9/19/2009

Training update: Thoughts after the injury



I've decided not to run the full Richmond marathon. Instead, I will shoot to run a full marathon next year, next spring or fall. I have not fully decided yet. I may run the half marathon instead, and will shoot to run it in under than two hours. I think I can meet that goal through building on the training I've learned to date.

Since my injury, I have been adding to how much I've run each week. I usually have a couple of short pangs of pain in my right knee within the first minute of running, but it generally goes away if I slow down and breathe through it. I don't have any pain when I finish.

The injury was a wake-up call that there are limits to my body, especially when you factor in everything else going on in my life. We are in the midst of covering an election for Charlottesville Tomorrow. I'm a single father who has his children half the week. I serve people at Court Square Tavern on Fridays. Somewhere in there, I'm trying to figure out how Charlottesville's dating scene works. That last part is fairly tricky.

In the week-long break I took from running, I realized there are other aspects of my life where I have to train, too.

I have to become a better homeowner, for instance. I've lived here for well over a year now, and I've not put any work into it. There are so many things to organize. Many questions to answer, such as, can I possibly afford a dishwasher? Should I go ahead and get the windows properly fitted for winter?

My primary goal to exercise is to stay healthy, and to get in the best shape I can. I am looking forward to racing again, and learning more about how to run injury free. Good shoes, certainly help. I spent at least half an hour exercising in the past week, including two stints lifting weights.

I even ran on a treadmill this past Thursday. The experience is sub-par compared to running on the road, but I went in with a specific goal to do 30 minutes of cardio. I pushed myself as hard as I could in that half-hour, and it conveniently fit within my schedule.

Today, however, I was thankful to be back on the road. I will likely run once a week at the gym, which offers affordable child-care. It's also a place where I want to feel more comfortable. I was there six days a week when I first started exercising last December. Now, I don't go, because running sort of took over so I could run a marathon in November. And, that's okay. If I had not hurt myself, I'd still be on that path.

Lives change in the blink of an eye. I am certainly not where I thought I would be at 36. It's important to stay flexible about life goals, I'd say. You never know when they will have to change. We pick up new skills, learn from rough experiences, and generally improve ourselves so we can navigate the many twists and turns of our lives.

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