It’s spring, and that means one thing: running. The weather starts to warm up. The sun stays over the horizon past 5 pm. The sap in the ol’ legs starts flowing again. I think it’s appropriate that I’m living in Switzerland, because I think deep down, I’m really a marmot. Winter ends, and I feel the need to get moving again. I need to get out on my rock and squawk, run around on an Alp somewhere.
The races start to approach: the 20 km of Lausanne in late April. A 10-miler in Bern in May that’s advertised as the “ten most beautiful miles in the world.” Then, June 24th, the Aletsch half-marathon, touted as “Europe’s greatest half-marathon.”
(I know. It’s all uphill. That’s why I want to do it so badly! Just look at that picture! Don’t you want to do it, too? How can you suffer with that as a backdrop?)
Then, the pièce de résistance… the 31-km Sierre-Zinal on August 12th. Another run I want to add to my life list, despite the wicked horrible downhill finish. It doesn’t claim to be the greatest anything, but the “no high heels” image on the website speaks volumes. This is my kind of thing.
This year, I tell myself, I’m really going to do it. Which is why I’m dialing back my training a notch.
Yeah, you read that right. You see, one of the dangers of Spring is overenthusiasm. I get all psyched up, put a load of 85-90 bpm songs on my iPod and start hammering. I feel great! It’s spring! boy, I’m really in shape this year, I’m really cranking out the miles, maybe this year I can be a real runner again… plus, it’s warm enough to wear shorts! Next thing you know, something hurts. I’m limping.
I’m sure this has never happened to you. You’re probaby very careful and analytical about your running, never going out for an impulsive 10-miler just because it’s such a beautiful day that you just can’t resist the temptation to just chuck everything and head out the door. Oh, I envy you.
Not this year. This year, I’m not focusing on running fast, but just on showing up. And to do that, all I need is some basic training, nothing extreme. I don’t need to run every single day, no matter how badly I want to. In fact, if I feel that overwhelming urge, I might on occasion even do the unthinkable and — drum roll please — go for a walk instead. Don’t gasp. I already tried it twice, and it worked out just fine.
The weather has complied recently, which has helped me enormously. It has been windy, cold, spitting rain. Much more conducive to staying inside, curled up with a good book. So I’ve only run every other day, at most. (That and a grueling workout last Wednesday at a Crossfit box from which my arms are still not fully recovered. Folly, thy name is Crossfit.)
Do you have any tips to prevent overenthusiastic spring training? Do you want to come and run any of these races with me? For FUN?