I am just a few weeks shy of my Runnerversary, and in the middle of my Run Streak, so running is pretty much all over my mind right now. I am also reprogramming my body to run continuously, which is proving a little more difficult than I would like it to be after my months of training for the Marathon. I really trained my body well to walk every 3 minutes! But, it’s ok… It’s all movement.
One of the reasons I decided to do my Run Streak is because I found myself not wanting to run just to run. Or run less than 3 miles. I was finding that I was talking myself out of any run that would not net at least 3 miles and in the end I was starting to be less and less consistent. I saw on the horizon that this was leading to a bad direction…. Time to reset the plumb line…
Over the course of this past year as I’ve taken up running I’ve had many people encourage me and some people have even taken up running with me. It’s been so inspiring to me. The thought that I inspired anyone at all is humbling. And I hope I do inspire others.
One thing that I’m finding at this point, though is that I’ve been running long enough to accomplish some larger tasks, so people are less inspired because they feel like they are so far behind where I am physically that they’ll never get there.
There is nothing farther from the truth. Remember, the first time I ran I ran less than 3 minutes and needed a nap afterwards. I’m totally not exaggerating. Then I decided I would just start small and commit to a small piece. Once I accomplished that I would see where to go next.
Let me say that again, because it’s so important…
I decided I would start small and commit to a small piece. Once I accomplished that I would see where to go next.
The reason I repeat this is because it is the thing that got me going. I stopped being frustrated with where I wasn’t and found a way to be happy where I was. I never in a million years imagined I would ever run more than 3 miles…. But when I was ready I did. I was talking to a friend this week and we discussed how easy it is to do/expect too much and then end up throwing in the towel.
Now, as I’m finding a way to make peace with this concept in my running I know that I need to start finding the next goal when I get close to the completion of one. I’m working now on running continuously and my goal is to run the Hot Chocolate Continuous and then the next week the Run 4 the Children (4 miles) continuous. After that I will work on training up for a 10 miler. I am allowing myself flexibility on the training, if I get in to it and find that these distances are too much for my body continuously then I’ll adjust.
As I look over the next year and think about my other goals I’m finding more and more my thoughts toward running and training apply in other areas of my life.
As for my weight loss (the whole reason I started running, remember?) I think I need to take a similar approach. I’ve decided to take a month at a time and chose a goal for that month. When the month is over it’s a new month and I’m on to a new goal. Towards the end of the year last year I was eating WAY too much fast food. So, for the month of January I’ve committed to no fast food. So far so good! It’s hard. It’s not easy. I literally sat in the parking lot at McDonalds yesterday for about 20 minutes. But I didn’t drive through, didn’t go in, didn’t have any food from there.
I think I have a tendency to do too much in nutrition too. I say I’m not going to eat any more fast food, no more bread, no more sugar, stay in my points/calorie range every day, etc. Then I find myself frustrated when I struggle and give up. In the end that is so much worse because then there’s reckless abandon. So, as January comes to a close I’m thinking about what to do on the nutrition front for February…… I’ll let you know …
So, the question I posed at the beginning of this post… How much is too much? Well, the answer to that is if it brings you to a place that you don’t want to continue, it’s too much. Allow yourself time. Don’t do too much too fast. You risk injury, and worse, you risk quitting….
If you’ve been inactive don’t feel bad about making a goal to walk for 10 minutes. OWN it. I struggle with this too, as I’m now surrounded by many, many people who are faster/stronger/better than me. Some days I feel dumb making a goal to run a mile when I have friends who run 5+ a day. I feel dumb setting a goal to get my pace under 12 min/mile when I have friends in the 8-9 range. But it’s where I am. If where you are is walking 10 minutes a day, then that’s where you are, and you deserve to be proud of what you’re doing. In a year’s time you’ll be doing WAY more than walking 10 minutes a day… In fact, you’ll likely be doing WAY more than you imagined you would…. Remember me… in less than a year I went from not being able to run 3 minutes to running 2 half marathons….. Did I think I would do that? NO! Did I go out day one and try to go 13 miles? No. I went one MINUTE at a time. Literally…..