As I have returned to running in the past few weeks (with a minor flu induced setback), I anticipated it would be like starting all over again. In some ways it is, but in many ways it is not - it is just different. It did not take much to bring back my aerobic fitness, and the muscle memory in my legs has allowed a return to running fairly quickly. What does take time is rebuilding the base – getting to the point where it all feels completely normal (using the extremely skewed view of the ultra runners “normal”). I also need to work on rebuilding my anaerobic threshold. I've never been one for doing a lot of speed work; typically choosing distance over speed. However, it is important for overall fitness and does have benefits for racing longer distances, so I am going to have to devote some time to pushing that threshold back a little further. Hill repeats, fartleks and I may even hit the track once in a while:)
Mentally it has been tough to get back into the groove as well; trying to overcome the thoughts of injury or becoming re-injured It is often hard to distinguish the difference between soreness and real pain and then interpreting what that pain is telling your body. Do you need rest or stretching? Or maybe it is just the body adjusting to the training? Maybe it is just paranoia? Prior to being injured these thoughts rarely entered my mind – I just went out and ran. Now I think about them quite a bit and I imagine I will continue to until I run a race again, which always has a way of changing perspectives.
I am beginning to think of racing in 2013, but will not nail down a schedule until I am a little more comfortable with my fitness and training. Now that races seem to fill-up in a matter of minutes I will likely not have a lot of choice anyway. I am on the wait-list for MMT and have a pretty good shot at getting in, so hopefully I will be able to return to run on the rocks;) I also will be running local races as part of the PR Racing Team. So if you are in the D.C. area you will start seeing me again on the weekends - foolishly trying to keep up at the short distances with the fast boys.
"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." – Buddha