On Saturday morning, I ran with my buddy Dave for the first time this year. As we greeted each other in the cold morning air, I said something about my healing process, how I wanted to see it through completely and continue to take it easy with running. His reply was spot on: “Yeah, you want to be BACK.. not back and forth.”
That’s perfect! I thought. After all, I want to do this healing thing right! The last thing I want to do is get mostly healed and push too hard before I am ready, which would only delay healing.
In fact, the issue of not pushing myself had been on my mind for several days. Last Wednesday, I did a forty minute run that went well, by and large. I had to keep myself from running too fast. Here’s the thing: as I ran, my mind started making plans. “Well, by the end of next month, I can probably be running 3 or 4 times a week for an hour. Maybe I can switch to running every other day!” My mind started going like a planning machine, automatically mapping out the rigor I would undertake next.
To be sure, now is not a bad time to start thinking about what’s next. After almost three months of very little running, the healing has been progressing nicely. But I could feel I was getting ahead of myself. I reminded myself how helpful it has been for me to take a break from the usual running grind. Frankly, it’s been a lot more fun.
There is no way I will jeopardize the good thing I have going with some misaligned, rigid planning. Even so, this little episode of my old ways creeping back up stayed with me for several days. It was still on my mind when I ran with Dave. In fact, this run wasn’t as fun as it usually would be. Was I stressing myself out trying to go too quickly into high achievement mode?*
I think so. Dave’s words perfectly stated where I was at. Upon reflecting on them further, I realized that once again I needed to let go of plans, and focus on giving my body time to fully recover. Ambitious training will have to wait until I am fully and completely back.
Instead of risking being back and forth…
*Admittedly, part of the discomfort of Saturday morning’s run was that it was cold… hella cold!