For almost two years I have been struggling on and off with running injuries.
Basically, my stupid bottom jumped into marathon training way too fast, and never let myself recover.
It has been ugly.
Luckily, exactly two months ago I began working with a running coach (in addition to my sports med chiro) in order to find a solution to this problem. AKA – control my stubborn stupidity.
I will admit that it has not been easy for the past 2 months. All my runs have been shorter than I would like, mostly 3 and 4 milers. If I had my way I’d run my favorite 8 mile trail route everyday. It has been hard to scale back and it is a new experience for me.
However, I have been enjoying the spring weather, green grass, blooming flowers, and the fact that I am able to run.
When I first got back from the marathon in New Orleans, I was extremely frustrated because I was pushing so hard just to break 13 minute miles and it was really bothering me both mentally and physically (ouch!). I was working my hardest, but I was still in pain and much slower than I had been previously. Over the 2 months I worked with my coach my runs improved just a bit and I was able to hit the mid 11s, but I really had to push to keep it below 12 minute miles. It was tough.
Well, last week I started to feel a bit better and was able to cut a few even 11:00 minute miles.
I was happy to see that I was finally making progress, but I know I have a way to go before I am where I was before, where I want to be. Still, the improvement had me smiling.
Then, this week, I went out for a quick 5K to celebrate my 32nd birthday and I don’t know what happened… I skipped right over 10 something miles and ran a 9:37 average 5K. Needless to say I was over the moon. This was, by far, the fastest pace I had run in months, and WAY faster than what I was running just a few weeks ago. Seriously the best birthday present ever, because on top of the awesome time, it was my first (almost) pain free run in forever-ever.
I almost thought it was a fluke, then I ran a second run (a day later) well below my normal 11 something pace too. I managed a 4 miler at very close to a 10 minute mile pace. It felt tough and I was pushing hard, but I am HAPPY to be improving.
Maybe this whole listening to a coach and taking her advice thing really was a good idea.
Here is to:
1. Getting healthy so I can run injury free.
2. Then, picking up some speed work.
3. When that is all done, slowly, very slowly, adding in some more distance.
Have you ever been very surprised by a run?
How did you convince yourself it was something you were capable of, and not a fluke?
Feel free to go back and check out these past running coach posts:
Why Did I Get a Running Coach?
Can I Afford a Running Coach? (You’ll be happily surprised by the answer.)
What Does a Running Coach Do?
Interviews with Running Coach Clients
An Interview with My Running Coach
My Experience Having a Running Coach