Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller
After a blur of races in 2014, better judgement prevailed for 2015 and as you’ve heard me say a few times now, my mantra has been “train smarter, not harder” with five forward-looking goals for the year.
But, as they say, the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray…
Because somewhere along the way I talked myself into thinking that a century ride and an ultramarathon within a two-week span this summer was also part of this program.
For the record, I give full credit to my body for finally knocking some sense into me; my SI joint, which previously only felt sore after long marathon-training runs last fall, decided enough was enough and put the kibosh on pretty much all speed and distance work this spring.
Try as I stubbornly might to power through, I’ve gotten to a point where all the strength training, chiropractor appointments, cross-training, and core work in the world aren’t helping.
So I’ve decided to do something different for a change: Nothing.
Novel concept, huh?
Well, long story short — and two cancelled races later — I’ve realized that taking a break isn’t just about giving your body time to recover. It’s also about keeping the passion for your sport alive…and sustainable for the long run.
I run because I want to, not because I have to. And that desire is something I want to protect; not just for now, but for a long time to come.
That’s not to say I’m completely clearing my race calendar; it’s just that I’m wiping the slate clean and being more mindful about which events I choose and why. Put simply, I’m making a conscious decision to get off the further/faster/harder bandwagon that’s so easy to jump on when you’re working in the fitness industry and constantly meeting people who are all doing incredible things.
So instead of literally and figuratively racing my way through my first Oregon summer, I’m slowing down. Training will continue, but at a more leisurely pace.
And you know what? Those 2016 goals will be right there where I left them if/when the time comes to pick ’em back up.
Or — who knows?! Maybe taking a step back will inspire me or give me the perspective to define entirely new ones, such as tackling my old high school PR in the (highly-underrated; I completely agree with Lauren Fleshman) 5K distance.
But, either way, having a choice in the matter and being mindful about my running is what makes — and has always made — the endeavor such a delight. And I’d like to keep it that way.