Intro: This week is a step-back week in my training, and it’s coming at the perfect time. Not only have I been icing my knee all weekend, I think my mind needs a little rest from the long run before I up the mileage next week.
Oh, and I’m going to a friend’s wedding on Saturday, so I want to be able to bring all of my energy and enthusiasm to the wedding, but I do still have to run 7-9 miles on Saturday, depending on how I’m feeling mentally.
My goal for this week is to be very selfish with my training. I don’t mean selfish in the sense that you’re thinking, although I have been known to miss outings with friends and family because I have to run early in the morning. What I mean is that I only want to think about myself when I run: my mileage, my pace, my running. So often it is easy to compare ourselves to others, whether it’s friends or strangers you see running outside. I’ve always been competitive, but I’ve noticed that in the last year it’s beginning to affect how much I enjoy running.
This is why, starting this week, rather than comparing myself to others, and getting down on myself if I don’t meet up to my expectations from these comparisons, I’m running for one person and one person only: me. The half last Saturday was really eye opening for me, and, I know this is cheesy, but I feel like I’ve been completely re-introduced to running.
Monday: 3 miles.
I woke up this morning and was really not feeling well. I think that I may have still been dehydrated from Saturday, so instead of wasting the potential for a good workout, I postponed it to the afternoon.
I chugged water at work, had a healthy lunch, and, by the time I got off of work, I was excited to run. When the three miles were over, I was tempted to continue going. It was one of those runs where, as it finished, I thought in disappointment, “It’s already over?”
Because of my sore knee, though, I know that it’s smart to take the easy, recovery days as they come.
Tuesday: 5 miles.
Because this is a step-back week, today’s run only called for five miles instead of six. The workday was a reminder of why I usually run early in the morning, rather than in the afternoon. I came home from work, completely exhausted and so glad to have my run out of the way for the day.
And I was able to go out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday!
Wednesday: 3 miles.
What is up with me this week? I missed my morning run…again! I’m going to have to find a more intrusive alarm or something. Regardless, I got my run in right after work. I had yogurt before I went, but I forced myself to stand while I ate it, instead of collapsing into the couch. I’m pretty sure that, if I sat down, I would have never gotten back up.
Friday: 6 miles.
I had to give a friend a ride to work today, which meant getting up to run before 5. I was able to have breakfast, run, get ready, relax, take my friend to work, and pick up a caramel latte (Friday tradition). Successful Friday!
I’m headed back to Greenville tomorrow to see an old high school friend and teammate tie the knot!
Saturday: 8.5 miles.
Because this is a step-back week, my long run is cut back quite a bit. I’m back in Greenville for a friend’s wedding, so I was able to run my familiar home route, and I’m so glad. I love running in Charlotte, but there’s nothing like running at HOME and reminiscing.
Next week, I have a 14 miler. Eek!
Conclusion: First, I can’t help but notice that I ran 26 miles this week. What I ran this entire week I will be running in one day come January—surreal.
I slacked a little bit on strength training and abs this week. My weight lifting buddy, my boyfriend, was slacking, too. While I have no problem motivating myself to run every morning, lifting weights and doing sit ups is a different story. We’re meeting at my gym tomorrow (with homemade dinner as the incentive) and are going to work extra hard to motivate each other this next week!
At the start of this week, I said that I was going to work on running for myself and no one else. I ran watch-free for three out of the five days. I wasn’t focusing on pace or having the “perfect” workout. Instead, I reminded myself why I love running so much. I don’t love running because of the competition; I love it because of what it does for me, how it makes me feel, and how it makes me me.
After all, it isn’t how far you run, how fast, or how you compare to others; those things don’t make you a runner. All that matters is how running makes you feel.
The long run is going to be bumped up to 14, which is the longest I have run in or out of a race. I’m a little nervous about it, but I just need to remember to pace and be positive.