C’mon! Get the Lead Out!

Time to fess up.  I have become a bit of a lazy runner.  For quite some time now, I’ve relaxed into the title of “long distance runner”.  I allow myself to run as slowly as I want because I am running such long distances.

In actuality, I only have one “long run” during the week.  That is my Sunday run.  When I am in training, my long run is supposed to be 1 1/2 – 2 minutes slower than my race pace.  I tend to be unscientific about the pace.  I simply run a little slower, make it comfortable and complete the run.

The rest of my runs are shorter distances.  The weekday runs are supposed to be run at my normal pace.  Tuesdays are scheduled as speed work.  I have not been doing speed work.

Back in 2009, I developed Plantar Fasciitis.  This is an inflammation of the Plantar Fascia, which is connective tissue running from your heel to your toes.  I worked with my podiatrist and trained through the end of 2009 for the 2010 Disney Marathon.

When a runner has Plantar Fasciitis, they are discouraged from doing any speed work.  Yeah, okay, no speed work?  Twist my arm.  Speed work is hard.  You sweat a lot.  You feel really tired at the end.  Isn’t it much more fun to relax, unplug and enjoy the run?

I took off a significant amount of time from running in the first half of 2010.  I did not run for weeks after my Bunion surgery.

On many levels it was great timing to have foot surgery.  I had time at home to heal from surgery.  It gave me time to bond with IB.  Another benefit was that it gave my Plantar Fascia time to heal.

Beginning in the summer of 2010, I trained for the NYC Marathon. I used the Beginner Jeff Galloway run-walk-run program.  The program goal was “to finish”.  No speed work was required.  I trained and finished without any injury.  Yes!

Here we are in 2011 and I’m training for as many Half Marathons as I can talk The Major into allowing me to run.  So far, I’ve got two on the calendar.  If that’s all I get in, I’ll feel pretty good about that.  Anything else I can get in will be gravy.

I have decided to go back to my first training program.  I am following the Beginning Program found at coolrunning.com. I like this program. It calls for running 5 days a week.  Mondays and Fridays are my rest days.  I am back to Tuesday’s Speed Work.

I am not going to let myself be lazy on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.  I’m am attempting to run at a zippier pace than I’ve been used to.  Sundays will still be at the slower pace I enjoy.

Today I had 3 miles scheduled.  The roads were somewhat snow covered.  I had a nice route planned out that had some clear, wide roads in the middle of the run.

As I thought about it, I decided the slippery parts of the route were too numerous.  I knew I would use this as an excuse to run slower.  I definitely don’t want to fall and risk an injury.

Instead, I headed over to the gym and ran on the “dreadmill”.  I was under a bit of a time constraint due to my duties as Mom Taxi.  At the gym, I got going and cranked up the pace.

I sweated.  I got it done.  I didn’t love it, but I did it.  If the weather continues to be sloppy this winter, which it’s bound to do here in WNY, I will do this again.

I’m hoping to become a better runner.  Yes, the ultimate goal is to stay healthy.  Running a little faster than I have been running will make me that much more heart healthy.

Here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Injury Free 2011 Running Season!

–Running Girl

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