When it sucks to start running again just make GOALS!

Starting to run after a break due to injury sucks.  I mean sucks big time!  I haven’t felt so bad about running in a long time.  I have no speed, I have no endurance and these together give me little motivation.  So what do you do when you are down in the dumps about running?  That’s right!!!  You find a goal race!!!

My original goal race was the Hat Trick at Runners World Festival.  I am also running the new trail race they have to round out the weekend at a distance of 26.2 total miles over the three days.  I had a goal of finishing each distance strong and shooting for a half marathon PR.  Since I injured my foot back in March and had to stop running after my half in Nashville this slowly became a “can I even run this?” race.  Fortunately, I will be running all 4 races!!!  I will not be running them fast though.  I am going to just take it all in.  Let my body run easy and use them as training runs. 
My new goal?  A trail run!  Yeah yeah I have ran in plenty of trail races in the past and going to run one out in PA at Runners World Festival.  This one though, is different.  I ran it last year on a relay team and it was AMAZING!  We had a blast but it kicked my butt.  So this year…revenge.  There are a couple ways this can go.  At The Huff you have options.  You can run a relay, where each person runs approximately 11 miles.  You can run one loop as an individual (doesn’t sound like fun) or you can run the full 50k trail race.  So what am I going to do?  Well, I am going to go for it.  I am going to train for the 50k.  If my body goes along with it, I will register and run the 50k.  If I start to feel as if my body isn’t going to be ready, I will run the relay.  Simple.  As.  That.
The Huff Relay 2014
Like I mentioned earlier starting to run again sucks!  I have been back in the running game for a short minute now and I just ran my first 10 mile run in FOREVER on Saturday!  It was awesome!  I loved it and I felt good the whole way.  I followed that run up with another 6 miles Sunday morning and still felt awesome!  I am in no way as fast as I once was with these runs but I am completing the distance and couldn’t be happier with that in itself.  I am beginning to feel like a real runner again!
10 mile run!
What is a real runner though?  I suspect its just a person that runs but for me to feel like a runner, I have to run regularly.  Not just every here and there hoping that I will magically be able to perform as well as I did pre injury.  Now that I said that, it sounds dumb…pre injury?  Pre injury?  Why the hell do I want to be the same as I was before I got hurt?  I don’t, not at all!  I want to be better!  Stronger!  Healthier!  I am doing a better job of taking care of my body.  I am strengthening the areas I know are weak to help prevent further injury and thinking in the larger scheme of things.  Not about how to place or how to push beyond my limits.  But know its ok to not be the best….yet.  Now I know I will never be the actual best but I mean my best.  That will take time.  So for now, running a regular schedule and working toward my goal is going to be good enough.  Here is to hoping running will stop sucking real soon!!
A good sign during a run last week???
How have you dealt with getting back in the groove?
Any goal races left this year?
Have you ever ran the Hat Trick?  Any tips?