I hope everyone is have a great first weekend of 2014. This week was sort of crazy. I was just coming off a long week at the hospital so I worked the week of Christmas and the weekend after. Then I had New Years Eve off as a normal day off. New Years day was a holiday so that day was off as well. Nathan and I just laid really low. I ran in the morning and we just spent the day doing normal household stuff (AKA cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, etc). We had plans to go over to our neighbors’ house on New Years Eve, but then they got home late and I wasn’t feeling well, so we decided to take a rain check.
With all the free time on my hands, I started planning a few things for 2014. I have been really wanting to get back into road races but I just didn’t know where to start. I used to run when I was in high school and college but I always did it for the camaraderie of it. In high school we had a very large cross-country team. The varsity and the non-varsity team trained together, and the varsity team changed depending on who was having a good training week that week. There was no separate team for the boys and girls, we all trained together and had a mutual respect for each other. It was a great atmosphere to run in. Everyone was really close and was always willing to help each other out. That is why I ran. I never liked the races and never felt a particular need to be competitive. I just liked to run, and be in an environment where my friends shared my love of running. We logged lots of miles in training, and the training was always fun. I always loved the way the team was structured, and felt that it was not “normal” for other teams to be structured that way. Thanks coach Dave. You were awesome!
Now, cut to 15 years later. I have stopped running due to injury multiple times. Actually, it was the same injury, just never completely healing. This year I decided that enough was enough and I should go to a sports medicine doctor to really get healthy and start seriously running again. So, with the help of my doctor, we have outlined a good plan to get me running pain-free again. We decided that I suffer from shin splints brought on by muscle imbalance in my hips and core. I have been doing regular exercises to target these weak muscles and it was amazing to me how quick my shin splints went away. I started running again tentatively and still have pain occasionally but nothing I cannot deal with.
I also have plantar fasciitis that I have been dealing with FOR YEARS. So, this year I have decided to get serious about it and really work to get rid of it. We will see how that goes. Plantar fasciitis is the black plague of running. I truly believe that.
So, for the last couple of months, I have been upping my mileage. In the end of December I was experimenting with other workouts such as crossfit and Pure Barre to become a more well-rounded runner. The girls at work even offered to go to the local yoga studio as a group. We will see how that goes. It has been fun trying out new forms of exercise. I really liked crossfit but I realized that my mileage actually went down when I was doing crossfit regularly because I was so sore after. I’m sure that would go away, but I am not sure I liked that. Running if first and more most my workout of choice. So, I have my eye on a bike trainer so that I can convert my bike into a stationary bike in my basement so when I am not running, I can still get a good cardio workout. Crossfit still has a place in my weekly workouts, likely twice a week for a while.
Once I got all this situated, I started aiming my goals toward this coming year. I signed up for the Hurt the Dirt Half Marathon in Rockford April 26th. It is a trail run that is 13.1 miles long and goes through the local park in Rockford. I am hoping for a great run and am having fun upping my mileage in anticipation of training to start. My actual training plan starts the end of January, so I will let you know how it goes. I am very excited. I asked my friend Beth to run it with me and she thought she was interested so we will see if she does it with me. My neighbor (who runs marathons all the time) is thinking about doing the half with me as it works out in his training plan for his intended full marathon later in the spring. If all goes well, I would like to complete another half marathon in the fall but we will see. First things first, right?
I hope you all are having a great start to your new year and are still going strong attaining your goals.