Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Scaling back?

I didn't race on Saturday.

Not that I had firm plans to do so, I just kinda wanted to. There's a 5K that takes place 5 minutes from my house and last year I ran it and ran well, finishing just seconds off of my PR for 1st in my age group, and 4th female overall. 

In my head, I figured that if I felt good coming off the half marathon, I'd run the 5K. But then there was the issue of my fall at mile 5 of the half and the fact that my ankle is still not 100%. It is healing well, but it is still a little swollen and I knew that if I raced again less than one week after the half, I'd risk messing up my ankle big time.

And I'm all about running over the long term. I don't need any sort of lingering injuries.

Which was the point of my recent email exchange with my friend, Tami. She ran a marathon the week before my half and went ahead and ran that 5K that I'd been thinking of running. She ran a great race and finished third female overall. But, she'd battled a cold after the marathon and racing the 5K lowered her resistance just enough so that cold came back with a vengeance.

There's Tami with her third place medal! Way to go!!

Discussing our shared desire for PRs and a healthy winter full of running, the subject of winter and spring race plans came up. What are you running next? What are you running this winter? Planning on a spring marathon?

We went back and forth and our discussion eventually led us to conclude that scaling back could be good.

For me, that meant skipping the 5K and rethinking what races I plan to run this winter. For Tami, it meant likely shelving plans for a spring marathon . . . but contemplating a fall ultra (hey, what happened to scaling back?!?!)

So, now I have some decisions to make. I know I'm going to run a 10K in early November but should I also run the 10K turkey trot on Thanksgiving? And what about December? Our road runners club puts on a great winter series and that kicks off with a 15K on December 9th. And then there's the Hangover Half on January 1st, two other winter series races in January, the Winter Marathon Relay in February . . . and I really would like to run the inaugural Nike Women's Half in DC in April.


I need to prioritize. Quality over quantity. I need to make it through the winter healthy and ready to race strong in the spring. So, I need to get my A races lined up, and back-fill from there. I'd also like to focus on cross-training this winter, to head into the spring with a stronger foundation.

Now the question is . . . do I focus on that spring half marathon or full? Hmm . . . 

Do you reduce your running mileage over the winter? Or do you keep up the same level? 
If you reduce, for how long before picking back up?

In other news, I just picked up a stack of running books from the library, including one by Adam Goucher and one by Scott Jurek. Lucky me!

Have a great day, everyone!

~ Felice


Melissa said...

I feel the same way! I want to sign up for everything and at the same time I feel like I need a break. I have so many ideas about next years goals but am having trouble narrowing them down.

Quix said...

I trained from spring 11 - now without much of an "off season" to relax. I'm giving myself the gift of six weeks of no formal training after my first marathon - Jan 1 and trying to say no races in January and February (though that's going to be hard).

Bridget said...

10K turkey trot!!!
Then we can focus on the nike half/full for the spring!

macnic said...

My mileage will increase in the winter as I'm targeting a May full marathon.

Good for you for holding back. Really smart to focus on the long term goal.

Good luck in what you decide.

Elisa said...

Smart lady! You are a power of example to a lot of women runners.

Special K said...

Oh, I loved this post....thank you. I am nursing a leg injury from over use and this is not about "moderation" this is about true authentic presence in self, in body, for long term health...which often means resting, to receive, reflect, rejuvenate

If i have 6 things I want to do, I know that I can only do three well.... maybe choosing three of your options is the right path for you? maybe it's four...but I am looking forward to the update

price per head services said...

Your friend is quite amazing. She did pretty well. Between a lot of people to reach to the third place is quite an accomplish

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