Training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon: Take Care of Yourself

Training for the Pittsburgh Marathon

As runners, we push a lot of boundaries. We set goals. We meet goals. We set new goals. Rinse, repeat.

Sometimes runners end up injured when they push too hard, too fast. We get set on achieving the goal. Sometimes we forget to enjoy the journey; too often we refuse to listen to our own bodies.

But sometimes our bodies make us sit down and listen. Sometimes it’s not even related to running, but sit down we must.

I haven’t run since last Monday.

Monday's Run
Last Monday’s Run: 6.02 miles as the snow melted!

I’m not injured. My muscles all work fine and dandy. I wanted to run more than once this week. But my doctor said I needed a week of rest, a week of recuperation, a week of focusing on being healthy. You see, our bodies are more than running parts. More than feet and legs and hips and all the muscles and joints in between. More than lungs. Our bodies are amazing, miraculous things. And so when a doctor tells me to rest, I rest.


I took a few naps. I read with my boys. I read to myself little bit. I cooked meals and enjoyed meals cooked for me. I took time to breathe and think.

And yes, I wanted to run. I looked at my (laminated!) training plan, and I thought about the speed work and hills and miles, none of which I would complete. I thought about taking walks to match some of the distances, but I knew doing so wasn’t in the spirit of resting. I felt anxious a few times.

But this is what taking care of your body looks like. Resting when you need the rest. Running when you need the running. Drinking water when you need the water. Eating when you need the fuel; eating when you feel like eating, for that matter. Cross-training, weight training, stretching. Learning how muscles work, and more importantly, how your own muscles work. Letting go of comparison not just when it comes to running but in all things body.

Tomorrow, cleared by my doctor, I will run again. Yes, you can take a week off while training for a half marathon. It’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow I won’t push the pace, as “too much, too soon” remains the quickest route to injury. I’ll run, and I’ll feel grateful for this body of mine—all of it. Every last part. From the tips of my toes to the gray hairs on my head.

Amazing Body
This Monday: Happy to be here.

This week is gonna be a good one. I can feel it.



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