It’s been a rough few weeks for running. And not even because of the heat. Though nasty humidity and a heat index over 100 don’t exactly make for speedy miles.
Back on July 10th I had a stupid accident while moving a small trailer, and I ended up with a big welt and bruise just above my right knee.
I’m grateful and lucky it wasn’t more serious, but the swelling and tender skin have made it painful to bend this knee too much. Hence, why running has been rough. I hate self-pity, but I was feeling it creep in because I had to skip my birthday run on the 11th.
I ran a hard sprint workout on our flat road the day before this happened, and I didn’t run again until a week later, the 16th.
I ran exactly one mile.
I don’t think I’ll ever be so much of a distance runner that I stop appreciating the significance of 1 mile. It might be shorter than some people bother with. But in my brain, hitting the 1 mile mark makes it a run instead of just a quick hurry to get someplace.
I like 1 mile, especially if I’m just testing the waters. My leg was (and still is) sore, but running didn’t hurt it more than not running.
Still, in the midst of putting up hay and hot weather, I didn’t manage to put my running shoes back on until Saturday morning.
I ran 4 miles this time, starting with two super slow warm-up miles that felt harder than they should. Then I picked it up for a faster third mile, just hanging on to sub-9:00 pace. The last mile was fartlek style, and I focused on good form and running hard in spurts.
I think it’s safe to say my leg will be okay, but I’ve lost some fitness. For these four total miles I didn’t even average marathon pace.
It did feel good to be out there running into the summer wind, and on this run that mattered most.
I’ll see how things progress from here, but today I realized I already have a lot, running-wise, to be thankful for this year.
Since 2013 began, I’ve run a perfect “quad” of races. One each at 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon. Certainly there are other distances to race, but these are the most typical in my repertoire.
Of the four distances, I’ve set a PR at three. I’m still chasing down 23:10 at 5K, but I was astonished to run a 1:50 half marathon this April and best my marathon time by over 20 minutes with a 4:05 in June.
I still don’t have an official 10K time from 4th of July weekend, but I know I shaved over 5 minutes off my previous best.
It really is important to reflect on your accomplishments as you go through the highs and lows that always come. You’re worth it!
In your job, relationships, running, and life, it’s easy to feel like you’re behind or failing if you don’t meet every goal.
It’s crucial to have goals and work hard towards them. But, it’s also okay to look back and appreciate how far you’ve come. If you skip this you miss the celebration in the journey.
I don’t have any major races on the horizon, so this is a good point to take my sweet time with running. I have several 5K’s, including a Team Dairy appearance at the MN State Fair Milk
Run, I hope to do yet this year.
Spring is always my longer race season though, and it works out for my schedule that way. But — I love running in fall the most. I like to think fall is when I lay the ground work for good things to come in spring. And maybe run a race or two in the mix. 🙂 So hopefully I am back to feeling 100% by the time the leaves start to turn.