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Thursday, April 28, 2011


Even though this is my second half marathon, I have never properly trained for a race of this distance.

It's sometimes because of motivation, but mostly it's due to injury.
For example, this time around, I maintained my fitness during the winter. I ran on the treadmill occasionally, swam and went on the bike. When it got warmed outside, I even did a few suicide runs, where my boyfriend would drive me 8-10km out and I'd run back home.

And then my knee/s started hurting. And it kept getting worse, until I went to see a doctor about it. He identified that I had tendon pain, and I took some time off and did a bunch of electro-therapy. Then I got better!

At the same time the knee was getting better, I decided to buy Vibrams. I thought the natural running pattern of the lighter shoes would force my stride to become better and would make everything better.
But I didn't factor in the time it should take to transition, and my calf got injured. (Mostly normal muscle tightness from being pushed too hard after it hadn't been run on - ever.)

So my calf hurt, and I took about 15 'rest' days where I biked and walked instead :)

Yesterday I had an amazing bike/run workout. I biked for an hour (15mi) and then went on the treadmill, with my Mizuno's. I thought I would try run for a minute, walk for a minute and repeat until I wanted to stop. But I ran for 3 minutes... nothing. I ran for two more minutes... I told myself I'd run for ten minutes and I would stop if I felt the knee twinge. I made it to a mile (11:11min) and NOTHING HURT. And of course, I wanted to keep running because it felt amazing. But I didn't want to push it, to jinx it, because I had a race at the end of the week.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that whenever I feel great, and enjoy running, I jinx it by signing up for a race. And while 'training' for that race, I destroy my enjoyment of running. On top of staying healthy, there is the added pressure of having to run a race at the end of the training cycle. So after my second half marathon.... I'm not going to sign up for another for a while.

I want to run whenever I want, for however long I want to. I want to enjoy running, I want to stay injury-free, and I want to have lots and lots of races in my future. But I have to get back to running strongly and consistently, and that hasn't happened since before I started racing.

So no more signing up for races........... (unless I'm able to run injury-free through the summer).... or at least, not months in advance! ;)


  1. I totally get this! I do it to, and this year I finally just decided that I can run sub-par races if I need to and think about all the cheeseburgers I can 'buy' with the calories I burned.

    I have a post coming up about how I've decided to take the summer off from racing (for different reasons...) but I have some challenges for myself to attempt. Maybe we could do them together?

  2. It's amazing how the human mind works. In some cases (such as mine), if the races were not there....I wouldn't have the motivation to keep on running. In other cases (yours for example), training for a race just takes away from the pleasure of running.... I think it takes a lot of self analysis and wisdom to reach a conclusion like yours and I think you are doing the right thing. You still have so many years ahead of you when you can race! Creating a strong base now and recovering from injuries, will only make you enjoy more the races ahead!

  3. You and I are on the same wavelength. Everytime I sign up for this damn Chevron Half Marathon, something happens to my feet. And I really want to run a half marathon, but I'm scared I'm going to get injured again. I mean, I just got off an ankle injury and now I'm dealing with my back. What's neck, a broken arm? Oh God, did I just jinx myself? At least you have done these events.

  4. try running off roads as much as you can. trails are best, or grass, tracks or even treadmills. no more than 30% on roads and you will be cured.