On the Run: A Week Off + Starting Week 6

Last week, I got a heck of a cold. If you recall, I had a cold back in September when I ran the Great Race 10K, so I was not at all happy to wake up to a scratchy sore throat and congestion again. I can remember when I was in high school and college, how I would be the last woman standing even as various plagues swept through my classmates, taking them down one by one. Ah, the immune system of my youth.

Taking a day off scares–taking an entire week off feels like tempting fate, like asking to be a quitter all over again. But the after effects of running the Great Race 10K with a cold were fresh on my mind, and I knew my immune system needed rest. So I took off Monday. And when Wednesday found me feeling worse instead of better, I took that off, too. Finally, Friday rolled around and I still could barely breathe, so I decided to make it a round week off.

Something like this would have derailed me a few years ago, and I still don’t fully trust myself. When I went to bed last night, though, I promised myself I’d get up and go to the gym. Was I 100% over the cold? No, of course not, because these darn things linger forever. But I wasn’t in the thick of it anymore, either.

I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 4:30am, so I could get in some solid breakfast and tea time before getting dressed and dragging my butt to the gym. It wasn’t easy. If I’m honest, I’ve been scared ever since I took a peek ahead at the Week 6, Day 1 training run and saw that it ended with a few reps of speed work. SPEED WORK with a cold? Heck no!

Except, I don’t want to lose the momentum. Except, I know I’m just letting fear hold me back.

“I don’t know if I can do this, but I’m going to try” is one of the phrases Kelly Roberts, who coaches the guided run series I’m doing, often uses. I adopted it as my mantra on the way to the gym, not letting my brain talk me into taking it easy today, taking another week before tackling the scary 40 minute run.

And you know what? I was so happy to be back to running after the week off that the run was a total breeze. That speedwork I was so scared of? It wasn’t that bad! One minute of running fast, it turns out, doesn’t bother my body as much as I thought it would. I’d been scared for no good reason, which is so very often the way that fear works.

I’m going into Week 6 (or really, Week 7 with Week 6’s training plan) feeling proud and strong and solid. I just bought my Half Marathon Training Plan ahead of schedule (Black Friday sales, couldn’t resist) and will continue patiently building up my base and not looking too far ahead until the time to begin training in earnest comes around.

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