Remember: We GET To Do This

When I first started, every run was a milestone. My longest run ever; my longest time running; my fastest km; my fastest mile; you get the picture. I went from barely being able to muster 1 minute of running/1 minute of walking for 30 minutes in a row to 10 minutes of running/1 minute of walking, all over the course of 8 weeks. I thought that was pretty awesome. I think that is pretty awesome.

Each time I would hit a new milestone, I’d say, Wow, isn’t it amazing that my body can do this. I am grateful for a body that is able to run and bike and dance (however questionably) and allow me to live my life without complaint. It’s a privilege.

In fact, running has become my way of celebrating the beautiful and capable body I have been blessed with. I’m not an especially healthy eater, and I could certainly stand to shed a few pounds, but running reminds me regularly to be mindful of the abilities of the body I have been given.

As I have continued to run, it takes longer and longer to hit the next milestone, meaning I am less likely to stop at the end of the run and go Wow because it is just a thing I do regularly. It is the norm.

On Wednesday of this week, I had one of those moments. Actually, I had more like one of those runs. About 1k into my tempo run I realized that my breathing was easy. My breathing had barely above the rate I would need to walk, and yet here I was, running what I thought was my tempo rate. I realized I could step it up and run quite a bit faster to achieve a proper tempo effort. That was pretty amazing.

As I was finishing my run, sweat absolutely pouring down my face and neck, I felt fantastic; I had a classic case of runners high. It’s the feeling every runner is chasing, if we are very honest with ourselves. We are all chasing the euphoria that comes with hitting a new goal, or truly enjoying our run.

During the day, I was wavering as to whether or not I should go. I remembered that I don’t have to run, but that I GET to run. Because of this beautiful, functioning, capable body that I have been given. Because I am able to celebrate that. And so I did, and as always, I’m reminded that

No one has ever really regretted heading out for that run.

So Happy Running.

The 10% Rule

10-10-10

Today is a easy steady run for me. It will be short, and as per my training schedule, is meant to add some miles to my legs. The problem is, I’m really hankering for a nice long run. A good 2 hours where I can go get lost, explore some new territory and really push my endurance. Where afterwards I can be so dead tired that there is nothing I can do but be happy and bask in the sweaty afterglow of a good run. I don’t get to do that until Sunday, which is when it is scheduled on my plan. I mean, I could head out for a 20k session tonight but that would be actually not help me to reach my long term goals.

…which brings me to the 10% rule.

The rule states that you should not increase  your mileage week over week by more than 10%. Going over this rule increases your risk of injuries from over-training. Especially when you first start, this is very difficult, but a stress injury can sideline you for days, weeks or months depending. Over-training injuries include stress fractures, iliotibial band syndrome (IBTS), shinsplints, plantar fasciitis, and the common runner’s knee.

Despite this knowledge, if you are really needing an extra couple of sweat sessions, try some cross-training that uses a completely different muscle group. Pilates and yoga are favoured by a lot of runners because they increases core strength and provides a deep stretch. Just makes sure whatever you do, you really are letting your primary running muscles rest.

Happy Running!

P.S The weekend is almost here!

(Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks)