoughts and keep my legs going.
Running has taught me so many things about myself. This is yet another set of lessons.
- Listen to your body
- You can go further than you ever thought possible
- A bad run yesterday does not make for a bad run today
- The human body is truly amazing
- Even a bad run makes me feel better than if I hadn’t gone for a run