Monday, September 4, 2017

Change Is In The Air


As the new season approaches, there's gonna be some changes taking place.

Changes not only in how I usually train, but a major change from the (running) lifestyle I've grown to know.

Ever since I've been a serious runner, I have been in a constant cycle of training and rest/recovery, and then repeating. It's always worked great...I've had plenty of races, lots of fun with running friends, seen some new cities, and always respected the necessary recovery before starting all over again.


Fall has always been a busy season. In 2013, 2014, and 2016 I had marathons on my fall roster (Quad Cities Marathon, IMT Des Moines Marathon, Route 66). Not to be left out, there have been numerous other races as well (half marathons, 10-milers, 10K's, 5-milers, and 5K's to keep me busy.

This year, there are only two races (thus far) on my calendar (though there are a couple other events I'm considering, pending my surgeon's stamp of approval next week). Not only do I have much fewer races, I have a much different reality....my recovery from that unexpected surgery in late June that has kept me out of my running shoes.

My first race is a 5K (Kickoff to Kinnick 5K) at the end of the month. I'm not at all worried about the distance, but I do not know how quickly I'll be able to actually run that distance after this almost 3-month sabbatical. After all, I have never had a delicate 6-inch suture scar right across my knee before. Although I still cannot bend my knee in a full range of motion, I can bend it enough without compromising my stride or form for running. That said, my training will probably have to start off with walk/run intervals, though, so I can continue to gradually build up the strength in the knee as I (carefully) increase its mobility.

Speed will (obviously) not be a priority (not that I ever was super competitive anyways). That's actually a bit of a relief....it's been a long time since I've run a 5K without that nagging sense of "what if I can't run it as fast as last time" mentality. I don't expect to even come close to a fast (for me) finish and have no desire to try for one.

I have never trained with intervals before. Sure, I take walk breaks, but those are usually due to fatigue and are only as needed. Interval training (for walk/run) is a whole new arena for me. It's gonna be a challenge to not want to run the entire distance (at least at first), but I know it's not in my best interest to run that far right outta the (recovery) gate. I need to take things slower than usual because I have a different set of circumstances this fall, even if I didn't ask for them.

If all goes well with this 5K on September 30, I'll be adding a 5-miler/5K combo in mid-October (Des Moines Marathon weekend). And, it's my goal to continue the momentum to run the Rock'n'Roll 13.1 in Las Vegas on November 12th. The Vegas race will be all about fun, friends, and finish lines (I'll be meeting up with some fellow blogging friends for that adventure...and why would anyone want to run fast through the sights and sounds of the Vegas strip anyways?).

I think this fall season will not only be a different ball game than in years past, but also an improvement from what I've been doing since my surgery. I've been able to keep positive despite the curve ball I was thrown, and that has kept me active and eager for more.

Here's what's on tap:

I - Integrity

M - Motion

P - Persistence

R - Rest days

O - Optimism

V - Victory

E  - Eagerness

M - Miles

E - Excitement

N - New adventures

T - Time

This isn't gonna be easy, but I'm ready. Wish me luck!

What's your fall schedule look like? Any new races? Any new training strategies for you this year?

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run... Join the party!

...and with Deb for the Wednesday Word (consequently, this month's word is improvement)

 ...and with Susie and Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.

41 comments:

  1. I totally agree about not having as much pressure for a 5k! Before I was injured, I was stuck at right around the same PR (which I set in 2013). When I come back I know I will be no where near that, so there won't be any pressure to get that time. It will be all about improvement, like you said!

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    1. The 5K is a tough distance...it's relatively short, but LONG if you're trying to run it fast (or faster than what feels normal LOL). I'm really looking forward to a stress-free 5K ;-)

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  2. I love this post. My knee problem was very minor compared to what you have been through but I am glad it happened when it did because it gave me a new perspective. I was already becoming so obsessed with beating my last time at every race, and that became my focus that sometimes I forgot to enjoy myself. I like the head-space I am in now and eventually of course I hope to get that 1hr 10k time and move onto Half Marathons, but I'm really enjoying the ride more now. I love your positive attitude and your new approach. Best of luck and enjoy your return! x

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    1. That's it exactly. I feel so sad for runners who are constantly on a quest for a faster finish time (no matter the distance). I get the wanting to improve one's speed, but I also think we need to chill out and enjoy the runs/races once in awhile and not make every "lace-up" a conquest.

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  3. It's nice to not have pressure. I bet you'll find that as your mobility increases, you speed up quickly. All of those miles on your feet walking this summer have likely made you really strong.

    I swear, one of these days, I need to get in on the blogger race meet ups...

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    1. Come to Vegas!!! We'd love to have you join the party!

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  4. I think the hardest part for you will be holding back on your miles and easing back into running. Not that you like to overdo it or anything... :p

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    1. We shall see. I know there's gonna be temptation...but I am so paranoid about re-injury...the ego is taking a sabbatical for awhile ;-)

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  5. yes it will be different but you will be fine. And I have the feeling next year you will be stronger than ever!! Sometimes it's really tough to pull back and get through injury (or worse, surgery!!) but they way you've approached it has really been impressive! I'm looking forward to seeing your upcoming race results!

