All those resolutions/goals I said I wanted for 2013? Toss 'em.
The more I've run these last few of weeks, the more I've tried to get my speed back, the more I've tried to hang on to a 7-mile long run, the MORE my ankle has hurt. It hurt day and night. It hurt going down steps or simply walking. It hurt for the first 1.5 miles of any run (previously it only hurt about the first half mile). Recovery definitely took two steps back. I wound up having to take a solid 6 days off from running. I hiked, I strength trained, I spun (spinned? cycled?), I rested.
And it felt so much better! Only 6 days off netted great improvement. I started back on Wednesday with a slow, gentle 3-mile treadmill run on an incline of 2-3. It feels best on an incline, rather than a flat. An incline reduces impact and shortens my stride. It was an embarrassingly slow pace I won't post here, but it was a comfortable pace that didn't HURT. That's one step in the RIGHT DIRECTION. Then a 1.5 mile treadmill run and a .5 walk afterwards on Thursday. Finally, a two mile run on a track without a watch and an estimated one-mile walk around campus with a friend in gorgeous 70-degree and sunny weather. (In January!!) It was so enjoyable to not care how fast we were going, to run pain free, and to spend time with a friend. Ahhh, I had forgotten about this aspect of training. Then a couple hours later I spun (spinned? cycled?) 4 miles including a Tabata interval. Friday was my "long" day.
It is a little sore today after 3 days of activity, so I'm going to rest. I'm going to rest from running for at least 2-3 days. On Sunday afternoon, I plan to spin.
This is the kind of runner I was talking about two or three posts ago. I'm just rebuilding and trying to get healthy. I've let all concern of pace and distance go. And it's so FREEING. I hiked for an hour on my favorite trail the other day with a different friend. It was so nice.
Running can be about training plans and speedwork and racing and chasing PR's. But it can also be about running just for fun and good health, even racing just for fun and the experience, spending time with good friends, and enjoying time in the outdoors. How did I forget that?
In the past 24 months, I have set new PR's at every distance: 1 mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon. I think it is time to change the focus.
My NEW/REVISED goals for 2013
This year, I want to have FUN as a runner. I'm going to slowly rebuild my base and heal my ankle and try not to care how slow I run or compare myself to others. I'm going to crosstrain with hiking and spinning. I'm going to strength train and do some interval training (non-running and occasionally running). I'm going to do some races for fun and the experience. I think I'm going to be more "experience-focused" rather than "results focused."
That is all.