We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential. – Ellen Goodman
Here’s my truth: My long time mindset of harder is better has served to make me feel discouraged more times than it’s made me feel good about myself and the work I do. Now in this long recovery cycle, I realize it may be totally off base.
Funny thing is that my nutritionist recently told me, “You know you can get healthy just from walking every day. You don’t have to work so hard at this.” My foot doctor told me, “You know you don’t have to run six days a week to get healthy. You can benefit from cross training and/or taking long walks.” My running club told me, “You can use walking to strengthen and improve your running.” My heart rate coach told me time spent building my endurance would have huge payoffs in the long run. But, the short run might involve a lot of walking.” My husband told me, “You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.” But my ego told me, “You can push through this. You don’t have to go back to being a beginner and walking. You can run through these bumps in the road.
Wanna know a truth… I’ve come to finally realize that – Just because I take breaks to walk doesn’t mean I’m not a runner.
Jeff Galloway says, “Never underestimate the power of a good walk—and not just as a mid-run break. Going for a “pure” walk, (no running at all) allows your body to make small adaptations that strengthen your feet, knees and hips. Long, brisk walks can help boost your endurance. And walking as a means of cross-training gives your joints and running muscles a well-deserved break, which can help reduce or eliminate the aches and pains caused by running.” Jeff is an Olympic runner who has taught many people how to successfully learn to run. His running clubs are found all over the world and I had the pleasure of working with one in New York City this year. Bill, a marathoner, ran with my group one weekend in Central Park. He was running with me and talking about how he had burned out as a runner. He talked about how hard he was training and how it took a toll on his body. He told me that, “You can never run too slow when training, but you definitely can run too fast.” He recommended that I run as slow as possible on my training runs and it would benefit me greatly over time. He explained that during his first marathon he overtrained and had nothing left at the end. The next year, running with the Galloway club to train, he finished strong and passed many runners on the course who had flown by him in the earlier stages of the race.
This time I think I actually understand what many have been trying to tell me. My improvement may actually depend on slowing it down. Galloway believes that walking can help strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance. Further, he believes that it re-conditions soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, connective tissue), preparing them for the more rigorous demands of running. This sounds like just what the doctor ordered and what I need to start again. Friday, I decided it was time to start walking a little to get moving again. I’ve had three (3) weeks of total rest and am now ready to walk lightly to get back out there. I walked two miles on Friday and Saturday and it felt great to be outside in the crisp fall air. I took my dog with me to ensure that I kept it at a walk, as he’s definitely not a running dog. I will continue to take shorter walks and hope to increase my endurance and mental mindset for running.
This week, I got a Facebook message from a childhood friend. She decided to start the Couch to 5K plan with the long term plan of joining us on some runs this year. Her joy and excitement in the discovery of running made me realize what I was truly missing. There is joy to be found in running not just work. It is not just about increasing pace, or distance. It’s about reclaiming health and feeling great about what you’ve accomplished. Wanna know a truth…I haven’t felt that in a very long time! Running is not my job, it’s my joy and I’m setting off to find that again. Thanks Deb for reminding me what it’s truly about. Can’t wait to run with you and Helen soon, even if we end up running to the nearest Irish pub and staying for hours.
What’s your current truth? Leave me a message below and let’s get started on moving forward together.
Worth checking out:
Opening quote taken from my running friend Tony Garcia’s book – Wanna Know a Truth:A Simple Man’s Search for the Truths in His Life. I’ve enjoyed Tony’s journey and writing. His book is definitely worth checking out.
Functional Movement Specialist – Ever wonder why you keep getting injured? Tired of hearing, “Maybe your body is just not meant to run.” Contact Jessica Leggio for a consultation and get on track to running pain free. Mention my name – Laura Hess Kump, or this blog Reclaiming My Health for a free consultation – Run Pain Free
Galloway Training – Official website can be found at – Jeff Galloway
Lists of Galloway groups in different states can be found on the main website. Here is the link to the New York City chapter, a very active and supportive group – New York City Galloway Group This page has dates for the training cycle we just completed, but information on joining for the next cycle can be found here. We begin again in May, however members meet unofficially throughout the winter months.