Changing up my goals.

by Melissa on October 17, 2012

This may or may not end up being a lengthy post – just giving you a fair warning.

Last week, in addition to addressing my sweet tooth, I had set my sights on a goal of hitting a seven-mile run in order to get on track with training for my next half marathon set to take place on November 18th. Having had to take the time to rest whatever issue was causing the pain I felt during my first half, I’ve been a little behind. I was hoping (and praying) that my legs would remember what seven miles felt like and that it would come back to me with some hard work and dedication.

I’m coming to already on the last leg of studying to get my NASM PT certification, and I’m several semesters into the ACE program, and the more I read, the more I realize that seven miles is just not the smartest thing to set my sights on right now. If I had a few halves under my belt, it might have been far easier for me to reach that goal last week, but I’ve only got one. I’m just getting started…

…and I don’t want to risk never seeing a race like that again.

My heart’s not in this upcoming race for some reason. It’s just not there. I’ve known ever since I mentioned it here that something was missing and that instead, I was secretly worried about just how weak I’d let myself get during training. I wanted this half, yes, but I knew…I knew deep down that I wasn’t going to get there if all I had backing me up was drive. I need more than that backing me up. I need a strong foundation.

strength inspirational images, running inspiration images

During a quick Facebook conversation with an old high school friend, it was brought to my attention that I’m compensating for something. I still feel some discomfort in my gluteal-area – specifically my piriformis – when I run. Sometimes it’s there when I sit a specific way. Always when I foam roll. (That’s a given, of course. Since when does foam rolling feel amazing?) I sprained my left ankle while running last year.  I’ve been off the same foot for a dog bite. I have major muscle tightness and lack of flexibility in my upper body, especially in my shoulders, and I have some major tightness in my upper traps.

In short, I’m a mess.

I confess. No real strength training going on over here. No yoga. Just running. Again. Running and studying and kids and a house. That’s what I’ve been focusing on.

I’m not a complete mess, however, haha. I’m not broken, just a little weak, and I’m far too smart to just let all of the above issues continue on while I blindly chase a goal just because I want it. I’m not willing to risk injury just for the sake of saying I’ve run two half marathons.

So I’m switching my focus, and I hope y’all are ready to start seeing the nitty gritty on here. I’m putting it all out there in terms of workouts and progress and aggravations, because just as with my training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, I need your support, your feedback, and the accountability. Desperately. So there you have it – no half marathon this fall. Bummer.

Having to take a break from a specific training plan to focus on a strong foundation doesn’t make anyone any less of a runner. It makes them a smart runner. Runners are still runners even if we’re not racing. I had to actually convince myself of that at one point a long time ago…isn’t that crazy? So, for now, I’m going be a runner that’s just being.

My main goal? Strength.

I’ll elaborate on it more in my next post because I’m in planning mode, but I had to get my thoughts on refocusing out there. I’m still going to run, of course. I’m going to strengthen my body properly, I’m going to focus on the right training runs, and hopefully, just hopefully, with a few months of serious focus (184 days to be exact) I’ll be stronger, lighter, quicker, and ready for this:

I absolutely want this 13.1.

And I want Chicago in 2014. Not the 13.1. The whole 26.2. Thanks, Jess! I blame you and Scott. ;)

You know I could never go without goals…

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) October 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

Did you get my email? We also got in a book about triggerpoints yesterday. And it’s just crazy how everything is connected so an old injury on one side can so easily trigger another injury on the opposite side. Sitting just kills me. I stand at my desk so often people have stopped asking what I’m doing. I hope the stretching, rolling, and strength training help. I know it’s a real (I mean REAL) pain in the ass.


Melissa October 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

Yes! I did, and I’m sorry I haven’t emailed you back! I got about 5 chapters of studying done yesterday afternoon and last night, and I couldn’t stare at the computer or my phone any longer. Haha. I’ll email you back asap. :) It’s pretty much exactly what you said…I’m focusing on ALL of what you mentioned. It’s time for me to get serious. lol


Melissa October 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

PS: THANK YOU. <3 I appreciate it, friend.


