Monday, August 21, 2017

My Summer of (Not) Running

Hey everyone! I'm super sorry I've been MIA lately. It seems like these past few months have gone by in a blink of an eye. One moment it was the end of winter and the next moment the middle of summer. But I guess it's like the saying goes - time flies when you're having fun :)


But if I'm completely honest, I also haven't been posting because I haven't had a lot to say about running because ... I haven't been running.

It's kind of hard to explain. For the past several years, I've been all about running and I never once considered it wouldn't play one of the most major roles in my life. However ... something changed during the past few months. 


It started back in May. My body felt like it was breaking down again and I was losing motivation to train. If I really think about it, I guess I would really point back to a year and a half ago when the injuries started and never really seemed to stop. I would get injured, recover, then immediately get injured again, which meant I haven't been able to train as consistently as I did a few years ago. And once I started taking a few days off here and there, my motivation also decided to take a vacation.

When I had a run on the schedule I'd dread it for hours, wondering how it would go and if I'd be able to hit my times for the day. And when I finally did get out to run it was a chore that I just wanted to get done as fast as possible so I could cross it off my to-do list. You know all those motivational quotes that talk about pushing through day after day and never giving up? I told myself I was just going through a bad patch and in time I'd be able to push through and get back to where I wanted. I didn't want to be that girl who gave up, but I knew I was only digging myself a hole. 


So I decided the only hope I had of getting back to loving running was to take an extended break. I was really anxious about it at first because the past few years my life have revolved around running and fitness. Suddenly I didn't have a routine and all this extra time. As weird as it seemed at first, I grew to love having things less structured. A few weeks in and I found I hardly missed running.

I still went to the gym but only did a normal 4-5 workouts per week. To someone who used to force herself through 8-10 workouts every week, this seemed like nothing. I felt better rested and had more time to do other things I love like catching up with friends over drinks, going out dancing, following fashion and style, reading, etc. I also had time to try out new workouts, such as OrangeTheory Fitness.


The only thing that gave me pause was losing fitness as the weeks went by. Things that used to be easy suddenly weren't and my speed and endurance definitely took a hit. But I told myself I wasn't going to push myself to train for anything - or even follow a fitness routine - until I felt ready again.

Although I wondered at times if I was done with running, I've finally started feeling like I want to run again. It's been little things like getting excited about certain races or feeling inspired while watching the Track & Field World Championship races. And I've actually started to miss the routine of structured training and working toward a goal race.

It's going to take some time to get back into things but I think I'm ready. I'm not in the best shape right now (read: super slow) but I think if I work hard and regain the fitness I've lost, I still have plenty of fast times left in my legs. 


So that's where I'm at right now. Plugging away, slowing building up and hoping to get back to running fast again. 

It's been a long time, friends - tell me:
  • What have you been up to this summer? 
  • How is your running going? Any fall races on the calendar?
  • Have you ever taken an extended break from running? How did you know it was time to start up again?

XOXO,

- ST

4 comments:

  1. Nice update and sounds like you needed a break. Nothing wrong with that!

    I am currently not far from where you were at. I have been fighting hamstring problems. My daily running has fallen off. I am at least 1.5 minutes off where my 10k speeds uses to be. Like you my motivation isn't where it used to be.

    I have been slugging through some Ragnars this year. Doing my legs but not at great speeds. I did Chicago and just finished Great River this last weekend. I have Michigan left in about a month. Then I think that will be the end of my Ragnar road races. I want to still do Ragnar trail though. All the hours driving has been getting to me.

    I'm not sure I want to do the Winter Series this year. I don't feel I could be competitive with my body feeling the way it does. But my wife is running really good so I may just do it to help support her.

    Thanks for the update! Sounds like you have been having a good summer.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you've been having problems, too! I'm in the same boat as you for the Winter Series. I really hate racing unless I'm in shape to do so but I guess there's still two months until the first race!

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  2. Sometimes we need a break, even when it's with things we love!
    Hope your training to get back into it goes great and you can find your love for it again!!!

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    1. Thanks Kristy! I agree, sometimes a good break is all it takes to get motivation back. Hope your running is going well - popping over to your blog next to check in!

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