On the move…back in the saddle

Back in the Saddle…

Do you exercise for health, for sanity, for goals? When I run, I like to have goals in mind whether it be an upcoming race I am running or a race I am pacing. I used to set timed goals to the point of obsession. At that time in my life, I needed a controlled focus and hitting a goal time allowed me to home in and push everything else to the wayside. Was it the best idea? Not always but there were lessons embedded so I learned from it.


A few weeks ago, my favorite January email hit my inbox: Pacing for the Flying Pig. Last year I paced the full as I knew I would be trained to do so. This year, I am pacing the half and could not be more excited. Why, exactly, would I be thrilled at half the distance? No, this is not rhetorical. Last August I ruptured my Achilles. Non-weight bearing for 8 weeks. PT for 8 more. Return to run program with instructions not to push it or I would end up in the boot once again. NO.THANK.YOU. Coming back from an injury, on top of switching careers and trying to find the time to train is and has been quite the challenge. But that email reminded me of my focus. I GET to run. And I get to help others achieve their goals. What a privilege.

The hills are alive…

This past weekend was my first double digit run since August. And as I type this, the runner’s high is still in full effect. Was it hard? Yes. Did I run the ridiculous hills near my home? Also yes. Will I be ready come May? Absolutely. Is there a STRONG possibility I’ll add another race to the spring schedule to allow me just to run/race and be grateful for the moment? YES. Lacing up to start training is more mental than physical. Getting back on the saddle, knowing where I’ve been and where I am starting from today is even more a challenge. But I’m here, training with you and gearing up to cheer you on. What is on your spring schedule? Comment below as I’d love to congratulate you when you’ve crossed the finish!

The workout:

Let’s focus on hill repeats this week. In my experience, I have found one either loves hills or hates them. I used to dread them and then realized they were the challenges I need to focus upon. Now, I charge up them and race down them. If you ask my running friends with whom I train, they do not always like hill runs with me.

Before the run: be sure to focus on Figure 4, squats, and bridges to stretch before you run hills. Also throw in ankle circles and calf raises (releves) to prepare your legs for the fun. You’ll want to repeat these stretches after you’re finished, although the releves will hurt the most. Maybe skip those.

The workout: 10-minute warm up. 4-6 hill repeats for 2-3 min intervals at a time (run up, walk or jog back down). 10-minute cool down. As we progress in training, we’ll add a little more distance and time. Right now, this is good and you’re doing great!

*Opinions are that of the writer and not of the United States Air Force. As with any exercise, consult your physician first. *