Do you take a moment to look at how the first half of the year has gone, or do you just go on with the second half? Whether you set goals or not, I always think it’s a good idea to reflect (but not ruminate) on what has happened, so you can adjust your sails if need be going forward.
Zip, zero, zilch, nada. I’ll get back to racing when the time is right for me, and so far, I just haven’t felt the need. Although I used to race somewhat often, racing wasn’t really that important to me.
So far this year there haven’t even been any virtual races for me. I do enjoy some new swag once in a while, but nothing has really caught my eye and I spent a lot of time in the first quarter of the year feeling run down.
I am very grateful that COVID, for the most part, didn’t seriously impact my family. I know too many who were impacted by COVID, though, so I don’t take my health for granted.
It seemed like the vaccines — and the tetanus booster last December — hit me harder than a lot of people. It felt like every time I finally felt better I’d get another shot and have to slowly rebuild my base.
I am healthy, though, and I am grateful for that. Everything that has happened this year has helped me to get even more in tune with my body and what’s right for me.
It’s no secret that my Achilles Tendon bothered me — annoyingly on & off — for about a year. It seemed to have resolved — until I got my COVID vaccines. Since then it’s been a lot better again, but every once in a while it randomly aches. I was able to run 8 miles, twice, without (much) pain — that is, much pain afterwards. I’ve also taken to wearing compression after long runs most of the time, too, which seems to help. I’ve been working much more on Hatha Yoga as opposed to Yin Yoga (although I am still practicing Yin, too!) — that also seems to have helped.
Then there’s the high hamstring tendinitis that has also been a random companion for a long time. It also comes and goes. Recently it seems gone. Hoping by the end of the year both these niggles are in the rear view mirror!
Embracing recovery runs
I have never been a huge fan of recovery runs. I’d rather walk, hike, or hop on the stationary bike. After reading Laura Norris’s detailed post on recovery runs, which unfortunately I didn’t bookmark and can’t find, I decided to give them a try.
I still am not a huge fan of the recovery run — but you know what? My body seems to really like it. It’s almost like hitting a reset button.
From 3 to 4 and back again
Embracing those recovery runs made it relatively easy for me to move from running 3 x week to 4 x week. Until I felt really run down recently. I had been saying I was going to take a cutback week, but then the weather would be nice for my long run and I knew that wouldn’t last so I just had to take advantage of it.
Until I felt the need for a break. Which I took. Why not? I don’t compare my mileage or even my training to anyone else. Hopefully I’ll be back to 4 x week soon, and if not — it’s not a big deal.
I have worked with a coach, which I absolutely loved. It was great to have someone else tell me what to do and not have to think about it — not to mention having your own personal cheerleader.
It’s also great to coach yourself, because in the end, only you know what’s going on in your body.
Despite niggles and sometimes feeling run down, this year has been going well. I truly don’t miss training for races — and neither, it seems, does my body. I make wiser decisions (mostly) when I’m just running for me. It’s easier to listen to my body and say nope! that’s not what it wants right now — or maybe it does.
The slow reopening of my state and the country for the most part has definitely been hopeful. I hope that when I do train for a race again I listen to my body and know when it’s time to push and when it’s time to back off. I will always train, because it prepares my body, but it’s just a race.
How do you feel about the first half of 2021?
Are you feeling hopeful?
What are you looking forward to in the second half of 2021?
This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.