The other day I was talking to my running coach and she was asking for an update on how runs were feeling and where my mindset was at. I explained that overall runs were feeling really good. I have had ZERO pain running since surgery (Praise Jesus!) and have been able to do all the runs, strength sessions, and cross training for this training cycle. I also explained that even though runs were feeling good, I have been kind of disappointed with my times. I knew going into this new training cycle post surgery I would be slower, but putting in the work and still see slow times can be discouraging.
I do my best not to look at my watch during runs because I am just trying to focus on increasing my mileage right now. However, I always see my time at the end of every run and the break down of my pace per mile. Facing the reality that I am at least a minute slower per mile than I was when I stopped running last summer can be disheartening. I have goals and I want to be a much better, smarter, and faster runner than I ever was before I got injured. When I see those “slow” times over and over and over again, it makes me wonder how long it’s going to take me to reach those goals or if I’ll ever get there.
I was explaining all these thoughts and feelings to my coach and she reminded me to stop and remember where I came from.
- 48 weeks ago I was forced to stop running due to a hip injury.
- 19 weeks ago I got surgery on that hip and walked out of the hospital with crutches.
- 10 weeks ago I was given the approval to begin a walk/run 5k training program.
- 5 weeks ago I started running without any walking.
- 4 weeks ago I started my first post surgery training cycle for a half marathon.
- This morning at 4:30 am I ran 6 miles with no pain and feeling great.
To be honest, it feels embarrassing to even say that 6 miles is my long run. In the past, 6 miles was an easy, light day. However, reflecting on the last year of my running game shows me I deserve to be damn proud of running 6 miles with no pain, no walking, and feeling great. It’s not a PR or a first marathon finish, but it is a step in the right direction. It’s going to take awhile to get where I want to be, so celebrating all the little milestones that will slowly and surely lead me to my goals is essential.
Today, I’m celebrating my longest run post surgery. I will be having this same celebration almost every week as I build my long run mileage further and further. The BIG accomplishments are awesome and so fulfilling, but the littler ones are the most important.