Thoughts on returning to running.

Yesterday was my first day back to running and I have a million thoughts going through my head. Chief among them is what the heck was I thinking planning a race only a month out? Should I pull out of it and concentrate on getting my wind back? Is it really possible to gear up that fast? Am I up for this?

I am wrestling with my doubts at this point. The thing is, I really like to run and I want to do these two races (the 4 miler in June and the half mary in November), but I don’t know if I have the willpower to earn the stamina back. On the other hand, today I feel more energetic than I have felt in a long time and I wonder if that might be because I ran yesterday. Maybe that means I’m not as far out of shape as I thought, or that my body will bounce back because it’s been there before. On the flip side of that, will training for races right out of the gate lead to overtraining, injuries and setbacks? Falling off the running wagon was, for me, one of my biggest personal failures because becoming a runner was one of my greatest triumphs. I would hate to fail myself like that again.

I think my strongest motivations include wanting to improve my physical fitness, feel & look healthier and to set a good example for my children. Trip has expressed an interest in running with me. Since I’m at the very beginning of my running program, I think this would be a good time to test that interest so I will ask him to run with me tomorrow to see how he does. Must remember to bring the emergency inhaler if he comes along. If he enjoys it, then I will keep him as a running partner. It would be nice to have someone to run with on those long training sessions. It’s so hard to find time to hook up with anyone these days and I know I would benefit from having a running buddy.

Part of me is suffering from the humiliation of being overweight. Not that I’m embarrassed to be a fat runner at all, because I’m not. But because being fat has caused some complications in my running. Namely, my gear doesn’t fit right. I couldn’t wear any of my running tops yesterday which turned out to be a good thing because I managed to bleed all over the T-shirt I was wearing when my sports bra strap cut into my back. And let me tell you, that really smarts when you get in the shower afterwards! Yup, backfat chafes like a bitch.

Which brings me to part 2 of my thought process….

Running doesn’t burn but about 100 calories per mile which means running alone isn’t going to get me where I want to be. That indicates I need to adjust my diet. Now I admit it. I’ve been Slacker
McStuffyFace for the last year. I love me some burgers and fries so controlling my intake is the hardest part of weight loss. Not that I’m running for weight loss, but it is part of the equation. And seriously,
backfat chafing is a sign that I need to cut back if there ever was one. It’s definitely time to put the brakes on some of my more harmful eating habits.

If you’ve been with me on this journey before, you’ll recall that I like to go all or nothing on these things. For me, partial commitment doesn’t seem to work. But this time I think I’m going to try smaller
changes. Beginning next week, I’m going to eat breakfast at home and carry a sensible lunch. That will be a twofer because not only will I be eating more nutritiously, but more economically as well. I’m
still not sure what to do about dinner. I’m not a big night time eater, but Moe is, and he seems upset when I don’t want heavy foods at night. Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, healthy breakfasts and lunches should get the ball rolling.

Do you hear that, scale? I’m making changes.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on returning to running.

  1. Good luck. I’m on SparkPeople, trying to log my food and exercise.

    I’m trying to learn to run again, started in November in preparation for the FBI training I’m in now. Still get lots of leg pain at about the .75 mile mark, which really stinks.

    But, the main reason I’m adding to your blog, is the training info I’ve been getting from the guys here at the FBI Academy Physical Training Unit. My instructor holds a MA in exercise physiology and has several other certifications, including the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

    John would be very quick to tell you, as he’s told us, that running will not get you there. He recommends an easy-hard rotation, and running can certainly be part of that. His biggest focus is on essential body movements – push/pull and squat, to develop core strength and better movement/flexibility in the hips.

    I guess what I’m really leaning towards is to suggest you take a balanced approach – run some, push/pull/squat with challenging weights, using normal body motions, and mix things up.

    As he’s shown me just in this first 5 weeks, the better our overall fitness, the easier it is to run.

    Best of luck, I’m cheering for you!

    Scott/Erlich

  2. I’m on spark people too but I’m terrible about tracking anything. Nice hearing from you and thanks for the advice. I usually do more strength training than I’m doing now, but I’ve been slack and I don’t have much time to go to the gym if I’m adding mileage for a race. I’ll get back around to the weights at some point.

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