    I have a half marathon in 2 weeks (less than) and TBH I'm not even sure I'm going to do it... the rest of the year I have nothing. I am kind of waiting to see if I have to have yet another foot operation :( All I can say to that is: Booooooo!!

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    1. yes...Booooo to the foot and potential operation! These damn recoveries need to be less stressful and just get done, right? (excuse the bad grammar)

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  6. I'm glad that you are easing back into running with a 5K and I hope that it goes well!

    I love your Improvement motto!

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    1. Thank you, Kim. It will be humbling "training for a 5K," but I know I have to take things slow for now.

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  7. Just being able to run is a gift so just enjoy it regardless of your pace. Besides a 5k next weekend, I don't have any races on my fall schedule this year.

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    1. This is the bleakest fall schedule I've had in almost 10 years....it's kind of a nice change, but totally out of my realm LOL

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  8. I think the hardest part of dealing with bumps in the road is learning to let go of expectations and being flexible with whatever circumstances present. I'm excited for your return to running, whatever the pace, whatever the distance. You've got nothing to prove so be smart and do what's best for your body.

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    1. Thanks, Marcia ;-) My only expectation is to be smart and cautious and leave the ego in hibernation.

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  9. Good luck! It sounds like you've got a smart plan for your Fall training :)

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    1. This fall season will be a new adventure ;-)

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  10. Running without pressure is so much more fun. When I was in the thick of half marathon running, I kept putting more and more pressure on my races. The most fun I had was the first half because I didn't have any goals except to finish. Now I do all races for fun, and throw the pressure out the window.

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    1. My sentiments exactly. Sometimes I feel shunned by the more competitive runners, but I am just not their breed. I love a PR as much as the next person, but I just can't base my "happiness" on them.

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  11. The mobility will come back -- it just takes time. And I think you'll be surprised with how little fitness you lose, probably. And if not, you're in the right mindset.

    Obviously I run/walk -- ever since I started with that again over two years ago I've been able to be injury free (minus some nagging aches -- sometimes), knock on wood.

    However, I am looking forward to an off season. There will no doubt be a bunch of shorter races this fall, because that's my running jam, but they're mostly run for fun. I've been training fairly hard (for me) since March 2016 -- kind of unusual for me -- so I'm ready.

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    1. Gosh, I had not even thought of an off-season LOL...Seeming as I am just coming out of an unexpected off-season, I'm not sure what's gonna happen over the winter. the run/walk will be a new thing for me.I know it works well for so many runners, I'm hoping it's a perfect fit for my transition back to running ;-)

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  12. You have stayed so active during your recovery, and I am sure you will have no trouble getting back at it again.

    I have a few races coming up, but I'm dealing with them one race at a time.

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  13. Love this Blog! I've got Pleasant Creek race(15k),Ragnar in Michigan, and the IMT HALF. Might sign up for one more Trail race:) And have a TRX Challenge. You are doing Awesome! Love your Training! Keep it up!

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    1. I want to do a Ragnar someday...they look like so much fun! Maybe I'll see you in Des Moines!

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  14. Good luck! The first time I tried interval training, it was hard for me mentally. However, it's been the best for me in the long run, especially after I had an IT Band injury.

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    1. I am already anticipating the (mental) challenge...but I know it's the best approach I can have for now

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  15. Definitely V for victory! You are going to have the most epic comeback you have kept in the best shape. It's going to be fun to watch.

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    1. Thank you, Deborah ;-) I'm looking forward to it!

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  16. I'm gonna have severe FOMO over Vegas. It's my bday weekend!! I wish I could have come. You guys will have so much fun!

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    1. awwwww, you still can come!! Bring the family!

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  17. Just enjoy the run. Enjoy fall running. You will love being back out there, but take your time!

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    1. I'm planning on a slow, easy, gradual transition. I have nothing to prove...to myself or to others ;-)

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  18. I have Vegas on my list for sure!!! Not going to happen this year, maybe next year. Every year I say that though. Enjoy!!!!

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  19. Not having a lot of races on your calendar for the fall is a good call. Focus on rest, recovery, and getting back at it, and racing will be there for you when you're back at it 100%.

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  20. I'm also training for 5Ks this fall! The only one I'm signed up for so far is on Thanksgiving, but I'm sure there will be a couple more added along the way.

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  21. I'm looking forward to following your transition back into running. You've done so well with your walking that it might be easier than you think, but you're still smart to ease in slowly.

    Thanks for linking up!

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  22. Good luck easing back into running, with your surgeon's stamp of approval! Your positive throughout all of this will only continue to help you as you shift your training focus. Maybe you'll fall in love with intervals! :)

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  23. Sometimes slowing down a bit is for the best. Two races aren't that bad, right? Keep up the awesome work, Kim!

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