I feel like I am reaching a point where I need to take a long, hard look at what I am trying to do, what my body is telling me it can do, and how the two work together.
When I started this running journey, I didn’t really consider walking an option. So long as my knees cooperated, I felt very positive about the gradual increases in distance and I trusted the C25K program. Obviously, as my mileage went up, a doubt would enter my mind here and there, and I made an internal goal of running five miles straight. After that, whatever happened was fine. If I could continue to run, great. If I had to walk here and there, fine.
I know I can make it to five miles. I did it over a month ago and it was beyond exhilarating. The runner’s high, if you will. I have a 40:00 steady run planned for tomorrow and I admit, I’m scared. I’ve done it before, but now, with my recovery struggles exacerbated by the heat and humidity, I am really starting to question if I can physically do it again. I don’t know if it’s me or the weather or what’s going on.
While I’ve never really done regular interval training, on Wednesday, I incorporated a version of it into my run. Rather than randomly choosing to walk a minute here and there, I set my stopwatch for four minutes of running and one minute of walking, and continued on that way for the duration of my workout. It didn’t go long enough to say if I liked it or disliked it, or even if the timing was the optimal one for my needs. I just know that it helped me through a sticky spot, and now I’m tossing around thoughts of whether or not incorporating it into my routine would be useful.
On the one hand, I don’t really care how I cross the finish line. Whether I run, walk, skip, crawl or roll, a finish is a finish. I’m not looking for a Boston qualifying time, and I’m probably never going to register for a marathon, so my pace isn’t really a top priority (I say “really” because I am competitive and I really like achieving personal bests). At the end of the day, I want to be healthy and fit, run lots of races, collect lots of medals and enjoy the activity with my family friends.
On the other hand, I’m worried that starting walk/run intervals will mess up all the training I’ve achieved so far.
And on the other, other hand, I think of how much farther I could go with just those tiny little walk breaks.
So I’m torn.
Do I fight through? Take to heart all the fitspiration that tells me to push through the discomfort and the pain? Or do I take into account what I’m dealing with in the here and now (messed up sinuses and ridiculous humidity) and adjust accordingly?
How would you handle this? In what way would you proceed?
I would love to hear your advice and suggestions, and appreciate the time you take to share your thoughts.