I ran a marathon in early October (Portland, my first), after which I took about 4 weeks to rest my body and mind. I didn’t plan it it this way, in fact I had this whole idea that I would reverse taper after a week off (courtesy of Hal Higdon) and complete a bunch of winter races. But after nearly 6 months of intense training, my body just said “slow down.” And I listened. I wasn’t particularly lazy…I got up with the sun, took nice long walks with the dog, recalibrated my diet from “I’m absolutely uncomfortably hungry at all times” to “hey, let’s eat like a normal person again.”
After about a month of this I was ready to ease back into a regular fitness regimen. At the moment, this includes 3 days a week of running 3-6 miles, 1-2 yoga classes, and 1 day of leisurely bike riding followed by a slow
torturous intense workout. After 4-5 weeks of such, I’m happy to report that my rest was a huge success. My endurance, strength, and speed have all improved! So now, I feel the time is right to kick things up just a notch. Over the next several weeks I hope to consistently practice 60-90 minutes of yoga twice a week (I’ve been really good about the Saturday classes so far), come up with some plan for an at-home practice, up my weekend mileage back to “long run” status, and to include more formalized speedwork.
Listening to our bodies is so important, and balancing all of our fitness goals is so tough! It’s tempting to want to do everything all at once. Overall I’m happy to be inspired and so far don’t feel overwhelmed. But for example, I’m very interested in getting more serious about my yoga practice in particular, and I feel like there just aren’t enough days in the week.
For the moment, I’ll continue to go day by day, and work on feeling the joy without enslaving myself to a specific schedule. Come late-December/early-January, I’ll begin training for my second marathon in Big Sur, April 2014. At this point, I’ll list out my 12-16 month goals, and at the same time assess last year’s achievements, and analyze where I struggled or fell short.
Gearing up for a new year! We’re so close!