Last year, I was a running maniac. I was running three times a week, averaging around 20 miles. That’s not a lot for some people, but for me it was. Some of my runs were amazing, but some were straight up awful. The coolest thing I did? I ran my first half marathon. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I’d ever run more than a mile, I’d laugh in your face.
Why did I stop?
I injured myself on mile ten at the half marathon. I did complete it, even though my legs were hardly functioning. My runner’s knee decided to come back in both knees, and I did something awful to my groin. I was straight up miserable for about a week after. I traded in my running shoes for training ones and started to spend more time at the gym focusing on strength training. I went just about every day to strengthen my muscles, but then I got burned out, and took about two months off of everything. The only thing I did was walk my dogs three times a day, hiking, yoga, and stretching. To be honest, I’ve never felt better.
Why start again if I'm feeling better?
It’s not just running I want to get back into. I started running years ago for my mental health and fun. When I started training, it became a chore, and it gave me anxiety. I kept forcing myself to do it when I didn’t want to because of the “race.” That’s when it became not-so-fun. Six miles is my comfort zone and anything other that starts to break me down. I want to get back into running for the fun of it. I want to challenge myself and enjoy it again. No, I won’t be training for any half marathons. Maybe I’ll do a couple of 5ks here and there, but I just want to run for the fun of it again. I miss my little 3-5 milers. Can I run three miles right now? Yes, but it’s not as easy as it used to be. I love heading out to the trails when I’m traveling to run at a light pace for a couple of miles, and it makes my days a little better. Most importantly, I like having the choice of running or not running.
Here is a post I wrote when running was fun, and before I started training for races. This is the runner I want to be again. (link here)
What about the injuries?
Luckily, they haven’t bothered me at all. I took enough time stretching, icing, strengthening and babying my body for a while, so I’ve been cleared to get out there again, but slowly. Yoga and stretching have been beneficial with strengthing my IT band. I look forward to doing yoga regularly and furthering my practice. Yoga for newbie advice is welcome!
What will I do differently this time??
Better post-run routines. Instead of just jumping into my car after a run, I’m going to walk it off, stretch more, chug more water, and ice! I also plan on starting slow. I love to do running drills to get me into shape at the track, so I’ll most likely start there with two minutes on and two minutes off. I’m going to treat myself as if I’ve never run a mile before and start from the basics. I am going to get fitted for new shoes, and do everything like a newbie! I’m ready to re-write this running relationship.
Whats your game plan for the next three weeks?
It’s so cold right now, so treadmill running is about all I can handle. Luckily, it’s going to be warm next week, and I’ll be able to do some drills outside.
This month’s goal is not about distance or speed. It’s about time. I always focus on running for more minutes rather than my pace/distance. That’ll come naturally. I Iove doing the five minutes on and five minutes off drills. For the next three of weeks, I’ll be running 5 minutes/walk five minutes for 45 minutes a day, four days a week.
After I complete these three weeks of drills, I’ll create my running schedule for spring. It’ll be a flexible schedule, and if I don’t feel like running that day, I’ll just walk! I love to walk too. I don’t want any expectations, or let downs with running. It’s supposed to be fun, that’s why I started doing it in the first place. I can’t wait to get back out there for the fun of it.
Questions for you
- Have you ever taken a hiatus from something you love because it started to become a chore?
- Have you thought about running again?
- Would you like to see updates on my running progress?