If You Get Tired of Starting Over…

If You Get Tired of Starting Over…

…stop quitting, goes the old saying. Yeah, yeah, I get it. I’m not voluntarily quitting, though. Straxi certainly isn’t terribly excited about skipping runs, or not running, or going on hiatus, and when I go to my running clothes drawers, she gets very excited and animated – it’s clear she expects to go out the door at any moment.

Sadly, that’s not been the case recently. I managed to come back from my injury quite nicely, even though a certain 4 legged partner managed to pack on a few pounds (ok, me too) and has slowed down a bit as a result. In the process of returning after my injury, I surprisingly managed to not re-injure myself. I am one of those who goes all out at the start, if I don’t mind myself, and have wound up sore or otherwise unable to function as a result of overexposure to weights, running, yoga, you name it. So I fully figured I’d be heading back to the sidelines after my injury with a new, more unpleasant injury.

Color me shocked though, when that didn’t happen. I knew it was something I was prone to doing, and I told myself to beware of it, and apparently I listened. This is unusual.

So as I continued on through my Couch to 5k app, I was careful. I was so happy to be running again, I didn’t want to jeopardize it.

As one of those runners who is fascinated by gadgetry and the sport itself, I have an ongoing interest in understanding how we can improve our performance. I try anything that sounds good, and if it’s not to my liking, or it’s just not something I can do regularly, I chuck it. So I was really excited when I happened across the MAF method and saw that it was geared towards endurance (I have wanted to do long distance all along, more so than any speed stuff) and with 8 miles being the extent of my endurance, I want to improve on this. Once I’ve got some endurance in place, I’ll try chasing some speedwork.

MAF works by using a formula associated with your age and your heart rate. Basically, run or walk and keep your heart rate below a certain amount (the figure is 180 minus your age, with some extra figuring in there if you have been injured, haven’t been exercising, etc.). So given that my end heart rate to shoot for is 128, I wind up walking more than I like.

I want to RUN, dammit, and using this MAF thing has been helpful (it’s allowed me to make strides I wasn’t expecting, which is nice) but it’s gotten hot – too hot for Straxi to run – and that has made hitting my heart rate and keeping it low really tough.

Add to this a particularly stubborn upper respiratory thing, which turned into a sinus infection, and I’ve had yet another lovely spring in which I have been unable to get out there and run.

I’m still on antibiotics, and I’m still trying to make MAF work for me (I even ordered a training plan). The heat is problematic, for both me and Strax, but I’m bound and determined to do this thing.

I’ve done two really easy, inconsequential runs since I’ve started feeling better (3 miles or less) and I’m going to pick up the training plan a few weeks back, with the first test. I’m going to do this, obviously, at the Y where there’s AC. Sadly they frown upon bringing my trusty running partner, which makes me sad. I’m going to try running with her in the evening, when it’s not so hot, and in the morning, before it has a chance to become broiling. In the case of the first one, it’s hard for me to get out there when it’s dark: I don’t like eating late, and I’m frequently teaching in the evenings, and running after work or a few hours after dinner is just really difficult to figure. I’m better off, I think, biting the bullet and running super early in the morning. The down side here is…well, it’s super early in the morning. So there’s that.

But the bottom line is that if we are dedicated to something, and if we really want it, then all the extra noise is pointless. If I want to run, and I want my best friend to come with me, I’ll have to roll out of bed early. Today, though, I’m headed to the Y.

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