After a long eighteen weeks, I got the green light to start running again. I’m excited and nervous. I’ve worked hard these past weeks on strength training in preparation for this day, but I am still anxious. I actually ran an easy mile last weekend just to try it out. I had no pain during or after the run so that should put my mind at ease. Of course it doesn’t though because I knew when I ran that easy mile I have a lot of work ahead of me.
I have my first race in just two short weeks. While it’s only four miles I feel unprepared for it. I will do it though whether I have to run, walk or crawl. I know that race will get me back on track for the summer running season. That victory, no matter how ugly, will remind me why I run in the first place. Training and healthy lifestyles are lived like that. Sometimes we run, others we walk, or crawl our way through life. Sometimes we are highly motivated and others we just want to give up. When I get to the giving up point, I try to remember why I started and how far I’ve come.
I started this journey because I was sick and tired of feeling lousy. I was not happy with who I saw in the mirror – my grandmother. Seriously, when did that happen? When did I become an older version of myself? I am also motivated after watching my grandmother and now my mom struggle with Alzheimers. The more I read about it the more I learned about lifestyle and food choices. Reflecting on my eating really was a humbling experience. In my twenties and thirties it hadn’t made a difference, but boy was it catching up to me now. I hoped and prayed I would never get this disease but I felt I needed to start actively fighting against it.
When I think of how far I’ve come, it makes it easier for me to keep going. This has been a battle. Truly I have struggled with injuries, surgery, stress, you know life. But I made it through with minor ups and losses. I know how easy it is to regain all that was lost in what seems like a week. I know how easy it is to fall back on those bad habits. But I also know how far I’ve come. I’ve made significant changes to my lifestyle and they are seriously not hard. To remind yourself of the journey post pictures of yourself in a place you can easily see. The photos should be of you at the start and various points along the way. I’ve shared mine online so that’s pretty public. Also, measure at least once a month and keep a timeline of your measurements. In those moments check in to the timeline and you will find motivation to keep going.
So, when I’m anxious about getting back to my running routine and my inner voice is telling me it’s been eighteen weeks without it, just give it up, I push back now. The old me would have just moved on with my new routine as the pounds came back and the food choices worsened. The new me digs in and gets back out even if it means walking or crawling. As long as I’m moving, who cares. When you really want to give up, switch the workout routine. If running makes me anxious I will go walk. If you’re losing motivation, you may need a change to freshen it up. Or, find a friend to drag you out there.
This week I will rework my workout schedule to incorporate my three runs back in. Remember I shared to always plan your workouts on a calendar, just like you do for work. Then I’ll reevaluate my menus to be sure I’m using food to fuel my body and runs. Notice I said fuel my body, not comfort my emotions. I’ve been eating real clean this week in anticipation. I followed a Paleo menu this week but did incorporate some sweet potatoes to ensure I’m carb balanced for running.
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