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
Hi Aimee! I don’t regularly post about this (because I really don’t like it), but I often go down in strength with weightlifting after a big high. Yes, I was up to bench pressing 160 pounds for a while this year, but I’m not sure I could do it now. I took a little time off it, and that extra strength went down a little.
I often have to remind myself that fitness over my lifetime (I want to bench press in my 80’s) is the goal. I don’t want to get a rotator-cuff injury. I actually think that when I bench pressed 160, it turned me off. It got me worried about injuries. Also, I needed a spotter at the high numbers. So I subconsciously toned it down the level. I’ve talked to many gym buddies about this–all agree that I don’t need to prove myself and shouldn’t try–because avoiding injuries is worth the lack of glory.
However, with your circumstance being an injury, I find it takes a good 2 months to work back up to a previous fitness level. As you keep running, it will get more like before. You’ve trained yourself before and know what to do.
Aimee…Everything you said is true. You will do this! Often our mental demons are worse than the physical ones. Keep going!
Loved reading this post Aimee – I agree that sometimes the mind takes over your body – you will get stronger and faster as your rib heals – but you are out there – which is more than a lot of people do! 😀
You are amazing Aimee! Keep going, because I know you can do this! Have you heard the quote “No matter how slow I go, I’m still lapping everyone on the couch?” Yeah, even when you have a bad run, you’re still doing way better than so many people!
Love, love, looooooove this post. I recently had to take a month off running due to injury and getting back into was both rewarding and totally frustrating. I went for my first run outside after about a week on the treadmill and I was just dyingggggg.
Thanks everyone! I mean it. It has been a rough few weeks. Somehow just writing the post and receiving your comments motivated me. I did some speed work on the treadmill last night and it felt great. No 10 mph for me Biz! Maybe someday 🙂 I’m ready to rock my long run tomorrow. I’m just praying that the 9-12 inches of snow predicted holds off a bit.