Watching the snow fall in Denver yesterday, it was hard to believe I was running in shorts & a tank top just this last weekend.
After surviving the grueling half marathon the week before, I decided to take it easy last week. Oh wait, I didn’t decide that; my body did.
As I learned quickly, recovering from a tough & hilly half is a lot harder when you spend the 4 days following the race on airplanes and standing for 9 hours a day in client meetings. After a few months pain-free, my lower back pain came back with a vengeance, a sign that I needed to take the week to stretch and chill.
As always, listening to my body is easier said than done, but I forced myself to relax, do yoga in my hotel room, and take a few days to enjoy some stillness in order to eventually move forward. It’s amazing how long 4 days off can seem!
After a few days, my back finally went back to normal, and I joined my run club Saturday with the excitement to run finally after the days off. Normally, Saturday run club is my day to go for a long run and then celebrate my hard work over brunch. (We’ve been so lucky to have Denver restaurant Atticus hosting us for the last 2 months for our brunch post-run!)
This week, instead of my usual 8-10 miles, I’d have to find my glory in a shorter run. That’s hard for me to admit to myself, but hey, my body was clearly saying I needed a break. I ran from my house to the restaurant – about 1.5 miles – joined the group, and then took off on my own to enjoy my space and my pace. It wasn’t the long run I’m used to having on Saturdays, but it somehow still felt just as wonderful after taking some time off. From Atticus to Wash Park and back down again, I definitely struggled after taking the time off, but my shorter run than usual turned out to be just what I needed to reenergize for the training weeks ahead.
4.25 miles, 9:20 splits. In a tank top & shorts. I’ll take it!
The weekend of running plans continued on Sunday morning, as Kelly & I showed up to run the Polar Bear 5K in Wash Park. We got our shirts, lined up with the dogs, and got ready to go. But after a freak accident I promised Kelly at the time I wouldn’t blog about (don’t worry, everyone’s fine!), the run didn’t pan out – so we brunched instead. Another reminder that sometimes it’s better to listen to your body (and occasionally a doc!). Also another reminder that brunch is almost always the solution to any problem.
Monday was another gorgeous warm day, and I still felt guilty for not getting Hank his run on Sunday, so it wasn’t hard to pull myself out of bed for another few miles. One of my favorite things about running with Hank is that you can just see how much happier he is moving around than when he’s sitting home on the couch. As a retriever, I think his instinct to make me happy directly correlates to his efforts on our runs, and it’s a lot of fun to watch that smile on his face while we’re out on the road. I was feeling amped to be out running – again, the time off last week was tough! – so I extended my planned 5K to 4.25 miles again, this time with 9:13 splits, and then walked another 3 miles with the dog.Sometimes shit happens. And sometimes life throws you setbacks. Sometimes your best friend has a crazy freak accident on a 5K, and it makes way more sense to chow down on a salmon BLTA than it does to go for a run. It’s hard to remember to savor the shorter runs when the long ones come with such a sense of achievement – but I can tell you from this week’s experience, it’s a heck of a lot easier to do that when its January and you’re running in shorts.