My week without running

I started running at age 11.

For much of the past 17 years, I’ve run 5 or 6 days a week. I’ve run marathons, done tempos and fartleks, done 20-mile long runs and enjoyed hundreds of easy six-mile runs. Running and I have had many ups and downs, but I’ve never completely lost the love.

As I’ve written, running and I haven’t had the best of times in the past two years. It might be added life stress that’s interrupting my training. Regardless, training has been a real struggle.

After pushing myself to get out the door for months, I decided to give myself a break. My body is fatigued and hurts, and I’m just not enjoying myself. So I’ve taken a week off and haven’t miss running at all.

I’ve been going for long walks and hikes in various parks, swimming, riding my bike on the trainer and doing strength workouts. What I’ve realized is I have to move.

The hills of Hell are legit. I’m going to get fit here.

“Movement is the essence of life,” said ultra runner and biologist Bernd Heinrich.

One benefit of this break is seeing some new places. I’ve hiked at two state parks I’ve never before visited, including the beautiful and hilly Pinckney State Recreation Area. It’s near Hell. I cannot wait to go back for trail running.

One of the views from the trails at Pinckney State Recreation Area.

Right now, my body is telling me running isn’t its movement of choice. Instead of resisting it, I’m letting things be what they are and switching my focus to triathlon. That’s been my goal for the year, anyway, but I hadn’t yet changed my mindset.

I’m going to set up a training schedule for my first triathlon this spring. I’ll run about four days per week instead of my usual six.

I still love running, and I still have big goals. But we all need a break from time to time.

It’s been eight days, and I still don’t feel like running. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow, but maybe not. I’ll run when I feel like it.

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