My new fitness goal is different: One year injury-free. If I could keep injuries at bay, a lot of other goals could become possible. But this is going to be my primary goal. I am defining success as going an entire year without needing physical therapy.
How does this work in practice? The other day I was planning to go for a 40-minute run, but Ye Olde Knee was feeling tricky. I cut the distance in half, with plans to bag it if anything felt worse. If my goal were a race, I might be tempted to push through the pain, but my goal is injury-free.
I also have a massage scheduled today with someone recommended by another person in the triathlon club. I have tried massage before, and it feels nice but it usually doesn't do anything more than that. This therapist specializes in sports massage and lists cool things in her bag of tricks like myofascial release and kinesiotape. I have high hopes.
I have fit in a few small strength training sessions, too, because I know that will be part of the picture. I'm also looking for a good yoga class through the JCC/YMCA system (I am trying to cut down on paying for extra classes).
Now that I'm a Very Old Person, winter seems to bring on the aches and pains, which is why this goal has suddenly leapt to the forefront. But I'm also reading blog posts by fellow battered runners and other fitness fanatics and I think it's time for us all to admit that we need to ditch the "no pain, no gain" philosophy.