1,000 Miles: Month 3
Usually when I talk about running I get really excited. Depending on how good the last run was I may get that moderately crazy look in my eyes. And I get excited when I sit down to write about it (proof: Month 1 and Month 2 recaps).
But March didn’t really have any of that. In fact I’m hesitant to even write a recap of the month because it felt like I barely ran at all. Instead, the knees said “you need to take a break!”
Because I’m not training for a marathon, or an ultra trail run, or a triathlon, the potential of an injury hadn’t really crossed my mind. Sure, I was intent on running a little more than usual, but not that much. But then the knees started hurting. Not in a “I am about to break” kind of way, but in a “hi! you better pay attention to us or we will break” kind of way.
So I did what any runner would do: got out the foam roller. I also added in a routine of sun salutations every morning. And some squats. In other words, I started doing all of those things that I knew I should have been doing from the get-go, but just hadn’t got around to.
Which got me thinking: how often does this happen to us in life in general?
How often do go so hard that we break?
We push and push through on something, so focused on a goal that we forget about the everyday smaller details that are what keep us on track to get there in the first place. Only when we come up against injury – be it physical or mental – do we take a moment to reassess.
This as all happened to me before in other places besides the running trail, as I am sure that it has happened to you. Whether it’s at work, at school, or home or in our relationships, we forget to take care of ourselves. Forget to do the little things that have the big effect. Taking a half hour in the morning to do yoga instead of checking email. Making sure that the weekend really is “off time.” Eating an actual lunch instead of in front of the computer. Drinking more water. Eating less sugar. All of the things we know we should be doing all of the time to keep ourselves mentally and physically healthy.
We can push ourselves, mentally and physically, and usually when we do, our bodies are capable of doing a lot. But ultimately there’s a breaking point.
But we shouldn’t see it as a breaking point. It’s not your body failing you. It’s your body telling you that you are failing it. You need to take better care of it.
You want to know the milage for month 3? 40.7 miles.
If I did that kind of mileage every month, I wouldn’t even make it to half the 1,000 mile goal by the end of the year. So it’s no surprise that overall I felt a bit frustrated. But then I thought back to some of the runs I did get in during March. I did my first 10 mile run of the year and it felt really good (and I got a killer jumping photo out of it). The leaves came back out on the trees. I ran in the sunshine. I ran in shorts. I got to run on a beach. All in all, it was a good month. A month that was meant as a reminder that maybe I just need to pay a little more attention to the small things and to take care of myself so that I can keep doing all of the things that make me happy.
Onto Month 4.