Lesson Learned: This Weekend, I Ran Short

Consider me a changed woman.

Not long ago, I used my weekends to run longer than I normally would on a weekday morning — no matter what. All summer, injury or no injury, I allowed the imminence of the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon to loom over me. And come Saturday (or Thursday, on weekends when I was planning to escape the city’s sweaty streets), I did my best to “train” by logging anywhere between 8 and 11 miles.

As with most training plans, even if this one was a bit less conventional than usual due to injury, the hard work, determination and hours spent outside navigating Central Park’s many pathways paid off. On Sunday of last weekend, I finished my fourth half marathon since last year.

As you might recall, in the weeks leading up to the race, I decided to place myself on a limited running program — a stark difference to my typical run-once-a-day past. The main tweaks:

1. I avoided running back-to-back days.

2. I stuck to 3 days (4 if I was really craving it).

3. I hardly ever ran more than 3 or 4 miles on a weekday at any given time, instead saving my strength for longer weekend excursions to build endurance.

Since crossing the finish line at the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, I’ve been able to be more lenient, and I’ve returned to a decidedly more lax running program that’s characteristically closer to what I’m used to — not to mention, what I prefer.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I ran 5 miles each day, adhering to Tweak No. 1 as mentioned above but exceeding No. 3. New York’s crowded sidewalks…

…and Central Park’s lower loop welcomed me back with open arms, and I was able to enjoy my early morning home away from home once again.

The biggest change wouldn’t come until Saturday — otherwise known as one of two mornings a week when I can run as far and as long as I wish. Yet on Saturday, clad in see-through white running shorts (note to self: check mirror before leaving home) and a comfy green T, I ran no more than 4 miles.

Bam. Resistance.

I know this might not seem like a big deal to some, but halving my typical route and intentionally stopping with still a mile to go until I was back at my apartment was a really big step in my growth as an intelligent runner. In a sport that’s so often dictated by the heart, for once, I’ve begun to think with my brain and, more importantly, my body.

Thanks to last week’s half marathon, I had already logged more than 28 miles for the week without too much effort — this only about a month after dealing with a very wonky leg. Could I have done somewhere between 7 and 10 miles on Saturday morning? Sure. I probably wouldn’t have reinjured myself either. But in the scheme of things, why test it? What was it going to prove?

Saturday morning’s run turned out to be incredibly refreshing. Rather than stop by Central Park, I decided to instead head downtown, a route that took me through Madison Square Park, Washington Square Park…

…and Soho’s cobbled streets. After stopping in a few boutiques (yes, sweat dripping and all) and perusing some street art on West Broadway, I noticed that I had already gone nearly 2 and a half miles, and that it was time to turn around and head on home. By the time I hit Union Square, the map struck 4, and without questioning it, I stopped.

Fortunately, it was a beautiful fall morning, both sunny and warm, and the end of my run left me in the heart of the Union Square Farmers’ Market. There, I topped off my morning with a few small, local purchases. Mainly a bottle of alcoholic cider, cherry pie…

…and a pepper plant. Just an ordinary Saturday morning.

After having worked out every day since the half marathon, I took Sunday to be extremely and unabashedly lazy. I stayed in bed until 1. I watched 2 chick-flicks (because who can resist Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal, even after just having watched The Devil Wears Prada for the hundredth time?). I ate the aforementioned cherry pie.

That’s it here. Now, to start the workweek anew.

But first, I’m pleased to announce the winner of the Erica Sara Designs Race Bling Giveaway!

Linna, meet your new Race Bling!

Congratulations Linna, and good luck on your third New York City Marathon, you champ you (I’ll be Tweeting at you soon). Thanks to all who entered, and an even bigger thanks to the amazing designer herself.

  • Do you prefer short or long runs on the weekend? How far do you usually run on Saturdays and Sundays?

6 thoughts on “Lesson Learned: This Weekend, I Ran Short

  1. Awesome work!! it takes a lot of k’s/miles and events to figure out that you need to give you body some recovery times/days to function well (she says after a whole heap of injuries before gaining the same insight!) – when I was panicking about getting enough miles into my legs to do the full marathon a very wise ex-marathon runner gave this advice; you don’t train for climbing Mt Everest by climbing Mt Everest every week…… 🙂

    • I love that last line. I happened to have my phone with me on this morning’s run and read that while in the park. Kept it with me the entire time. Thank you!

  2. Pingback: 212 to the 312: On Running, Running and Running (+ a Giveaway Winner) « Will Run For Glitter

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