Two weeks ago…I ran a marathon.
I haven’t blogged on it yet…but it’s coming. I just need more time in my days to get my thoughts down.
Two weeks ago. And I have been taking my time returning to my training.
I’m not forcing myself to go out there for double-digit runs at the moment. I’m not forcing speed work on myself. I’m running by feel, fewer days a week than normal, not worrying over how long I’m out there or how far I go.
So many of my friends are shining in races. Some of them also had hard efforts in marathons. But, to me, it’s not about how many races I do…it’s about being able to do the number of races I register for…comfortably, without pain, without injury, without burnout…
I don’t wear race volume around my neck as a bragging right. I don’t care how many races I have run or of what distance each one was. Every finish is a victory. Every race is a victory lap for the training I put into it. And part of training…is taking the necessary time off to get my body strong, rested, and prepped for the next training cycle. I’ve done the whole rush into the next thing route before…and we all know how that turned out for me. So many people overlook the downtime and recovery…and I used to be one of them.
It’s so hard, these days, to keep this in perspective. Social media has a funny way of making you feel inadequate. Someone is always running more, running faster, running further, hitting goals you’ve dreamed of but have fallen short of for months/years. But, in the end, we can only do what is best for ourselves. No one else.
This past weekend, I was in Columbus, Ohio, visiting my friend Jenn and seeing Phil Collins in concert on Friday night. I had some late nights…I slept in each morning. And…I put in some miles each morning. One was mild and windy, the other was frigid and also windy (but less windy, I guess). I never once looked at my Garmin to check my pace. I just counted each mile beep until I hit the miles in my made-up plan.
Each run was solid and strong and amazing. I mean, I was having fun, even when the headwind felt like it was pushing me back. I got inspired when I hit up the Columbus Marathon expo, purchasing more things than I should of from the booth, and stopping by Noxgear to say HI to the people there…and get my hands on their new product, which hasn’t launched to the public yet. Watch my social media for more on that.
I ate well. I stretched. I foam rolled. All the self-care stuff that comes with recovering from a hard effort.
So while others are stocking up on medals and miles, I’m cheering them on, but not rushing to join them. I never want to be out for as long as I was in the past. And with these solid recovery runs coming so easy…I’m proud to say, I think this time, I’m doing it right.
The number of races I do is nothing compared to the number of races I will continue to do, simply by respecting this body.
Being a runner isn’t about the number of races I finish. I know plenty of real runners who aren’t even interested in racing. I love racing. It’s fun. But I don’t care if I’ve run 1 or 100 races…as long as I’m still enjoying it and listening to my body so I can continue to do it.
You do you!