Wednesday, November 19, 2014

...about last night...

Have you ever been in a (runner's) slump? At a crossroads? Satisfied with your achievements and ready for a rest....but still wanting to do more?

Welcome to my life!

I have had a busy run-filled year. Destination races. PR's. Age-group placings. Highest monthly mileage totals (twice!). Another 26.2 completed. And, I will end 2014 with my highest-ever total miles for a calendar year.

And I'd be deceiving everyone (especially myself) if I didn't admit that my body is exhausted. How do I know? Recently, following my last half marathon, I took an entire week off from running....and felt no shame, guilt or remorse in doing so.

I have battled intermittent issues with my glute muscles and recurring piriformis pain. I hesitate to call any of these aches and pains anything more than simple strains from over-worked muscles. They have been there for awhile and did not just suddenly appear. 

Although I don't think they are actual "injuries," I am treating them as such. As much as I'm eager to keep on running as if I'm training for another event, I'm allowing myself an off-season instead. A time to regroup and refocus. A perfect opportunity to fire up my cross-training and recharge my energy.

I will still be running throughout the next few months, just in moderation. I have witnessed too many others who train like maniacs through the winter only to burnout. Maybe not right away, but they do burnout, often not by choice.
So what happened last night that was so significant? For the first time (in a very long time), I got to enjoy a simple run with no agenda. It also was my first official run of the winter season, complete with snow, cold temps and a double layer of running tights.

I ran it under the halo of street lights, at the end of my work day. It was only two miles, but very much worth my time and effort (as cold weather runners know, it often times takes longer getting dressed for the run than the actual time spent running itself).

Professional athletes have an off-season after all, why can't I?

What are your thoughts?  Do you take an off-season? Or ease up on your training periodically?


  1. In the winter, I definitely ease up on my training. I still put in the miles but with less focus on pacing and time. It feels great to just run. Funny tho, I"m still winding down from racing and training. It's hard to let that go.

    1. ain't that the truth! Last year I did the Runners World streak, running at least a mile everyday from Thanksgiving until New Years (of course) I feel compelled to do it again. A simple mile is not much to ask of my body, but my gut is telling me to let it go. I don't do these challenges half-a$$'s all or nothing. But, deep down I know my body needs some R&R. UGH.

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  3. I use to train during the long cold Kansas winters. I was so afraid of loosing my fitness plus i do a series of halfs in the spring. This year, this injury has taught me to slow down and enjoy running and not worry so much about training so hard. SO I am kind of taking a break at least until January and until my leg is 100% and I am going to enjoy each and every run!

    1. Good for you! I think taking a break is often times tougher than training! I doubt you'll lose much (if any) of your fitness by taking time off from running, especially if you're able to do some cross-training. Best wishes & happy recovering ;-)

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