wednesday word: pragmatic

Today, we are linking up with Deb Runs for the  Wednesday Word. You can be part of the action, by checking out her page and linking up, too!

Deb Runs

The word of the week is…

People say that I am usually a pretty level and reasonable person. Pragmatic might be a step too far, but I confess that I do attempt to carefully weigh my decisions, consider the different outcomes and consequences and proceed along the most logical path.

I mean, I’m practically a Vulcan (Nerd joke. Move along.)

But seriously. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and go with the flow, because a little spontaneity keeps us from becoming stale.

It’s a bit timely that this word popped up on Deb’s list this week. I have had to do a lot of soul-searching the last few weeks, regarding my running and where I’m at with it.

Coming back from my injury and subsequent break has been harder than I would have thought.  Coming back from injury and break in the devil’s armpit of summer (we are talking temperatures in the 90s, close to 100% humidity and heat indices of over 100, even at o’dark thirty) has been absolutely demoralizing. I had hoped that with the rest, cross-training and careful attention to strengthening, things might have been just a little less awful.

I don’t know if it’s me. If my body is done. If this is the end of the PR and if my focus has to change to just crossing the finish line versus pushing harder to get there. There have been plenty of times where I have been more interested in the experience of the race or run than I have with the time on the clock, and I will learn to be ok if that’s my future, but I would like it to be on my terms, and not because my healing time led to it.

That being said, I tried to be pragmatic by planning a very slow and methodical comeback. I thought it would be the best way to ease my body back into the sport. And let’s be honest, I am only about three months back into running at all, and I am already (slowly) churning out 7-8 mile long runs.

The pragmatic plan?

  • Listen to my body. It’s hot as Hades out there and it’s way too easy to get dehydrated, overheated or suffer from heat stroke or countless other heat-related afflictions. My pride isn’t worth my health.
  • Mix up my runs. Since coming back, I haven’t worried too much about speed work, tempo runs, easy runs or anything other than my two shorter runs and a long run. The combination of paces and goals creates better runners, so I need to be sure to build those all in to my workouts.
  • Distance before speed. This is Basic Runner 101. I have the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in two months. I need to be able to cover 13.1 miles of distance by that time. I have to remind myself that, while speed work is important, the primary goal is those 13.1 miles.  I can worry about my pace in time for the Space Coast Half in November.
  • Keep my eye on the prize: my goal in all of this has been staying fit and active, enjoying time with like-minded friends, taking on new challenges, and visiting new places. At no point did I ever delude myself that I was going to win anything or break any records (ok, maybe I’ll break the one for sweatiest hot mess), and at this point, I think that’s the right mindset to get me through.
  • Worry about myself. I’ve been getting into my head again, comparing myself against others, and it’s so bad. I’m starting to find myself not wanting to go run with my group, because I’m embarrassed by where I’m at, but that’s just my anxiety at work. The only one judging me is me, and the sooner I kick those feelings to the curb, the more I can focus on what I’m doing out on the road.

And I might buy new shoes. It’s about time, so maybe I’ll be a wee bit impulsive and treat myself to help make me feel better. Balance, right?

Are you more pragmatic or more impulsive?




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30 Responses to wednesday word: pragmatic

  1. I’m going to say that I’m little bit of both–pragmatic and impulsive. When it comes to training, I’m really good about sticking to my plan. But every once in a while, I throw in a spontaneous race…drives my coach nuts!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…A Runner’s Gotta Do…My Profile

  2. Have you considered Galloway? It’s really helped me. I don’t practice quite as he lays it out, but still, it has helped — a lot — and I think it’s an excellent way to get back into running after an injury (which is exactly what got me to do it in the first place.

    It isn’t easy coming back from injury — especially when it’s in the heat of summer!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…The opposite of visceral: PragmaticMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Oh, I am a dedicated Galloway runner. I have been working with 1:30/:30 intervals through this recovery and I would love to get back to 2:00/:30, but it’s a little way off. I’m hoping that after RnR Philly, I will feel more comfortable and the cooler weather will help me go longer. Fingers crossed.

  3. Marcia says:

    You are wise with the way you are coming back from injury. No doubt the weather does not help one bit. I think of myself as a realist. And an optimist.
    Marcia recently posted…RocknRoll Chicago 5kMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Optimism is a fabulous thing. It helps take the edge off that realism and keeps positivity high.

