Our summer was filled with a beach vacation, a couple camping weekends, trips to the water park, the zoo, backyard water balloon/squirt gun fights, walks, bike rides, and plenty of relaxation.
My running over the summer was fairly non-existent, at least compared to the mileage I had been running previously. I got injured. Or at least that's the easiest way to describe it. I was having back pain and I thought I was just over-doing it running wise. So I backed off. The pain never went away but it didn't get worse as long as I didn't run more than about four miles on the road. I could run longer on the trails without making the pain worse. So I did more ab exercises thinking I had a weak core. I went to yoga classes more. Still not better. Fearing the worst, I finally went to my doctor where he diagnosed me with a pulled Psoas Muscle. The doctor (of course) prescribed PT. (I say of course because it's part of the reason it took me so long to go, I didn't want to be told to go to PT!) Like a good patient, I went to PT where I was given more ab exercises to do.
Well, I can certainly do ab exercises on my own without using all of our health savings account to do so. (Disclaimer...don't try this at home. I am not a medical professional, just a mom with two active boys who wants to save the HSA in case they get hurt. And didn't want to spend any free time I might have had at PT doing ab exercises.) When I told my husband about it, he agreed on my approach. I said, I want to try on my own now that we know what is "wrong". I said if it gets worse, I'll definitely go back. Ab exercises and yoga were what got me through. My yoga instructor has been phenomenal. I told her what the diagnosis was and next class, she really had us work those muscles. And I felt good for the first time in MONTHS!
School started and our lives changed again. This is my first year with two kids in school; one in first grade and one in Pre-k (3 mornings a week). I volunteer at the elementary school and am on several committees. It makes me happy to be involved and give back to my kids' school. Also, both boys are involved in activities (Ice skating, swimming, and Cub Scouts) so we're busy three nights a week driving kids around and watching them in their sports. I love that my kids are finding activities that they enjoy and are trying out new things, too.
With all this other stuff going on, that means less time for me to run. Correction, I am sleeping more, so I am not taking as much time to run as I used to. I feel it's better for me and my family that I get a little more sleep since we're on the go most days, all day. Right now, I'm ok with less running. For anyone that knows me personally knows that it's always family first. For the first time in FOUR YEARS, I'm not training for something. And I'm really ok with that. Sometimes we just need a break both physically and mentally! It's so easy to get caught up in the "I just ran a big race and I'm in great shape, so I need to run another big one or go even bigger" mentality. It took me a while to get to this point where I am ok with not training right now.
I am NOT any less of a runner because I'm taking a break from long distances.
I still run three to four days per week. I go to yoga as often as I can and I now go to a Cardio Barre class (AWESOME class, by the way). We take walks and family bike rides, we have dance parties and are very active.
I am still modeling healthy behavior for my kids and exercising for myself. Will I do another Ultra? Absolutely. When? I'm not quite sure, we'll have to see how the winter goes.
For right now, it's enough.
Have you or do you take breaks from training for distance events? Did you have a difficult time with not "training" for an event?
Coming soon (I hope) race recaps!