Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Friday, June 27, 2014

Running for the Numbers

Day two of my return to run program done (26 May).  Six repetitions of 4 minutes walking to 1 minute running. This time around,  I warmed up with some lunges, 5 minutes of extra walking, stretching, then I began the exercise. My physical therapist also taped up my right ankle as precautionary measure. The tape combined with the heavy work she put in (bruising) my leg, left me feeling near optimistic for my return to run now, as I experience no abnormal post run feelings.

(I hope I don't eat my words next week and have to rest even longer)

The walk/run exercise was interesting, as every time I started to run, I felt like I was mentally walking through a portal to my memories of running, forgetting I'm injured, but then a rope quickly pulls me back out once my minute is up. Pay Per View running I guess.

But this post isn't about my 6 minutes of total running, the post is about what rolls through my mind while I walked for the rest of the time.

I started thinking about running for numbers and what feels like success.
My thinking face
I know many of you, like myself, running 6-7 days a week is a way of life. Miss an day? That is a melt down. You muster up the logic to say it is okay and aren't losing any fitness? I know you are still struggling inside, thinking this one missed workout will be the cause of your next missed PR. Just keeping it in your mental pocket of maybe worries.

Have to cut your scheduled workout run short? Oh damn, let's not even go down that road (but the something is better than nothing mantra will at least keep you from OD'ing on Clif Shots).

Make a goal of weekly mileage and fall short, despite some killer runs? Time for new shoe therapy.

I'm not saying any of this is bad, goals keep us motivated, I do all the above. And I miss it, but starting from scratch lets me take a somewhat fresh look at it all again. Losing all of spring and the end of winter to injuries made me dig a deep hole for all those running insecurities, more for my family's sanity than mine. Now that I am easing back into it, the seeds of my running craziness growing out of the ground and ready for me to pick.

And pick I have. The fact that this week I have ran for 9 minutes total has inspired me to chart out multiple exercise paths that lead me back to a 60mpw base by Octoberish.

I can only laugh at my mental progression, as my state of gratefulness is quickly replaced at wanted more. Only a month ago I was hoping to just walk pain free again to now getting the  itch to run every day for hours. Physical therapy gave me the proverbial tip (3 days a week walk/run exercises) and I want the whole thing.

I am looking at this in the best way possible. As my wife is due with our second child next week, fitting in 3 short "runs" a week is a lot more doable, than 50-60+ mile weeks. So if there was ever a time to do this, now isn't the worst time.

Where is this entire post going? A reminder to myself and to you all to enjoy your runs and your health. Keep your goals in mind, but don't let them distract you from how awesome it is that you can run.

Have a great weekend all!


  1. I'm glad I read all the way to the end of this post :)

  2. Yay for the arrival of lil' smokie part 2!!!!

    And starting back slow is the smarter decision in the long run (Pun intended) so keep at it and you will be back to form sooner than you think!

  3. I was gonna insert some witty reply about going to the end here.

  4. First off, your wee man is due on Canada you should probably name him Wayne Gretzky.
    I started getting into triathlon training earlier this year, meaning far less running than I had been used to. I went through a lot of those irrational moments you describe above but eventually I just got used to it and now, dare I say, I enjoy "only" running 3-4 times a week. My body (and my legs especially) appreciate the variety.

  5. Having just the tip always makes me want more too. (how am I the first one who jumped on that?)

    I always try to keep that perspective in mind too - I wasn't always able to run, and maybe I won't always be, so just enjoy the fact that I can now (but damn, upping your goals is hard to resist sometimes).

  6. I'm sure your eyes focused at the end too

  7. Thanks! both waits require a lot of patience!

  8. How did you guess his name???