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Knowing whether it’s time to prove something or just. back. off.

As she adjusts to her new location, Tara is coming to realize that easy mileage will help her achieve her goals and that sometimes backing off is a good thing.

pre run

There’s a very delicate balance, as a runner, in knowing when it’s time to prove something and when it’s time to back off. It’s my nature to want to run fast, to push myself and to test the limits. This is where I feel my best. However, I’m learning it’s not always the appropriate place to be.

As I wrote last week, while relocating to Omaha, my training has been focused around putting in a lot of quality miles: nothing too intense, no tempo runs, no intervals, just easy miles. In the past, I’ve struggled with this, preferring the more intense training because of the immediate satisfaction it gives. It just feels like I’m moving faster towards my goals. However, through this transition, I’ve come to better understand the nuances of what it really takes to advance.

Settling in to running in Nebraska

During my first week in Nebraska I put in an easy, to moderate, 90K. With having to adjustment to the heat, I saw this an opportunity to prove that I could up my mileage, not over do it with my intensity and set myself up for a injury-free start to my next training block. I’m preparing for a fall half-marathon.

With this challenge in mind, I’ve been able to understand the importance of easier miles and that they do actually move me toward my goals. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know new terrain and work through the challenges of upping my mileage. I’m liking running in my new location. One nice reward: there are a lot more rabbits gracing the paths of Omaha, than there were in Saskatoon. I have an affinity for these furry creatures.

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Breaking my big running habit

I think I’ll always have the tendency to push too hard, and that’s not a bad thing– as long as I can keep it in check. I’ve learned to do this by frequently looking at my watch to make sure I haven’t let the pace speed up too much, and by better listening to my body. I also have really knowledgeable people supporting me and helping me to stay on track. Just last week, I was debriefing with my partner, Candace, telling her I was feeling strong with a little soreness from bumping up the mileage, but that’s to be expected. She responding by acknowledging that was all positive and that it’s important to not get carried away and push too hard. There’s nothing for me to prove at this point, she noted.

It was helpful to hear that from someone I trust. Proving something has a time and a place, but the foundation of training lies in trust: trust in my supports, trust in myself, trust in my ability and trust in my love of the sport. Like any of life’s great relationships, there are times of excitement and intensity, and other times when it’s simply about staying consistent, getting stronger and relying on trust.