Counting Miles?

I have my race recap completed, but I have a more pressing matter that I want to discuss today.

Remember the calf pain I was telling you all about? Well, I rolled and rolled and rolled last night, but instead of it making things feel better, it actually made my leg super sore today.  I may just be sitting for a period of time, then when I get up to walk, the pain shoots through the outside of my calf. Though it will disappear after a few minutes of walking, it ends up coming back later. I am not sure what the issue is, but it seems to be in the area of my peroneal tendon.

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." -
Resting 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.


  1. Do I count Miles, No I count Km, and I should reach 100 000km in September!!!

    I wanted 5200km in years gone by, but never got there... now I just look at putting in good weeks when good weeks are needed!!!

    Time off... haven;t missed a day in 2 and a half years... that said I'm injuryed and have had 5 weeks ofonly short runs... So want to spend hours on the mountain again!!!

    1. Wow, that's quite the running streak! I have only been a consistent runner for 2 and a half years!


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