Keep On Trucking

Funny how life goes. Shortly after writing my last LlamaRun update on April 8, my body reached an obvious fatigue point. I had been rocking along since early March with four runs of 3-miles each weekly, plus cardio strength training on another day, along with weightlifting and other torture on some run days as well.

It wasn’t anything crazy, but after a month-plus my body was tired and I realized I couldn’t keep putting myself through that just to keep a schedule up. Eventually it would either get too arduous or I would break, so I took my own advice from my previous posting.

“Remember, it’s okay to take a couple days off, or have a step-back week, where you let the training absorb and the muscles can get some needed rest – just make sure to get back out there soon. But it is better to take a rest and heal up than run on an injury that becomes worse.”

It wasn’t like I was attempting some kind of ridiculous training program. A 3-mile run is a basic starter distance, but as my speed increased and the reps of crunches and the weight I was lifting went up it taxed my system. Usually I would tell myself to suck it up and keep going, but I’m trying to be nicer to myself as I approach 50 years of age.

I listened to my body after completing my Sunday workout on April 10, which was the first of a new week for me, and took the remainder of that week off as a step-back, to let the training I had completed absorb, give my muscles and mental outlook a rest.

Then the weather got nasty. It started raining frequently and the temperature dropped. Corresponding with that was an urgent need to get some stories edited I wanted to submit as writing samples for a job I was seeking. Between not wanting to pull out cold weather gear again for a run and the legitimate excuse that I needed to find work, one week off suddenly stretched to two.

Then kid stuff interfered. Soccer practice, games, swim practice and other obligations conspired to keep me out for about another week. Finally on Thursday, April 28, I shoehorned my way back out on the pavement for 3-miles.

Friday I did strength training in the morning and hit the YMCA that night for machine weights and some swimming with the kids. Today I was motivated to get in a solid free weight lifting day, then went for a run.

A good sign I took away from my Saturday workout was I went out there for 3-miles and ran it in the rain. For anyone new to running or getting back into it, or just trying to get in shape – it’s very easy to persuade yourself not to go for a run. Getting out the door is hard enough. Having to go out into the elements and take the beating that comes with running can be humbling. Throw in inclement weather and that is often an easy “Hells No” for the casual exercise enthusiast.

I embraced it today. In fact it made me mad. I ran even harder through the rain to let it know I was not intimidated. It’s a baby step, but I got back out there within the month and look to build upon that motivation.

Sunday is the start of a new week and I’m looking forward to some abdominal work and a run to get it started right. That will have me back on my regular schedule. If all goes well I plan to increase my distance one mile this week, adding a 4-mile run into the mix.

My short-term goal is to keep adding one mile per week, along with some modest speed and hill work, to be ready for the Capital City Stampede 10k race on June 11 in Frankfort. I’m throwing the gauntlet down and setting a time goal of 54 minutes to get the 6.2 miles covered. That is basically 9-minute miles.

I did that same race in 2015 in slightly under an hour, so this is a challenging goal, considering I’m still only running 3-miles at the moment, but achievable if my training goes well.

Big thank you to the downtown Frankfort YMCA for getting the steam room finally finished and reopened. That is a big plus to be able to sit in wet heat after abusing my body.

Keep on trucking everybody!

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