Mindy Bobe October 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

Girl you are doing the right thing listening to your body! There are many halves out there and I know without a doubt that you will be ready for that next one! :-)


Melissa October 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I’m sure I could have busted some serious butt to get to this one, but I’m not willing to risk the injury. It makes me mad, yes, that I couldn’t start training sooner, but eh, it is what it is, right? :) Thanks, Mindy.


Jenna October 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

I’m so sorry for all of the physical setbacks that you have had. The body may be weak, but the mind must stay strong! Shifting your focus is the first step to something amazing to come!!! I know that you can get yourself back on track! Hang in there and keep working hard and being awesome! Prayers being sent your way! Spa love!


Ericka @ The Sweet Life October 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Totally agree on this and it’s what I intend to do after this insane season of training. I’m goign to get back into crossfit to do it. Anyway…did I see a 26.2 in your future???????? That’s what I like to hear! :)


Melissa October 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Yep…you saw the 26.2 pop up there in my post. ;) I never thought I’d say it. I really didn’t. I didn’t think I wanted to spend the time training when I have kids, but seeing as though H supported me so loyally throughout training for the half, I know I have the support to do the full. :)

I love that you and a lot of others I know are looking forward to just being and/or getting back to something that’ll help solidify you as runners. Overdoing it or neglecting other loves can take the enjoyment out of running quickly.


Jess October 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

REALLY digging this change in goals for right now, I think it is absolutely the right decision. As for 26.2 — love. it. You might be one of the only ones to convince me to give 26.2 another shot…maybe ;-)


Melissa October 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hehehehe, well then. I may need to convince you to be the other half of a team. Hmm. Team Durtera? Team Sutham? Team Jessissa? lol That’d be quite fun….


Tina @ Best Body Fitness October 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I’m doing a little happy dance at you mentioning Chicago.


Melissa October 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

If baby-making doesn’t go as we hope in January, then I may just bump it to 2013. ;)


Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) October 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm

HUGE HUGE HUGE! So proud of you for listening to your body!

After my marathon, I think that strength training is also a must for me as well. I am a cardio queen, but I think for strength focused work will really improve my running.


jobo October 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

YES! Strength, choosing battles, being smart. I am so impressed with your decision. It goes along with the theme of my post today…intuition and trusting your instincts! you are doing this more than ever and I am so proud and impressed. I would love to cheer you on and run sherpa you next year!! Until then, strength strength strength! you got this :) XO!


Jenny @ simply be me October 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Great plan! Sometimes its difficult to listen to out bodies but its always fir the best. I’m focusing on a similar goal: build up my running base and drop some weight before I start my official marathon training plan at the end of December.


Laura @ Mommy Run Fast October 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm

You are definitely being a smart runner! I have learned this same thing the hard way, and now am better (though not as good as I could be) about incorporating strength. It really will make you a stronger runner, and less prone to injury. Can’t wait to see you get that 13.1, and eventually the full 26.2!


Charlotte October 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I so admire your honesty! There are very few people who are confident enough to admit things like this. On top of that you are being so smart about all of this! You listened to your body when it said WOAH BUdDY I NEED A BREAK. So many of us would have just kept chugging along (hi guilty as charged)

& WOW blue ridge. Thats a notoriously beast of a course. You will rock it though, I know this 100%

& girl, chicago is gonna be OURS in 2014, its already in my line of vision as well ;)


Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie October 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Girl I’m so glad you’re listening to your body and doing what is right for you! You got this!!


Michelle October 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I think it’s SOOO necessary to change up goals – especially when you are overcommitting. You end up refreshed and ready for a new challenge!

I am planning on running Chicago in 2014 too. I, actually wanted to do it next year but yeah – that’s not going to happen.


ilene October 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I dropped out of 2 races this year – a half and a full – because I did enough damage to myself during my first marathon last year that I just needed the break. there was no need to push. I will run again but now if not the time – and yes, that realization hurt, because I am a dyed in the wool runner – but it was more important that I listen to my body and respect what it needs right now – instead of chasing my next running goal. For now, like you, I am focused on strength, yoga, and boot camp. And I – as will as YOU – will come back stronger next year. Wise words, lady!


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