When I started my run streak at the beginning of the year, I mostly wanted to just make running part of my life again post-baby. I was having a hard time finding motivation, and needed a fitness goal. In the back of my mind, I hoped that I would be able to make it the entire month of January, but wasn’t making a big deal out of it. I just wanted to see how far I could get.
When I reached the end of January, streak intact, I started seeing starry-eyed visions of streaking for the entire year of 2019. It was exciting and a bit scary and I so wanted to keep going. But this past Friday and Saturday, I started feeling some worrying niggles in my right knee. I hemmed and hawed and hoped it would go away. But I when I woke up at 2:30 on Sunday morning to feed Vera and felt that twinge, I decided immediately and unequivocally that it was time to practice what I preach and quit before a niggle became a full-blown injury.
I have to say, I absolutely loved my run streak. I loved the consistency of knowing each day that I had to get down to my treadmill and get it done. I loved pushing through hard paces. I loved cruising through easy miles. This run streak helped me feel like a runner again. It helped me reconnect with a body that had started to feel foreign and uncomfortable. It made me feel like me again.
I’m proud that I made it through 33 straight days of running; I am equally proud that I listened to my body and quit before I hurt myself.
To be completely honest, part of me is scared that without the streak to keep me going, I’ll stop running again. It’s cold. It’s dark. I have a 7 month old baby. Motivation is low this time of year. I need something else to keep me inspired now that the streak is done. Therefore, I’ll be loosely following a Hal Higdon 5k training plan. I say “loosely” because I always mix up the days a bit, but generally follow the recommended mileage for the week.
It’s an eight week “beginner” training plan, which has nice, low mileage. I probably won’t actually run a 5k race at the end of this plan, purely because there aren’t many races available during Vermont winters, but I’m looking at it as prep for the races I hope to run this spring and summer.
I’m excited to build up my mileage again. The longest I’ve run since Vera was born is 3.5 miles, and that was months ago now. I don’t necessarily want to do a lot of distance running this year, but I’d like to get to the point where a distance of five miles feels comfy and doable, cause right now that feels almost impossible. When I complete the plan, I’ll have to reevaluate and see what’s next, but I’m hopeful that by then, running will be back in my life for good.
What running/fitness goal are you working toward right now?