Assessment Runs.

Yesterday, my family and I went to the mall to do a bit of shopping. Most of the sales were still on from Boxing Day (similar to America’s Black Friday) and we were all just looking to scoop up some deals and score some new clothes or shoes for decent prices. I was hungry about 17 minutes into our shopping adventure so I took advantage of some of my Subway gift cards and grabbed a grilled chicken salad with avocado. They really make the avocado look appetizing.

I am not a HUGE shopper so while were were at the mall for about four hours, I bought movie tickets for my dad and I and we went to see “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” after shopping for just over an hour. It was a good decision. The movie was so awesome and I still managed to get some great clothes at awesome prices before the show! My favourite purchase was another infinity scarf. I love them!! 

This morning I hit the gym nice and early to try and avoid some of the Saturday morning busyness. It worked for the most part and only started to get busy when I was leaving! It was a little cold this morning (read: wind-chill of -30 Celsius) but nothing a fine pair of shorts couldn’t handle!

I had a bit of a frustrating “run” the day after my 14 mile New Year kickoff run, when my left shin wasn’t feeling too great on the treadmill. I took the day off from running yesterday, spent some quality time with an ice pack, and decided to do an “assessment run” today. I set my goal distance on the treadmill to be 1.0 mile and when the alert comes on the screen that tells me my workout is about to end I assess myself, my legs, and whether or not I have any pain, and then add a mile to my distance goal if everything checks out. For me, it is a really good way to make sure I don’t over-do it and really think about how I am feeling throughout my run. During my assessment run today I did 4.0 miles and not a bit further. I didn’t have any pain or discomfort but I didn’t want to push it. I thought about adding another mile but my goal wasn’t to see how far I could run until it hurt… my goal was to run WITHOUT pain and feel good at the start AND the end of my run 🙂

After my slow and steady four mile assessment run I did 30 minutes of stair master, 35 minutes of strength (hamstrings, back, and shoulders), and 1.0 mile cool down walk while chatting with my dad when he arrived at the gym! Apparently I had a blister on my heel and didn’t know it. I mean you can’t be a true runner without a little blood on your shoes right? 

This morning I had another protein pancake for breakfast, done up with dried cranberries and sugar-free syrup this time. I had a delicious apple and greek yogurt parfait as well. Deeeeelicious.

With a little syrup and dried fruit on the pancake it tasted a little bit like french toast and it was so good. I had some dried fruit and sunflower seeds on my yogurt parfait as well and it was the perfect companion to my protein pancake. 

It may not work for everyone, but doing assessment runs really helps someone like me from going too far or pushing themselves too hard. I constantly think “I can probably do one more mile” but if I injure myself during that mile I know I will regret it and be really upset that I choose to push it another mile and cost myself possibly weeks of no running, rather than stick with a smart run that will let me keep running for years!