Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To Keep Running

Almost to the finish line!
January 9 - Last year my major running milestone was running my very first half marathon. This year (cross your fingers for continued healthy running) I will attempt to run THREE half marathons while keeping up with my goal for 2012: TO KEEP RUNNING

After taking some time off from running to let my shin heal once I completed the half marathon in August, I basically had to start over.  It is amazing what a couple of weeks without running can do to your body! I had no idea. Since  then I have been running non-stop. Through the fall and winter I ran a bunch of 5Ks and a couple of 10Ks.

To keep me motivated (and prevent the whole starting-over-again thing), I am attempting to run a race every month. This requires planning. Here is what I have scheduled: (highlighted = races registered/finished):

January 1 - First Run 10K - Lowell, MA - 58:09 PR
February 19 - Half at the Hamptons - Hampton, NH
March 11 - St. Paddy's 5 Miler - Portsmouth, NH
April 21 - Stonyfield Earth Day 5K - Londonderry, NH
May 6 - Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon - Providence, RI
June ? - Kickoff to Summer 5K - New Boston, NH
July 3 - Manchester 5K - Manchester, NH
August 19 - Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon - Providence, RI
September 22 - Zooma Cape Cod 10K - Falmouth, MA
October ? - My Dogs Are Barking 5K - Bedford, NH
November 11 - Newport Pell Bridge Run - Newport, RI
December 1 - Santa Shuffle - Manchester, NH

For me to complete the above schedule I have to focus on my training and stay healthy.  In "How to Run Injury-Free" on Active.com, Jeff Galloway offers great advice to runners on how avoid overuse injuries and enjoy years of running. The main points Galloway makes include:

  1. Train fewer days during the week
  2. Slow your pace on long runs 
  3. Take walk breaks 
  4. Massage instead of stretch
  5. Prepare for speed training
  6. Stop if you experience pain
Also, on his blog Galloway stresses the importance of resting after long runs to allow muscles to recover, rebuild, and reduce the chance of injury. Rest days are great for doing some light cross training activities. I have found some good workouts on the Nike Training Club app. 

One thing I know that will help me achieve my goal to keep running is to let go of the idea that a "real runner" doesn't need to stop and walk. If I want to stay injury-free and enjoy all of the races I signed up for, I have to listen to my body. If I need to take a break in the middle of an 8 mile run, it's OK! I'm still running 8 miles, right?  

What do you do to KEEP RUNNING?