Never say never. Isn’t that the cliche? When I finished my last NYC Marathon (with a stress fracture) a couple years ago, I gave up running. I didn’t intend to, really – but the doctor put me on complete restriction (including no swimming!) for 10 weeks. [Okay, technically 4 and 6 since “unintentional running” (I forgot! Don’t judge me!) landed me back at square one, but I digress…]
I’ve only run short (and shorter… and shorter…) distances since. When my running club started up around 6 weeks ago, my friend Tess asked me if I’d be interested a Run & Ride 5K. We both love amusement parks (especially ones that feature Snoopy), and had been tossing the idea around for years. I said Absolutely! Then, a couple weeks later, I got a message from Tess saying she may be off her rocker, but she’s considering the half marathon instead of the 5K… and then she got on a cruise ship and left! Really?!? I toyed with the idea the whole week, just like Tess knew I would. [I may or may not have gotten her to run a marathon in a similar fashion.]
So…apparently I’m a distance running again. I’m actually pretty excited about it since I can never seem to reach the level of mindfulness and peace I get from a long run. I’m running a 5K with my running club in May and then I’ll begin a proper training program for the half. I am putting something new into my training this time around, though. When I quit running solely in preparation for races, I quit focusing quite so much on distance or speed and starting just running a set amount of time. I always thought if I did that, I would run slower (no goal, no measure, etc.). The opposite happened. When I’m not looking – I’m just running? I’m actually faster! By quite a bit. Is there a such thing as a non-training training program? There should be! So while I will do one day of speed work and one long run each week, I’m doing all of my other runs freestyle. No Garmin watch. No distance goal. No per-mile requirement at all.
I’ll be interested in seeing how it goes. I already committed to play in my work golf league, so this season I’ll take on two sports at once. However, I’m hoping that mixing up the training plan will take off some of the stress that comes with training (and risk of overtraining). Ready or not, here we go…