Now onto running:
In my quest to bounce back from this stress fracture injury, I've been doing a lot of reading about how to be smart next time. Not that I was completely ignorant, but I constantly pushed myself to the point of crapping (sometimes under bridges, sometimes in bushes, sometimes, well I didn't make it), didn't cross train (except some yoga), ran back to back days all week long, didn't take my calcium, changed shoes just because I felt like it without making sure they were the best fit, raced and raced and raced and...well, I guess I was completely ignorant.
Here's what I have learned, fellow runners. I know most of you know this, but there is always room for a reminder:
- Gradually increase distance, intensity and frequency. 10% rule. Don't increase any of these by more than 10% at a time. Big Fat Fail for me. I upped my speed and frequency and distance all at once. Right before I got injured I ran ten miles one day, 18 miles the next day (at marathon pace), 6 miles the next day (fast), then major major speed work (9x800). Then ouch, hey my foot hurts. No shit.
- Be careful of excessive downhill running. I didn't do too bad on this one, but did the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon (all downhill in the Colorado mountains) then the next week ran the relay in Oregon.
- Adequate rest between workouts. Total fail for me.
- Fewer hard surface runs. I did okay on this one. Did lots of trails.
And just food for thought. Did you know 80% of running injuries are caused by too much of an increase in mileage?
I am going to make a confession here. Sometimes when I would read your blogs and hear of your long distances, fast times and PRs, I would feel the need to keep up. To push harder, rather than doing what was right for my body. Lesson learned. Be where you are.
Tomorrow is indeed another day. There is no telling if another injury awaits me in my future, but I'm going to work hard and diligently to avoid it. Trying to BQ after only running for the past year or so might have just been too much. I plan to be running for a very, very long time. I plan on running a marathon at the Great Wall of China. I want to run the Athens Marathon, following in the footsteps of Pheidippides and returning to the place where I went to high school. I want to do an ultra someday, running the famous Comrades 87km race in South Africa. I need to keep my body strong for all that I have in store for it. I am competing only against myself and I need to not compare, not judge, not let my ego take over.
What are your great future running plans? Where is your dream place to run a race? How will you take care of yourself to make sure you get there?
I close with a picture of me getting ready to see Wicked this weekend. What a wicked slit I have in my skirt, eh? Forever Double 21!!
PS: Check out this giveaway!