Listen to Your Body


Four simple words, and yet they’re so hard to follow.

It seems that when I am in the throes of a training plan, I adhere only to the next workout on the list.  I silence the aches and pains or anything else that might keep me from my prescribed run and press on.

It is liberating right now to not be training for anything in particular — though I would like to be.

But the freedom that comes with “not not training” is giving me the chance to truly learn how to listen to my body; to ask myself which day I should do a speed workout, run some hills, run long or not run at all.

It feels strange; and though for a while it was comforting, I am ready to move on.

It has been a while since I have posted here about my running, and the likely reason is because I don’t have anything particularly special to report.

I run 3-4 times per week.  Sometimes painlessly and sometimes not.

I typically run between 3 and 5 miles during each run; though occasionally I will run a shorter run.  Once in a while I will attempt to add mileage; though I am wary of potential flare ups and my PT and I are currently working out how best to increase my mileage.

Increasing my weekly mileage is key, because I don’t think that I can really train for anything properly until I can get myself to a place of consistently running 20-25 miles per week for several weeks, first.

I am having trouble setting my sights on any particular race.  After I missed a few races this past winter due to injury, I told a friend and neighbor that I kind of figured I just wouldn’t be racing in 2014.

Truth be told, there was a moment when I thought I might never run again (after an initial consult with my orthopedist, who – let’s just say – wasn’t exactly using his words) and that was a very scary moment for me.

So to be where I am now – able to run comfortably (for the most part) and regularly (even if in shorter bursts than before) and faster (which is something of an anomaly, but I’ll take it) – and thinking about increasing speed and distance and racing again, is pretty freaking amazing.

I am just so unsure of where to begin.

I am thinking about choosing the 5th Avenue Mile as a goal race for the fall.

This is an odd choice as last fall’s goal race was a marathon; but somehow it feels like it could be a good fit.

I took a look at this article and training plan and it looks to be both challenging and manageable.

My paces have improved significantly and I’ve bested my recorded mile time many times now in workouts where I wasn’t even pushing that hard.  It would be nice to see what I could do.

Training for the mile wouldn’t mean increasing my mileage by too much.  25-ish miles per week could be the sweet spot.  And lower mileage means more time to dedicate to swimming, my new favorite cross training activity.  And, you know, ’tis the season.

Training for the mile wouldn’t mean beating out epic long runs in epic summer heat.  As Yogi Berra once said, “[i]t ain’t the heat; it’s the humility;” and struggling with injury for six months after the extraordinary high of finishing my first marathon has been humbling indeed.

Maybe it’s time to sweat the small stuff and break 26.2 down to its component parts.

But most exhilarating of all, it could mean the chance for this former “slowpoke” to see a 6:xx on the clock.  And that could be just what I need to make myself unafraid of tackling speedy paces over longer distances.  It could be the perfect comeback.

I don’t know.  Right now this is all just theoretical.  But I will be talking it over with my PT later this week.

I will keep you posted.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see training updates return to Rachel On and On?  And how about a race recap, too, while we’re at it?

In the meantime, though, I will keep listening to my body and allow it to be the best coach I’ve ever had.


One thought on “Listen to Your Body

  1. The one mile race could be an amazing next race…you are running so fast now (without focusing on speed work). Might be good!


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