The Comeback Plan

Coming back from an injury sucks. Every step is heavy and slow, and running three miles feels worse than running 18. It’s been about a month since I’ve started running regularly again, and it’s been hard.

Yesterday, I set out to run 5 hilly-er miles.

It felt a lot hillier than it looks. I swear.

It felt a lot hillier than it looks. I swear.

My goal was to run at a “comfortable” pace–whatever that meant. I set out to just run and enjoy the beautiful day. My splits ended up being rather surprising:

Can you tell where I stopped to walk up hill a bit? Whoops

Can you tell where I stopped to walk up hill a bit? Whoops

Overall, I felt great. The last little bit of uphill felt hard and I let myself stop to rest a bit. I hadn’t run that loop since I was an undergrad, and it was fun to feel how differently I ran it now, even coming off an injury, from how I ran it then. I’ve come a looooong way.

Now that I’m feeling a bit more like I can start increasing my milage, it’s time to start thinking game plan. After all…this is what this blog is for.

I want to run another marathon–that’s a no brainer. There’s some major first world problems I’m trying to work through, though. Do I want to train through the winter? Getting up at 5:30am in December and January in order to run a marathon in February or March doesn’t seem all that appealing to me, to be honest. Or, do I wait and train when it’s a bit warmer and do another late Spring/early Summer race? But that’s a full year in between marathons…do I really want to wait that long?

You can see my conundrum.

Until I can decide one way or another, I’m focusing on building up to the half. In 2011 I ran the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon in Scottsdale. It was my first half–and my first race. It was extremely well organized, and as nice of a course as you can get in Phoenix. I’m going to race it again this year and use it as an opportunity to work on increasing my speed.

At the end of January, I’m going to run the Sedona Half Marathon. I’ve wanted to run it for years now, but have always been deterred by the…slightly hilly course.

Bitch is no joke.

Bitch is no joke.

That makes my “hilly” run yesterday look awfully pathetic.

As a notorious hill hater (Confession: I walk up hills a lot), this is a race to push my limits. It will not be raced for time. I mean, let’s be real. It would take a freakin miracle to PR on that course. The Sedona Half will be purely to get me out of my running comfort zone–flat, fast courses. The few races I have run with surprise hills wrecked me: physically, but also mentally. The little voice that says “walk” takes hold and often my legs listen. It’s time to silence that little bugger once and for all.

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