We are more than halfway through November, and here I am finally writing a recap of my October training. I’m going to do things a little differently this month. Rather than copy and paste my usual format, spewing out stats and numbers, I’m just gonna write what’s on my mind and on my heart.
You’ve probably noticed that tracking is really important to me. That I’m really into beating my competition – aka, myself. I like streaks. I like setting goals. Well, September came to a rocky end and it shook up those thoughts and feelings. I’m really glad that it did.
It’s no spoiler to say that my training in October was focused on getting prepared for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. If you’ve kept up with my blog or talked to me in person you’ll know that September ended with me thinking I might be injured. A physical therapist said to me, “I can’t tell you that this isn’t a stress fracture.” I was overwhelmed with fear of a break in my running, not being able to run the marathon I signed up for, etc. I had a lot of soul searching to do that included canceling my plans to run Ragnar Michigan and changing my training plan.
Although the end of September was rough, and the beginning of October wasn’t a picnic, the soul searching I did was so important. I deactivated my Facebook. I spent quiet time with myself. I read books and meditations. I refocused my energy on the important stuff. I’m still working on the right balance for me, but I can say I’m an all around healthier person than I was a couple of months ago.
The training plan I chose to switch to had me less focused on miles and more focused on feeling good. That was important. I did some speedwork, but much less. Most of my runs were about just getting out and running. I felt really good in my own skin, my injury seemed to be gone, and I felt confident that I could kick butt at this marathon.
Then of course my body decided to betray me with a tight hip flexor/groin. Every run, 2ish miles in, that thing would tighten up. Occasionally it was painful. Now my mind was filling back up with doubt. Would I be able to do this marathon? If I did it, would I risk further injury?
I took it easy with running. I stuck to my plan. I kept the paces easy. Even when I raced at Bruckelaufe and the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon I kept myself in check and treated them like training runs. I did cross and strength training. I ate wholesome carbs, proteins and fats. I took vitamin and mineral supplements. I stretched and did yoga. I drank water. I took damn good care of myself – the end of September scared me, and no goal, no time, no race was worth facing a break from running. I was determined to get to Indy healthy and finish it healthy, no matter what time I got.
That goal was accomplished, mostly. I felt really great for most of the race. The hip flexor eventually tightened up and it did get painful, but not until towards the end of the race. I finished with a big PR. It was overall an amazing race for me, especially with all things considered.
I’m following my plan still for recovery after the race, and even taking it a little easier than the plan suggests… at least with running. I joined Planet Fitness for more cross training and strength training options. I have squashed the FOMO I get about races and have only planned a few. Most of my running for the next few months will be just to have fun, keep the miles coming and keep me healthy. I won’t ramp up my training until February when I start working towards my goal for the 25k at Riverbank Run.
Yes, I’ve got big goals for that race. That race, I am hoping, will tell me about how well I’ve trained and strengthened my body over the winter. And I’m hoping it will tell me what I’m capable of come fall marathon time. I’ve got big goals for that, too.
As for the stats, I didn’t hit 100 miles in October but I came close. Just the other day I realized that I’ve already banked more miles this year than last year. I’d like to get 1200 miles in 2019 but quite frankly I don’t care if I don’t. I care more about how I end this year feeling. Looking back on how much I have accomplished, more about how I feel about myself, less about miles or times.
I do already have races planned for 2020 because I feel that it’s good to have goals to work towards/races to see how training is going. But I’m not trying to maintain a race streak (although I most likely will for a while). And some of the races will just be for fun/tradition.
Like the cliche saying goes, “Autumn shows us how beautiful it can be to let things go.” And that’s exactly what October was for me.