Backing Down to Keep Moving Forward

Backing Down to Keep Moving Forward

I have a problem, my problem is that I always push myself to progress the way I see myself progressing.  Most people would say that isn't a bad thing, but it can be if you don't know how to control it.  After my first marathon, I felt fantastic!  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't running for a few days while my legs recovered, but my time was decent and I felt like I could do it again with ease!  After completing the Hoover Dam marathon, I decided this was only the beginning and I signed up for Running with the Angel marathon on Jan 7th.  Now before you ask me why the heck I would train for a race during the holidays, think of this.  How many people fall off track around the holidays?  How many people have to undo the damage brought on by partying, travel, and overeating?  My mentality was to force myself to stay focused and on track.  About a week ago, with some insight from a good friend, I realized I could either continue on with the full 26 miles OR I could downgrade to 13 and save myself from potential injury.  I chose the latter.  

I have a goal to run a 50K in April of 2012 and to risk it all by pushing a marathon without being fully ready, seemed stupid and unecessary.  So in 2 weeks, I will be doing 13 miles.  A race meant for keeping me in training mode but also giving me a chance to set a new 1/2 marathon PR.  

The point of this post is that when you look at acheiving progress, you need to define progress in several ways.  Running the same race with a faster pace, running a longer distance, running on different terain, choosing a higher elevation race.  All of these represent ways of progressing in your running training.  I made he mistake of focusing on distance and using that as my benchmark, but I learned that you can only increase your distance so much before your body needs a break.  To work on speed and pacing is just as important and fulfilling.  Be smart when it comes to planning your season.  Don't feel like you need to puch your body each race, some races can be for practice for an upcoming race or to set a new time goal.  There is plenty of time in life to progress, don't force it. 

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