I ran my first road race in 1992. It was a 10K and I felt terrible. I stuck to short races for a while until my first half marathon in 1999. I didn’t really train for it and was over dressed for the heat. I had a miserable race and cramped up right after I finished. After that I vowed that I would never run a race without proper training. 100+ races later and I can honestly say that I haven’t prepared for half of them.
I have had great races that I didn’t prepare for and terrible races that I spent months training for. Over the past few years my 1-2 long races per year have stretched to 6-10 with most of those being half marathons and relay races. My lingering injuries are a direct result of under training. I know that I will feel better and run healthier if I run more consistently.
For the past three years I have joined 1000-mile challenges and every time I have not come close to meeting the goal. 1000 miles in a year breaks down to 19.25 miles per week. In theory, that doesn’t seem like that difficult a challenge.
When I look through my running logs there are plenty of weeks where my mileage was 25-30 miles. Unfortunately, the log will show 2, 30-mile weeks followed by two weeks where I only ran twice total. I never skip a race. If I registered/committed to run it, I’m in. Even if I haven’t run at all for the past month leading up to the race. I’m in.
For the past 2 weeks I have run consistently 4 days per week. It wasn’t a difficult thing to do. I just made running a priority, scheduled it and did it. Now I just need to figure out how to do it when I’m traveling all week for work, attending a fitness convention or when there is 5 feet of snow on the ground and I’m limited to the treadmill and indoor track.
So to all my cyber and local running buddies: keep me honest. I’d like to hit PRs in my 5K and half marathon times this year and I know that the only way to get there safely is to train consistently. I am lucky that I have dodged surgeries and major injuries that a lot of my fellow runners have faced. I doubt I’ll continue to be lucky forever….