Day Eighty-Two: Ramping Up

I was at a point by the end of last fall where I was running multiple 10ks a week. Not 10k races, just 10k routes, usually twice a week, sometimes three. Now that the weather’s getting less stupid, I’m ramping up again.

Today was kind of an accidental 8k — it started as six, but the geography of my city is really weird. So I thought I’d turned down a street that ran parallel to another one, but they diverged considerably more than I thought. I wound up running in the wrong direction for seven or eight minutes.

It was good, though — I’d been doing sixes, and never really¬†felt¬†like eight when I set out in the morning. So being trapped in an eight this morning reminded me that eight isn’t much worse than six… and ten isn’t much worse than eight.

Ramping up without overdoing it

My big problem is I tend to get enthusiastic. Then I do too much. Then I hurt myself. I have to stop. I feel bad. And I wind up back where I started. And recovery takes longer now that I’m older.

So the constant mental battle in my head is “are you ramping up too fast? Are you overdoing it?” versus “are you using ‘don’t overdo it’ as an excuse to be lazy?”. This is the actual mental conversation I have pretty much daily.

I don’t know how to reconcile the two sides of that equation. Because sometimes, I’m pretty sure that I am being lazy. Other times, I definitely feel that I’ve strained it and I’m teetering on injury. But it’s super difficult in the moment to know which I’m doing.

One way out is to get a trainer, but that’s not financially in the cards right now. And the whole justification for the rower was it’s saving money over time on gym memberships and other fitness spending.

So it’s a tough one. Ramping up without overdoing. Not overdoing but not making excuses. The ouroboros of my fitness brain.