I have my race recap completed, but I have a more pressing matter that I want to discuss today.
Regardless of the problem, I think this is a sign that I need to take a short break.
Yep. I said it.
As soon as the word "break" comes into play when it is relative to running, I get a bit stressed. I have monthly mileage goals to hit and I would much rather get more than less. But then I got to thinking, "Why am I treating miles like I used to calories?"
Just a couple of years ago, I was OBSESSED with counting calories. It ruined any pleasure that I had of eating. It became a job more than anything. If I did not get that special number by the end of the day, I was miserable. In fact, the misery started long before the end of the day. Sometimes, it would occur just halfway through. If I ate something extra, it ruined my meals for the remainder of the day and I would end up starving myself.
One day, I was so fed up with my lifestyle that I just deleted my calorie counting app. Why was I letting a number dictate how I felt about myself? I was scared at first, but I learned to eat properly. I finally knew what it was to be hungry and to be full. A number was no longer in control...My body was.
So why are miles any different?
One of my goals this year was to beat the number of miles I ran in 2013. That goal is completely useless. What good is it really going to do me? So I deleted it. I don't need a number to tell me how good I have done this year. I have already done great this year. I ran a marathon, got a half marathon PR, and won a couple of age group awards. And there were even periods of time I had to take off to rest pain areas. Did that hurt my performance? No. So what is the point of feeling guilty?
Today I read something valuable to me:
"A concern of taking a week off from running is that you may lose the fitness results you have obtained from your program. The losses you feel are negligible, whereas the benefits could be significant." - Livestrong.comResting is a part of training. Sure, it is typically only a couple of days out of the week, but why not one week off out of several?
I am done beating myself up over my mileage. My body should never have to force me to stop due to pain or injury. I should have stopped days ago when I initially felt this soreness. Sure, it has not gotten worse or has disabled me from being able to run, but it has not improved. So it's time to take a few days off and enjoy!
Say goodbye to my monthly mileage counter and yearly mileage goals. Becoming the best runner I can be is not dependent on a number. It is based on my health and happiness. :)
Do you count miles?
Do you have weekly, monthly, yearly mileage goals?
Do you ever feel guilty for not hitting a number?
Do you take time off from running? Injury or no injury.