The last month has been pretty blissful to say the least. I took a solid 4.5 weeks 'off'. I ran 3 times during that break and one of those times was to race a 1k. Which, tangent, was kind of awesome and painful and miserable all at the same time. A 1k after not running for two weeks was slightly dumb BUT I won and it was over fast (and then my lungs literally burned for the rest of the day).
Instead of running 'all the miles' I've gone to a Pilates/TRX conditioning class twice a week, tried out our kick bike, went for a bike ride, picked up jumping rope, reintroduced myself to yoga, focused on core and strength, worked on weaknesses like lazy adductors and glute medii (medii? mediuses?) or my tight posterior tibialis, straightened my toes (root of all evil), and etc. etc. Needless to say I've been working on the little things. The things that will matter when all the miles start to come back. Don't get me wrong - this may sound like I've been busy. I have not. I've had more than my fair share of sleeping in and sloth like behavior. I'm really good at napping. And I've even gotten the question(s): when are you going to run again? Wait, you're not running AT ALL? Well what are you going to do with your time?
And yes, I've had a lot of time. Weekends are weird without long runs. I don't drink coffee. I don't do brunch on the regular because let's be honest - how OFTEN can we stuff our faces full of brunch-y things and feel good about ourselves (without running for hours beforehand)? I know I don't feel comfortable after one face stuffing so hence the reason for 'not that often'. More often than not I've sat around and stared out the window. Or yes, I've gone shopping (retail therapy??). Hey, I needed new work clothes! I did have one productive weekend where I finally put up my 'inspiration wall'... only to realize it's pretty run focused and maybe leans 'marathon' distance. Nice little reminder.
All of this is to say, the time off has been nice. It was necessary and I'm glad I took it. And no, I'm not jumping into a marathon training cycle. Although I took a whole month off I am still not ready to commit myself and my body to that distance. That may be awhile.
That said, there is a fire, a passion to run. It's Fall for crying out loud. It's the PERFECT temperature for running. It's my favorite time of year. So, I am starting a training cycle. For a 5k. I've never 'trained' for a 5k. I respect the distance, there's no doubt about that. It's painful and just long enough where you have to work for it and have endurance going into it. Other than a few years ago when I wanted a sub-20 the 5k distance has never been on my radar. I've thrown in a few here and there for fun (or punishment - however you view it). So now I'm going to make it my focus.