So this winter has been fairly intermittent with running. Some weeks I am more consistent than others about getting my miles in, it all depends on what’s on the plate for that week. Partly it’s because I’ve added in a twice weekly martial arts class, partly it’s the cold weather blahs, and mostly it’s the fact I have a million things on my to-do list. But as temperatures nudge toward Spring the roads call to my heart and I want to free my legs in a way that only running can offer.
For a third year I have registered for our local Catholic school’s Irish Dash to infuse my runs with purpose. Held on St. Patrick’s Day this year, the race is a small but festive one. I have placed in it every year I have ran, and it is my hope that I can manage to do it again this year. Over the past week I have slowly begun pushing the pace, adding some tempo into the mix to increase speed and cardiovascular endurance. I don’t care how long you’ve been running, fartlek is just such a fun word.
While mentally I am ready, my body has been slower to pick up this training cycle compared to previous years. My muscles take longer to recover, and the speed does not come as easily. Moving up an age group does not help the matter. I embrace the challenge this 5K offers my training, but also am nervous that I waited too long to be in competitive shape. The ego in me wants to control everything, but my physical body says otherwise. I make up for slower recovery by prioritizing sleep and adding more veggies and fruits into my diet. Deep tissue massages help to keep everything balanced and open. Bonus of giving up wine for Lent my sleep has been better and I am drinking more herbal tea in the evening.
I have been served a big slice of humble pie, and it is a hard balance to learn. Goals are an admirable thing that keep us reaching, but where does the line stop between giving it your all and letting something consume you to the point of injury? Hopefully we won’t find out this Spring!