I Just Felt Like Running

If there has been a theme to my current training cycle, it is this:  I just feel like running.

In the middle of January, I froze my gym membership while I was contending with the residual lower back pain that plagued me for a few weeks after throwing out my back just before New Year’s.  I had tried to go to the gym a few times, but found that the elliptical and weights were causing too much stress on my lower back.

I was working with a physical therapist at that point, and placed my gym membership on a one month medical freeze.

You may wonder why I chose half-marathon training season as an optimal time to freeze my gym membership.  But for me, it was an obvious choice.

Running doesn’t bother my back and I prefer to run outdoors rather than on a treadmill.

I’ve been using Pilates and yoga as a way of strengthening my back and building my flexibility.  At this point, I am pretty seasoned practitioner and don’t need to go to a class to come up with a fun workout.  Sometimes I can be pretty happy on my mat at home.

My gym membership resumed this week and I went back to the gym last night.

When I was in Florida last week, I went to a yoga studio that I like for a few classes.  I took two Hot Flow classes and a Vinyasa class.  It was a nice change from self practice, as I had the opportunity to explore a few poses that I wouldn’t necessarily practice on my own.  I felt strong enough to return to regular yoga classes, so that is what I did at the gym last night.

I took a Power Vinyasa class.  And that is all.  I just went home.

On Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to take a complimentary TRX class at a new gym in my neighborhood.  Ordinarily, this is the sort of thing that I would have been all over.  But this time, I decided to opt out.

My focus is on running.

I only want to engage in activities that will supplement my running in a positive way.

After the three weeks that I took off in January to nurse my back injury, I don’t want to risk another injury.  Running feels good.  Yoga and Pilates feel good.  So I’m sticking with those things for right now.

I feel really confident in my decision.

My fear of injury has less to do with the thought of pain and more to do with the loss of control.  I don’t want to contend with things like forced rest.  It is depressing and isolating.

I want to be able to stay on top of my training — on top of my routine.

Last year, when I was training for the 2012 NYC Half and the More/Fitness Half, I did it all.  I ran four times each week, took barre classes, lifted weights and cross trained on the elliptical, stair climber and rower.  It worked for me that time around.

When I was in pain last month, all I could think about was my training.  I just felt like running.  So I’m taking a cue from Forrest for a change.

This time around, my focus is on running.

The number of hours that I log in the gym has reduced substantially.  But I am in better shape.

I work harder on my training runs and focus more during my yoga practice.

At night, I go to bed thinking about the run I’ll run in the morning or the run I’ve run that day.

And I savor my rest days with an extra few minutes in bed, which can sometimes be just as invigorating.

Run On™

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