- I am not as young as I think I am.
- I get injured too often to make any real progress.
In the last two years of my taking running reasonably seriously, these are the two things about myself that I have repeatedly failed to understand. I’ve gotten into a bad pattern where after injury, I upped my mileage too quickly, causing a new injury, causing more time off, and then another quick ramp up of mileage. It just hasn’t worked.
That is what running looks like when you cannot stay healthy. In the whole year, I never put together a single sustained period of serious training. No wonder the fall racing season was such a disaster.
What happened? I got greedy and stupid. Repeatedly. I would get up to fifty miles and then do something stupid during a speed workout, get hurt, and have to cut back. Or I’d be training at thirty miles a week and suddenly up it to fifty. These were stupid mistakes that a 22 year old could perhaps have recovered from, but which left this 36 year old limping around the park.
This time, I’m going to go about things old school Sean. I’m going to build up slow and steady, and I’m going to stay healthy for the long term. My best period of running, when my times were coming down, and when I felt the healthiest, was early this summer when I strung together four weeks of forty five plus miles with no speed work. I want to get back to that level and then stay there. That is going to take some time and I need to remember that. I’m not built like a runner, I’m not young anymore and it is going to take a longer time and a lot more miles for me to get where I want to be.
I’m currently nursing a fucked up ankle, but once that heals, I’m going to hit the road and do yet another slow buildup of easy miles. No speed work, just slow and steady miles building up over the winter so that when summer finally arrives, I’m not digging out of another injury hole.
Running is a cruel mistress; she will accept no short cuts. I need to remember that.