So, in lieu of a book review (I am behind in my reading/reviewing due to an influx of school reading – booo! and trash reading – yay!), I am going to present to you my training epiphany.

Sunday morning, I skipped my trail run with the neighbor and just had brunch with her instead. While we were eating & chatting, I had a revelation about my training.

Part of this revelation started last week, when I was bemoaning my ability to get back into a regular workout schedule and suddenly realized that maybe it’s because I’d been a year without a regular workout schedule….

The rest of this epiphany was this:

It has been over a year since I have been able to run long distances regularly and without pain. It has been over a year since I’ve been able to put on my bike shoes and go for a ride without having to worry about foot pain. It has been over a year since I’ve been able to practice yoga without worry about foot pain and balance issues. It has been a year since I’ve run an official race, and over a year since I was in training for a race.

All of my PRs in 2009 were awesome, but why am I disappointed about not having a PR two years later when I haven’t trained for over a year?

Why am I trying to hard to come back so fast? I ran for two years before ever doing my first half marathon, and I ran for over three years before my first marathon. Yeah, I’m not a novice runner anymore, but I shouldn’t feel pressured to recover from foot surgery and immediately be able to run 10 miles again. I haven’t run anything over six since March 2010. It makes sense that it’s taking a while to build up.

Oh – and that shin pain last week? Maybe that’s what I get for trying to ramp up too fast.

My current plan had been – push, push, push – OW! Take a week off. Rinse. Repeat.

My new plan that I started this week – just a little push. Only the one. Do what I can. Keep all distances between 3-6 miles until I can comfortably and easily run 6 miles. Then, increase. All runs between 5-8. Then 7-10. Then, when I can go out and run 10 miles without wanting to die, I will schedule that half marathon.

This is not a race! Yeah, the doctor said I would be able to comfortably do a half marathon six months post surgery, but obviously he was a crack smoker.

Maybe I’m not pushing myself as hard as I could. Maybe I should be up to 10 miles by now, but I’m not. And I’m not interested in re-injuring myself.

So – my goals for April are to get myself back into the habit of regular training. Run three times/week, but not more than 6 miles for a couple of weeks. Once I can run five miles in a row without stopping and without pain (the next day), then I can increase my mileage.

In the meantime, I’ll just try to enjoy my time out on the trails, and not worry about how far or how fast I’m going…