Goal Tending

After I finish a race, I always get the question, “What’s next?” That’s okay, it’s a kind of logical question.

I had this great idea that I would make 2010 the “Year of the Half Marathon” and do a half every single month. Part of me wants to do another marathon, without needing stitches shortly into the event! Even better, I’ll tackle an ultramarathon… that will show the 26.2 who is the boss!

But the reality is that I need to slow down some. My body needs a little bit of a break.

The afternoon after the race (Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half) I drove to Utah for work, sitting in the car after the race was great for my right hip. It was achy for a couple days after. Plus it was snowy and cold in Utah (-3° causes me physical and mental anguish). That was probably really good for my system that was trying to heal from running a race with a cold. I just kept getting sicker which developed into sinusitis/bronchitis and required antibiotics.

So I didn’t run for a little over a week post-race just trying to get myself feeling better. I’m just starting to see improvement, but I’m still not 100% and continue to cough and sniffle more than I’d prefer. I went for my first post-race run last night, 3.4 miles at Fleet Feet, and while I was a little nervous that it might be rough on my respiratory system, I felt great throughout the run. Better than great… it was therapeutic… physically I felt pretty good but the mental benefits were even stronger. I felt happier and more relaxed during and after the run than I’d felt for days.

I need to focus on taking better care of myself for a while. Yes, getting exercise is a good way to take care of yourself, to an extent. I am too much of a perfectionist and I will run myself into the ground to follow a race-specific training plan before cutting myself some slack. And perfectionism to that extreme isn’t just ambitious, it’s a flawed way of thinking and behaving.

So, what’s next? I’m going to run shorter distances for enjoyment and myself for the next short while, probably nothing longer than a 10K for a little bit. There’s a part of me that is dying a little inside at this plan, I want to run distances. I need a 5K to get warmed up for crying out loud!

But more than the immediate need for distance, I want to run for the rest of my life. And right now, my body needs me to take care of it better.

So Jill will still run… just not as far for a little while. That’s okay, right? 🙂

12 comments

  1. This is the smart approach. Previously I would have gone for approach #1 – a half each month, but now that I have struggled through an injury, I know it’s NOT worth it! Take care of you! You’ll learn so much about yourself!

  2. i agree, running for the rest of your life is more important than pounding yourself into an injury! You are a smart chica!!!! You are still running! That’s what matters! But you have to listen to your body!

  3. Definitely take it easy, and don’t feel guilty about it! In the overall scheme of things, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. 🙂 (That’s what I said to myself last night, when I ate multiple pieces of toffee. YUM.)

  4. Of COURSE it’s okay to not run for a little while! It’s doesn’t make you less of a runner; rather, it strengthens your system so that when you decide to start up again, you’re excited about it and your body is ready for the motion. Take a break, take a break, take a break. The races will always be there, but if you don’t rest, YOU might not be there for THEM!

  5. You’re being smart. I know how tough it is…since my Nov. marathon I’ve been trying to keep myself in check, but it’s so hard! This is the time to take it easy, recover from last year and get ready for 2010.

  6. Funny…and I’m thinking I need to get out and run more. But I’ve taken the last couple months off (kind of) – really lame running. So it’s probably time I get out and push myself again.

    But that said, I will also say that the two plus months of rest were much appreciated by my knees and back!

  7. I think slowing down is a good idea. There will be plenty of time for more half marathons, marathons and ultras. I think I have told you in the past, I didn’t START running until I was 40 years old. You are so much younger than that… you could take it easy for a couple of years and still get back into the swing of things, stronger than ever.

    You will be running for the rest of your life. There is no sense pushing yourself into burnout or worse.

    Run for fun.

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