      I’m trying to be smart about everything, but it is frustrating. I’m hopeful to be seeing some PRs when things cool down a bit.

  4. Kristin says:

    You should really look into Heart Rate Training. It’s awesome for building a serious cardio base, keeping injuries at bay, and building confidence. I actually enjoy running now, even if it’s super-duper-slow (for now).

  5. I’ve been more pragmatic lately too and I do think it helps me stay injury free. I think my PR days are probably behind me and that’s ok with me if I can keep doing what I love. I think you’ve been very smart so far!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon- Lessons LearnedMy Profile

  6. Karen says:

    I am returning from an injury, but I have a progressive problem with capsulitis, so my “comeback” is really about trying to find how much I can do without damage. Right now it is two runs a week, and one Galloway long run. A few weeks though, I needed to Galloway two runs because of the heat.
    Seeing the paces and where i am at, verses where I was can mess with my mind, but overall I feel so much stronger than I was a month ago. I am at a place where i feel very content.
    I think all your runs in the heat are building your endurance and eventually the rewards will come 🙂 when it isn’t 100 degrees.
    Karen recently posted…How One Week Bleeds to AnotherMy Profile

  7. I am extremely pragmatic, almost to a fault. Impulse just isn’t my thing! I try to be as methodical as possible. I think you’ve got a great plan for moving forward with your running.
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Make a Band with the Rock ‘N Roll Virtual Run SeriesMy Profile

  8. I’m probably balanced between the two.
    Right now I’m just doing what I feel like running-wise because I need for it to be fun again, instead of pushing for time.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…The Race Photo DilemmaMy Profile

  9. HoHo Runs says:

    Ha! I ordered new shoes just today. Honestly, the comparison game just tears me up. It’s so hard not to play. I think you’re doing excellent with your recovery. That cycling? It’s helping you more than you can ever imagine. Things will feel so much better when we get out of the devil’s armpit (got to remember that one!).

    • runswithpugs says:

      New shoes make EVERYTHING better. 🙂 Enjoy them! I am not seeing huge impact from the cycling, but I am trying to stay consistent with it. Can’t wait for a break in the humidity. It is much needed.

  10. You make so many great points, and I think you are rallying back in a consistent manner. I really wanted to keep up with the other gals in my group at my ultra…but they had trained a lot harder than I did (and I had to take things very easy in the final weeks due to my heel injury). I had no business trying to run the race “their” way because I was not in the same game, so to speak. Once I had that revelation, my mind was put at ease and I really enjoyed myself…for the entire 12 hours 😉 Hang in there, you’re doing great!!!
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Calling Myself an Ultra-MarathonerMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s great that you were able to dig deep and come to those conclusions. It’s hard to not be able to do what others can do, even if you know you’re not there yet or not ready, but it can also serve as great inner motivation. I am starting to feel more confident as the days pass, but it’s a process.

  11. Toni says:

    I think I am pragmatic with moments of impulse. The heat here is ridiculous. My pace from NY literally rose by three minutes. Some days I do great and some days I struggle. What has made running in the heat easier is running by time rather than actual mileage.
    Toni recently posted…2016 NYC Marathon Training Recap Week 3My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I usually cycle by time, but running… doing it by time makes me feel a lot more pressured. I don’t know why. It’s all so mental. Things will adjust for you when it gets cooler. The season of tolerable weather isn’t long, but it makes running so much nicer when it’s here!

  12. I am so glad to see you say “distance before speed”. I feel that way too right now and thought I was the only one!

    • runswithpugs says:

      Not by a long shot. I really believe I am built for distance, not speed. The hardest thing for me to do is sprint. We have a race series here with a one mile “sizzler” and I fall apart during it. Everyone has their specialities and their strengths.
      runswithpugs recently posted…wednesday word: pragmaticMy Profile

  13. I am definitely pragmatic. But it is good to be impulsive once in a while ! Makes life interesting.

    In running distance over speed is my motto !

  14. I consider myself a realist for sure. I am good at sticking to my plan too but ……….I always like to throw in a little unplanned fun when I can! You are doing a great job at your comeback!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…The Skinny on Coconut OilMy Profile

  15. It’s so hard when your body won’t cooperate with your dreams and expectations, but it sounds like you have a smart and realistic plan for working toward making your comeback from your injury. Good luck!

    Thanks for linking up, Jenn!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…The End Of A Very Special EraMy Profile

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