It's been nearly a month since my last blog post, and if I'm honest, probably the first month where I've run truly pain free in nearly a year. When I last checked in, Team Napa was about to head south for the big race, but due to my injury, I was unable to run as planned. The great news was that it was a wonderful trip, and the Team Napa runners that ran the marathon all did amazing. Photos and recap to come in an upcoming blog, including a link to Shannon's Napa wine recommendations.
As for me, I'm getting back into my running slowly but surely. I decided to put the focus of my rehab running on getting ready for the Vancouver Sun Run 10K, one of my favorite runs of all time. This will be my 9th Sun Run, and this year I have the special treat of having one of my dearest friends, Anne-marie, who lives in Dallas, Texas, joining me and my Seattle runners for our Sun Run weekend.
I'm so proud of her because I mentioned months ago that if she wanted to get active, training for a 5K might do the trick. Then I casually dropped in the conversation that another alternative for her would be to train for a 10K, double the distance, and run her race in Canada, nearly 2000 miles from her home. She chose to go big and chose the Sun Run, and started training the next day. I get so happy every time she checks in with me about her progress because her running is getting better even if she can't feel it yet. Let's hope she loves the Sun Run so much that this is just the first of many race days for her (and the first of many Sun Runs).
This time around post injury, I've been approaching my rehab runs a little differently. As much as I hate the treadmill, I'm trying to do one day a week on there to work on increasing my speed. I think it has helped too because in the first two organized runs I've done since the injury, my minutes per mile have decreased by nearly 30 seconds per mile. Now, I'm slow, so that means going from a little over a 13 minute mile to around 12:30, but that's a big improvement, and I credit a lot of it to the treadmill speed intervals. So I'll keep that up.
The next change I've been working on is pushing myself beyond my perceived limits. Through my wellness coaching, one thing I've discovered is that I have a tendency to give up or pull back when things start to get a little hard. And as I've discovered, this isn't something that just shows up in my workouts. One great thing the coaching has taught me is that everything is a choice, even the choice between easing up or pushing harder. I've always believed that when I give up and pull back, it's because my body is telling me I need to. What I've discovered is that it's been my mind, and I can always go harder. This change is going to be the hardest, but this is one I'm committed to.
So on that note, it's time for the new challenge. A half-marathon in June on the Olympic Peninsula. This run has a few big benefits. First, it's 13.1 miles, definitely doable and a chance to improve on my previous half-marathon times. Shooting for under 3 hours, and if I continue to push myself, I can do it. Second, I will get to run with my friend Sara, whom I would have been pacing with at the Napa Marathon had I been able to run. So it will be great to run with her. Finally, my friend Holly is doing the marathon on this course on the same day, so I will be there to support her huge accomplishment. Holly was scheduled to do the Edge to Edge marathon with me last year but suffered an injury prior to the run. Like a true champion, she has stuck with it and will be completing her first official marathon this June, and I'm happy I'll be there to cheer her on (as long as I finish before her).
I will be blogging more about this phase of training, focusing a lot on this idea of pushing beyond barriers. We'll see how it goes, but I'm hoping you, the loyal readers, will help keep me accountable. Next week, I'll be exploring running nutrition and how pushing beyond barriers means putting down that piece of pizza. Stay tuned.