Back on track

I had to make a decision a few months back.

I was trying to finish my Masters thesis while caring for my young family and working 45 hours a week. Something had to give. I decided it had to be my obsession with running.

My love of running is too deep, I thought. As soon as my thesis is finished, I’ll just pick it up again. Easy. I did it once, I can do it again.

I’m not saying I stopped running altogether. I was still managing to get out once or twice per week most of the time. But my distances decreased. Before I was running around 25 – 30 km per week. I dropped down to between 5 -10.

Well, I got my thesis finished. All handed in and now all I have to do is wait to see if I passed. So, it was time to reignite my passion for running.

I decided that I should be able to pick up almost where I left off. I decided that for the first few weeks back I would follow the following plan:

  • Monday – strength training
  • Tuesday – 4 km
  • Wednesday – strength training
  • Thursday – 4km
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday – rest
  • Sunday 4km

It seemed like a good way to ease back in.

I was doing really well until I hit Thursday. I decided that I had been feeling good so tackled a 5km hilly run instead of the 4km. But with the DOMs I had from the previous two strength sessions, I was struggling at the first hill. I thought ‘it’s all about mental toughness, I can do this!’ and kept going.

At the third kilometre, I bonked.

I had nothing left. But I had to get home. So I walked for the next kilometre.

I managed to run the fourth and walked the fifth. I was exhausted. I started to think, maybe I can’t do this. Do I have to learn to run again? Surely I can’t lose that much fitness in two months?

Thankfully the next two days were planned rest days. I regrouped, and decided that I’d just work on getting my frequency back up and not worry too much about how far or how fast I was running.

Sunday’s run was good. I took my dog, who is old and arthritic, so he kept my pace slow.

Today is the Tuesday of week 2. I went for a 4km run this morning, and for the first time in a while I got home feeling like I could have gone further. Game on!

I’ll try a 5km on Friday and then I might be back on track.

I was hoping to start a half marathon training program next week so we’ll see how I go. The important thing to remember is to go easy on myself. And enjoy the run.

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