It’s been three months since I’ve trained for a race and I haven’t missed it — until this week. Admittedly, I was getting nervous. What if I never wanted to run again? I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but the underlying thoughts are always there when you take a little break. When you’ve loved running since you were 12 years old, the odds of falling out of love with it are slim. After having something to train for (running without injury, racing without injury, and then a PR attempt) for the past 2 and a half years without an honest break, I was due.
But this week, the itch came back. My first pang came back in the middle of Monday’s class at the gym. We practiced squats before the workout, which is something I haven’t done in six months and automatically got some PRs there. The actual workout involved 200m sprints, kettlebell swings, and chest to bar pull-ups. While my legs were exhausted from the squats, those 200m sprints gave them life again. I missed the track. I missed pushing hard.
The pang came back on Wednesday as I drove by runners warming up for the 5k down my street, which I love. I was driving to my Olympic lifting class, which I also love, all I wanted to do at that moment was park and run up to the registration table and hop in. I kept driving to my class, but after a terrible lifting night, I wished I ran instead.
In two weeks, my friend is running the 100 mile Beast of Burden race, which I intend to pace for at some point for her — it’s a 12.5 mile loop out and then 12.5 mile back, so I’ll tag along for just one length. The following weekend, another friend has her half ironman, so I’ll be on the cheer squad. If I wasn’t already getting the itch to start training again, I would certainly be feeling it by the end of August.
I’m glad I took these few months to do whatever I wanted, clear my mind, and take the needed rest. Apparently it was much needed, based on how much time it’s taken before I got The Drive back. I’m excited to build my base back up this fall with these stronger legs and keep the right balance (for me) between cross/strength training and running. Hopefully we’ll have a house with a treadmill for me by the time the snow hits, too so I train with consistency in the winter for the first time ever!
I’m already considering a couple options for next year — a rematch between me and the sub 1:40 Pittsburgh half marathon? Or maybe the Grand Island Half Marathon? Maybe a full marathon in the spring? Or should I hold off for the fall? \