**Thank you all so much for entering the BAMR Bands giveaway last week! Congrats to Katie Burle for winning! She’s already been contacted about winning – and I can’t wait to have someone else wearing my favorite headbands around school!**
This year went much differently than I expected. I really had high hopes for this year. After spending most of 2014 pregnant, I was ready to get back into racing. I went into 2015 with 3 races on my race calendar: Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5K, Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, and Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon. And I was determined to do my best at them, even though I knew a PR was probably not within reach.
I ended up taking about 6 weeks off from any real running, except some run-walking, after Miles was born. Then, I went right into training. And I can honestly say, that’s where everything started to go down hill.
2015 was riddled with injuries. Hip pain, plantar fasciitis, and other little nagging injuries. Part of it was from running during pregnancy, some of it was from lack of strength and flexibility, and some of it was from too much too soon. But, it definitely knocked me down a notch and really made me look hard at how I was treating my body. Turning 30 definitely didn’t help, but it made me realize I needed to adjust my training.
I ended up being able to run both races in Chicago and had a FABULOUS time. Although I ran both races hurt, it was well worth every second, including the time away from both kiddos and some much needed alone time with my hubby. I was happy with both times, even though both were far from a PR. I ran the 5K in 21:21 and the half marathon in just over 1:45.
But, after the race, my plantar fasciitis got to the point where running was difficult. I immediately switch the RnR St. Louis race from the half marathon to the 10K, but things got worse as we got closer to the race day. Even though my injuries didn’t necessarily keep me from running the race, other circumstances got in the way and I had to back out of the race at the last minute. While I hated that I couldn’t run the race, I knew it was the best thing at the time.
Since then, I have taken the last 2 months off from any training. And quite honestly, I think I have loved it a little too much. I haven’t done a long run in 2 weeks, and I’m feeling very little running guilt. (I’ll admit, there is some there and wanting to get in another run yesterday to make up for not doing a long run.) It’s made me fall in love with running again, and has also made me feel ready to train again.
My plan for 2016 is to race again. While I would love to PR in something, I’m not too worried about that right now. My training/race schedule for next year looks something like this:
January through March:
– Begin half marathon training focusing on increasing speed for 5K
– Slowly increase weekly mileage from 20 to 30+ miles
– Creve Coeur 6K on January 16
– Ultimate Girls 5K on February 20
– Cottleville St. Patrick’s Day Race on March 12
– GO! St. Louis Half Marathon on April 10
– Take the rest of April off to recover from half marathon (and because I start coaching track in March and will be BUSY)
– Find a 5K to race in May
June through August:
– Begin triathlon training
– Find a race in June
– Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago in July? (Depends on if I make the Rock ‘n’ Blog team again)
– Alligator Creek Triathlon in August
– Take the rest of August off
September through October:
– Find a race in September
– Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis 10K in mid-October
November through December:
– Take the rest of the year off of training
– Find a race for November and December to run for FUN (not to PR)
This is the first year I am actually planning a training cycle. I’ve always been go-go-go as far as training, never really giving my body the rest and recovery it needs – or really, just some time off from training. Now that I’m IN my 30s (ugh.) I know that I need some off time a lot more. Plus, my kids, family, and work need to be the priority, and I just simply can’t spend the time training like I used to. It’s OK not to train, it’s OK not to race. It doesn’t make me any less of a runner.
The goal is just to do some races – I’m trying to do one a month. Some for fun, and some that I plan on being my “peak” races. My brother has some lofty goals for us for GO! St. Louis, so that’s really the focus once we get into the new year. Track season starts in March, so I’ll really have to get most of my hard core training in before then. But, luckily, coaching distance kids will allow me to get some runs in too. Looks to be a pretty promising year. Let’s hope I’ve learned to reduce my injuries!