Half Year Check In

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.

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Races
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.

Health
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.

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Yoga has really helped keep niggles in check

The niggles
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.

Coaching myself
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.

Final Thoughts
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?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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28 thoughts on “Half Year Check In

  1. I agree with this, Judy. There is no need to run races or to aim for a specific annual mileage to be healthy and fit. In fact, I think the absence of both of these factors makes it easier to listen to the body.
    I hope your niggles will disappear very soon again with the help of Hatha Yoga. Especially the Achilles can be so tedious.

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  2. Congrats on a successful six months.

    We are totally different when it comes to running. I’ve reviewed my goals last week.

    Racing is important to me. It is where I interact with others and feel a sense of accomplishment. Even if my time a PW or a PR.

    I also enjoy evening runs with friends new and old and gathering for a run or walk or just brunch with my sole sisters.

    We are all different.

    Hope your nighles disappear the second half of the year and you continue to meet your own running needs.

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  3. Personally I was so glad to get back to racing because racing was a really huge part of my life. I’ve already done 9 races this spring/summer and traveled to 3 different states to race so I’m super grateful I’ve been able to do that again! I really missed it.

    Everyone has individual goals though and it’s important to set goals that make you feel comfortable. I’ve had my vaccine for a few months now and i’m comfortable going places and doing things again. I know it’s not right for everyone though.

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  4. You’ve had a great first half of the year! Like you, I haven’t done any races this year and probably won’t sign up for any until next year. I’m oddly okay with that. I miss some aspects of racing but not all.

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  5. The vaccine(s) hit me hard as well. I had both the Shingles vax (two shots, spaced eight weeks apart) as well as the Covid vax, so it seemed like I spent January through May recovering from one shot or another LOL. I’m glad to have racing back, but I’m being a little more selective in what I register for. I’m trying to honor my marathon training, first and foremost, and that involves plenty of running miles and lots of biking miles already.

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  6. It sounds like you are having a great year so far despite some challenges. Being more in tune with your body is great! I haven’t done any live races yet either. I’m planing on a fall one, but just to have a goal to work towards. Honestly I feel like I could do without races if I had to. But I’m sure it will be fun to do one again.

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  7. I felt the same about races. I am looking forward to training for – and running – one again, but I’ve been pretty content with how things were going for me “on my own”.
    I am glad to hear you stayed healthy!

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  8. Good for you for taking the time to be more in tune with your body. We’re all different and it is so very important to find what works best for you.

    There is definitely a lot to be said for the absence of any sense of obligation to “have to run”, but for me, I’m finding now that I’ve had a considerable break I actually miss the process of training.

    I hope your niggles disappear soon!

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    1. I really don’t miss training. I still run, I still do a little speedwork. Never a big fan of summer racing a year! I might have considered the fourth race if I didn’t have other obligations. The weather was so nice! For racing!

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  9. If there’s anything that 2020 taught me is that I can run without races! As you know I really love racing but at least now I’ve learnt not to make that my focus! Having said that I’m really excited to be back training for a race (even if it’s cancelled, I’ll still run the distance). I’ve had so many good things happen this year but I still get this overwhelming sense of pandemic fatigue and anxiety from time to time.

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  10. I was just listening to a podcast about how the Covid vaccine affects runners, and they said that for some reason there has been an increase in achilles injuries after people get the shot. So weird, but it sounds like that might be what affected you.
    I’m feeling very hopeful these days! I know Covid isn’t gone but it feels like the darkest days are behind us. Glad 2021 is going well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that is weird. It had been bothering me long before the vaccine, although it had seemed to be normal & then began to bother me sometimes again. But not as bad. I hope you’re right!

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  11. I do miss racing and training for races. I cannot believe it’s been 18 months since I have done one. Keeping up my base has been my goal so far this year. I probably don’t do enough recovery runs myself!

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    1. Virtual definitely isn’t the same, but I still really love some of the swag I got from them last year. But I only ran a few, and I was picky about it! This year I haven’t run any virtual races.

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  12. I am so happy you had a great half year!!! I didn’t care too much either about recovery runs and sometimes ran them faster than I was supposed to, but over time I’ve learned to enjoy them. Now I look forward to them!

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