What is the Opposite of Playing Catch-up?

For the first time in what feels like forever, I don’t feel like I am playing catch-up with my running. I am certainly still pretty far from peak fitness, but for some reason, I am ok with that. I am enjoying the journey, building up after almost 2 years of injury setbacks. I am enjoying feeling stronger every week and increasing mileage responsibly. I am enjoying taking some risks like racing XC or switching my November 10k to a 30k after some peer pressure advice  from a couple Baybirds (you know you you are ahem Jenny and Ashley). I am enjoying working on all my non-running stuff and trying out kettlebells, TRX, hot yoga and crazy recovery moon boots. But best of all, I am enjoying all this without feeling like I am behind schedule or am playing catch-up like I have for pretty much every training cycle over the past 2 years. My fitness is where it is and that’s exactly where it is supposed to be right now and that’s ok. I definitely have run envy when I see some of the epic days my teammates and friends have on Strava, and I can’t wait to be back at the point where I am really pushing myself, but I know I will get there soon.

Sure, I have a pretty big race in December, and I kind of have a plan to get there, but overall I am taking a really relaxed approach to training. I have a couple of key workouts a week that I try to schedule with other people, and the rest o the time I am just running where, how far and how fast I want. So instead of feeling like a chore I have to do, my runs feel like this amazing thing I get to do, usually with other amazing people who are pushing (or usually pulling) me. I have been running (mostly) alone for so long and have had to find almost all my motivation and push inside myself that I am really loving the amazing network of speedy women I am getting to know through the Baybirds. I still enjoy a solo run, but I am realizing how much energy goes into training when you do it all by yourself, and how powerful a training network really is. I guess i didn’t really realize how much training burnout I was suffering from until the weight was lifted, but the fact that I couldn’t get myself to run more than 13 miles in preparation for my first foray into the ultramarathon world at the TRT 55k should have been a red flag. So thanks Baybirds, for being so welcoming, inspiring and motivating. I am excited to join such a bad-ass yet kind community!

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