Confession Time: I spent the month of April running everyday. Doing all of the things that I say not to do. Here is what happened. Join the link up for Running Coaches Corner!
My Month of Running Everyday + How I Hit 60 Miles in 7 Days
I am a Certified Running Coach. I have a running coach business. I have gotten injured in major ways in the past, injuries that include multiple stress related and overuse injuries. I preach the importance of injury prevention and preventative exercise. Don’t get it twisted, I still firmly believe in all of those things.
But for the past month, I was a very, very bad coach.
It all happened a few weeks ago, when my anxiety started to get out of hand, I started to lose my grip and began to catastrophize in a huge way. At the beginning of April, I started finding myself following up running days with… running days. They were still relatively short runs (for me)–only about 4 miles a pop. When I ran the Shamrock Shuffle, I think I had run one 10k in 2 months. As the weather got better and better, as my mood got more and more unstable, as I found myself walking all over the place at the restaurant and feeling tired the next day, I found myself leaning on my crutch: running.
I found myself justifying the enterprise because doing the elliptical wouldn’t rest the muscles that needed the rest, and since I wasn’t spending much time at the gym, the spin bike wasn’t an option.
So, running became my hug. It became my self care. My moving meditation, aside from that one time when my brain literally flipped out. I needed to be out in the sunshine some days; I needed to disappear into my books the other days. But the one thing I knew was that for perhaps the first time ever, I needed running. Running as my mood stabilizer. My meditation. My way of getting my brain and my body back in play.
I’ve always loved running, but I’ve also always loved cross training–spin bike, elliptical, going for a walk. I loved my rest days (active or passive). Something happened to me during this past month of April. And I spent the month running.
I gradually built up my mileage to daily 8 mile runs, culminating with a week of 8 milers and one 12 miler for 60 miles in 7 days. It was a major, major moment in my running career. I am so proud of myself, my body, and myself for taking care of my body in such a way as to enable it to accomplish that goal.
How did I accomplish my 3 week microcycle of only running?
Supporting Muscles and Joints
I dug up my compression socks and have been wearing them when I’m on dinner shift and sometimes on runs (I don’t normally do this). At the restaurant, I wear Danskos, which have a lot of support built into them; I am wearing various running shoes at the gym, and because the weather is still chilly, or I’m walking Ridley, I’m not wearing nonsense shoes.
That means all the calories, fats, proteins, carbs, and eating in general. I didn’t lose any weight at all during this time, PS. Being at the restaurant means a lot more foods that I wouldn’t normally eat, and just a lot more food in general. I eat in spurts, so my body is able to handle what I am putting into it (this, my friends, is why I can’t just “eat a cheeseburger.” I have to space things out, and I can’t do it daily).
80%, if not more, of my miles are easy going. I don’t feel like I could run faster, but that is more of a mental block than anything. I am fine with running easy, not honing my speed. I just want to run. I will do progressive runs on the treadmill maybe 1-2x a week to switch it up, and sometimes my daily miles are split up into 2 and 6 or 4 and 4. The recovery in the middle has helped me tremendously. I don’t have the mental endurance or perhaps the muscular endurance to run super far (trust me, that 12 miler? I had to work at it!), a perfect explication of why when training, you can’t split up your long runs aside from emergencies!
Glute Engagement and Mixing Up Indoor/Outdoor
I definitely notice when I am running inside too much that my glutes aren’t engaging as well, and I can tell that I’m running outside too much on the concrete outside when I get a little achy. Thus, I am aiming for a nice mixture of the two, and it seems to be working! And yes, I practice some of these tricks to get my glutes engaged when I’m out!
Paying Attention to My Body
See above, but know that if my hamstring or body had told me at any time that it needed a break, I would have given it that break. No questions asked. I took naps when I could (especially to offset many a night of subpar sleep, which seems to be my new normal). I sat down when I could. I relaxed. I rested when I wasn’t running or working.
My Bottom Line as A Running Coach on Running Everyday
We aren’t perfect–even coaches don’t always practice what they preach. But I don’t think that this detracts from me as a reputable coach: this was an adventure and experiment in myself that I carefully, dedicatedly, lovingly, ambitiously, embarked on. I knew that I would be cutting myself off from mileage after the 60 mile week, and I worked myself into it. There are many other factors that I’m not going into, but trust me that I prepared myself for this, it did not come out of nowhere, even though it may seem that way after my breaks from running during my ovarian stimulation cycles.She just wanted to run; how Suz nailed her month of high mileage #runchat #coachescorner #running Click To Tweet
What is next?
This was my peak of peak weeks. My marathon comes this month in my Frozen Embryo Transfer. Right now, I am in taper: retreating from mileage, incorporating other forms of strength training and cross training. Thanks to the Progesterone in Oil shots… I’ve got the sore glutes as if I was doing legs all day every day!
Running and I had a spring fling. We will see if there is any summer lovin.
What is a running or fitness goal that you never thought you would accomplish, and you did just that?
Have you ever shot for the moon knowing you would have to take a break from flying?
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