Now that I have a week of rebuilding behind me, I can (at least in the figurative sense) breathe a little easier. I went into last week’s training knowing that I was going to be in for a challenge. I had a plan, and I wanted to work it, but knew that for the sake of a healthy recovery, I would modify it if I needed to.
My first run (last Tuesday) went incredibly well. I managed to get in 6 miles and I felt amazing. I had pushed my run:walk intervals so I was running three and a half minutes before I spent a minute walking. On this run, I was able to stick with this well and only gave myself an additional break at about 5 miles into the run.
Thursday was harder, but I had upped my miles so I was running 8. I backed down my actual running pace to help me get through the miles, but stuck with the 3:30 running intervals. It was a very slow 8 miles. But, I managed to only give myself one additional walk break and made it through.
Saturday was definitely the toughest of my runs during my rebuilding week. I added on two more miles and, since I was running while traveling, I had quite a hilly route to conquer. On top of that, we had traveled the evening before and didn’t get in until late. Therefore, I was facing a difficult run on far too little sleep. All in all, it wasn’t horrible. I upped my running intervals again. This time, I went for a 3:45 running interval. And, it all went along quite well until close to 6.5 miles in. At that point, I gave myself an extra minute of walking, and felt slightly better. However, I quickly started wearing down and every interval after that became a mix of pep talks to myself and cursing. When I finally made it to 9 miles, I decided I had done enough. My legs felt like jelly and I was frustrated.
But, then I made a little breakthrough with myself. There was no reason for me to be so frustrated with myself. A month ago, I ran as part of a phenomenal team in the Blue Ridge Relay, had surgery less than a week later, and was unable to run for two weeks. This week, I put in 24.6 miles. Who cares how crappy that last 1.6 miles went? I proved to myself that I was still able to follow my “relentless forward progress” motto and that I was going to be able to run Cannonball no matter how long it took me.
I think it is something that we all need to keep in mind as we run and especially when we recover from anything that has kept us away from running. It is okay to recognize that you have limits. Take care of yourself and you’ll come back better and stronger. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of months hold!