From the Ground Up

Three and a half years ago I had a meeting with my cross country coach.  It was my first season as a runner and my first time running more the 20 or 30 miles weekly.  It was early September of 2010 and I was enjoying running more then ever.  (At least I thought…my love for running continuously grows).

Little did I know how much that meeting would change and sculpt my running mentality.  It’s a running mentality that I still hold near and dear to my training.  My coach at the time told me to run everyday, don’t worry about pace or distance just run.  Discover something new about yourself and your training each day…Maybe you don’t like a certain running path, certain shoe, are you an arm swinger, can you solve your life issues during a simple run.  Just run.  Run 30 hours in 30 days.  That averaged to one hour a day of easy running or 2 hours one day and off another day…I didn’t know that this was typical of a base building period.  This is what people do before speed workouts.  This is why people fall in love with running.

Either way I did just that and ran 30 hours in 30 days.  Since I wasn’t worrying about distance or pace (and it was long before I owned a GPS watch) I didn’t get injured but I grew as a person and a runner.  It really began my lifelong passion of enjoying running.

Throughout my three years of running that is what I have done.  My daily runs have no exact rhyme or reason.  I don’t plan to do an exact mileage.  If I do 10.567 versus 10.5 who cares…and it even goes the same way about mileage.  I have a goal range every week I would like to hit but nothing that makes or breaks me.  I just enjoy running and racing serves as the only time I truly care about pace and time.

So how does this relate to my normal Sunday training post?

In the last week I have truly wanted to get back into running but I have lost sight of this mentality.  I’m already finding myself gunho on improving my shorter distance times and gunho about becoming a better athlete.   It led me to pull a muscle in my knee a week ago.

When I decided to run last Sunday in the state park near my house it was 23 degrees.  Long story short my muscles never warmed up and the next morning I woke up with a throbbing knee.  I thought I had either pulled, strained or torn the muscle.  Since I assume all worst possible scenarios I assumed it was a tear.  Then with ice, rest and salt baths…it just went away two days later.  It has felt fine since but it has made me realize that I need to ease back into running and not stress about pace or time.

For the next month I am going to do something I haven’t done since of just enjoying my runs and letting my mind wonder.  I’m going to consistently start logging miles and start to rebuild that base.  Running is such a freeing and liberating journey and I would like to get back to that worry free journey.

Questions for you:

Do you like base building?

Are you currently being coached?