I love to run, like stupidly love to run. Last year, I ran 13 races over marathon distance and consistently kept 100 mile weeks on my training schedule. I guess looking back, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my body parts started to complain, but I’m an ultra-marathoner – I’m invincible!
This year, I tried to continue with my intense training and racing schedule from 2009, but the number of races during which I felt less than 100% outweighed the runs in which I felt strong and at my best. I suffered through three 100 mile races, all DNFs, (which bruised my body and my psyche, too) and I’ve developed close relationships with my physical therapist, my active release therapist, and my masseuse. Don’t get me wrong: they’re great people, but I’d much rather be hanging out with them on a run or at a bar than on a table.
Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot of lessons this year:
1. Bodies have limits (more so when you get over 30).
2. Rest is good! It needs to be part of your training schedule, not an afterthought.
3. Even when you feel ‘better’, bring yourself back slowly.
4. Yoga is healing and a great workout!
5. You’re paying therapists to help; take their advice.
6. Weekend brunch is amazing.
7. Strength training should be an integral part of your running.
10. Volunteering at races can be just as rewarding as running them.
I want to be able to run forever, so I’m making changes and doing my best to incorporate these lessons into my life. It’s hard to change habits, especially those that are ‘healthy’ until taken too far, and I’ve had to learn this the hard way.