Re-Thinking My Running

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When I went on my run this morning, in the hot, muggy, summer air,  I realized something.

I was not my usual happy self. I was slightly stressed.

Last year, at this time I was seriously training and running with more speed and ease. Though my knee hurt in August, I feel horrible during my runs now. I started to get down on myself, but I changed my mind mid-stride to realize that this year is different. I am just happy that I am still running and training. I have so many people, who I know who are not able to run. I need to change my attitude about running.

When you are a child running is as easy as breathing. All you do is go outside and run. It does not even matter what shoes you have on.

As you get older it gets more difficult,but it is still fun in your 20’s. Then it gets a little harder, but it is doable until you hit about 30. At that time, you have to really dot your I’s and cross your T’s. You must do pain management, stretch and proper water management, when you run. There is a need to make a greater effort when you train,  but you still can feel great in the first 1/2 mile if you push past it. It’s still good, then it gets real.

For me, by my 40th birthday the 1/2 mile grew to 1 mile of warm up, after the initial warmup. Currently, I need to do almost  2 miles more warmup before, I feel good while running. It seems to take so much mental power to keep running at an acceptable rate. Forget about running pain free, this does not happen, but from experience, I realize that the pain is temporary. Running was always a joy, but as you get older there are days when you do not want to run.

Recently, I took a few days off just to get my head and body together. Mentally, I needed a few days off from self-motivating myself to push past the pain I have when I run. Also, I needed to just relax and stop feeling stressed because I was running, however that did not work. I tend to feel stress sometimes when I do not run. It is all about my running plan and how far everyone else is into theirs. Ugh! I always feel behind. By the way, my training plan does not officially start until next week, I’m just animus because many people have already started. I consider building my base separate. But I am dreading the distance and the repeats.

I need to hit the gym and get my workout on…but before that, I am going to change my attitude.

I need to think about running like a challenge, not against others but against myself. I need to look at my younger self and say,” help out the old lady.” I need to feel like when I’m passed by others that it’s all good because I am running and others are not, yet never let myself settle for being slow. Always do better n matter how many minutes I do it. Every minute helps to bring me closer to my goal. I may not be able to run 6 days a week, but I will run as often as my body will allow.

That brings me to training modification. After looking at a 4 day a week program, I’m thinking about getting every aspect of training into 4 days plus an extra if I can manage it. All I need is one day for distance, 3 days of maintenance and 1 day for speed (I usually like 2 days, but I can combine it with 1 days of running). The distance and speed workouts will help me race, but I’m going to do crosstrain and strength training to offset my running. Month #1 will determine how this will work. Enjoying my runs will be a goal for each run. It’s all a test. I have no way of doing this, but time will tell.  I read many book in the last month on this but here is a few if you would like to read some too.

If you would like to know more about running happier and easier see the below. They have helped me in the dark times, when I felt like I wanted to quit. But I could never quit.

Once a runner, always a runner!

No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running, Paperback – April 20, 2002

Make Every Run Easier,Hal Higdon MONDAY, JULY 9, 2007, 12:00 AM, http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/make-every-run-easier

Be Your Own Cheerleader, Runner’s World, bJennifer Van Allen MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013, 12:00 AM, http://www.runnersworld.com/run-longer/be-your-own-cheerleader

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. DP_Turtle says:

    I’ve been there. I think most of us who have been running for a couple of decades or more have been there. You’ll get your mojo back! The key (at least for me) is realizing that I’m not running AGAINST my younger self; I’m running FOR my current self. Set new goals. You might not be able to approach your all-time best PR, but you can set a 40-45 year-old PR, then chase that down for a few years till it’s time to set a 46-50 year-old PR, etc.

    As for the training, two years ago I suffered a stress fracture from over doing it, thinking I could and should train like I did when I was in my 30s (or even 40s). I was 51 at the time. I was crushed when I realized I would be laid up for a few months, and even more depressed when I realized that injuries like this would likely occur more often at my age and take longer each time to recover. To cope, I bought an ElliptiGO (www.elliptigo.com). Full disclosure: I now work at ElliptiGO; I’m in my 3rd week. But the biggest reason I pursued a job here is because I saw what a difference it made for me, allowing me to run without the pounding of “regular” running. For 2.5 years now, I’ve been totally injury free, and I’m running, racing and enjoying it all again.

    I wish you the best of luck!

    1. adriadc says:

      Thank you for your comments. They were very inciteful. I will look into the Elliptigo. It is good to hear from another Masters runner on running through the decades. Hopefully you will run on for many years.

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