I’ve decided to take a break from racing until Q2 of 2017. It may seem a little odd & too soon, especially since my first race was in October, but I think that I need a few months to recenter.

After my first race, I felt like my left foot was broken. I didn’t run for almost a week and a half after I finished my half marathon. I did mostly HIIT cardio and lifted weights and stayed away from anything that put pressure on my knees and feet. After that week and a half, my body felt great. I started running again and registered for my next race-a 15K right after Thanksgiving. I was excited to train again.

Racing is only part of the joy. After all, you practice much more than you perform. I enjoy training. The process is challenging-physically and mentally, but it stimulates me. I love the challenge. I love pushing through and getting over the hurdle. I was excited to train for my 15k after running my half. I was definitely aiming for better splits given the shorter distance.

Overall, I was pleased with my 15k time. I came in several minutes under my goal time! Although the course were relatively flat, I underestimated myself and my ability to push through fatigue. I decided not to take any time off running after my 15k. That was a mistake. A few days after my race, my left knee started to ache. I spent the next week doing low impact workouts and icing it every moment I wasn’t in the office. (It’s kind of hard to be professional with an elevated leg in the middle of a cubicle row!)

Now that my foot and my knee are better, I’ve started to plan out my races for 2017. I’ve decided not to race at all until April at the earliest. As exhilarating as training and racing are, I know that my body is not ready.

Before training for my half marathon, I was running 5-6 miles a week. 6! Only 6! I quickly went from 6 to 20-24, which was likely the cause of the foot pain that I experienced all through my 8 weeks of training. I want to use the next few months to work on running consistently (3x a week) so that my body gets used to the mileage. I’m also interested in improving my speed, so I do 1-2 interval workouts per week accompanied by a long run.

I think that if I run regularly, I won’t shock my body when I start to train. I am also taking the next few months off because I don’t like the treadmill nor do I like winter weather. I would prefer to do long runs outside. I would also prefer not to slip and fall on black ice. Since I work Monday to Friday, I tend to save my long runs for the weekends. If the weather isn’t great over the weekend, it’s highly unlikely I’m going to bust out a 10 miler. Once the weather is nicer, I won’t be concerned about snow, ice or sleet impeding my running schedule.

Even though I will miss having a race to look forward to, I am looking forward to my time off. I’ve set clear goals and intentions, so my time will be structured even though I won’t start training for anything until late February/early March.

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