If you follow along at all, you now I haven’t exactly been crushing it as a runner for a while. 2019 ended with a knee injury and 2020 … well, you know.
I’m not here to bitch about how shitty running has been for me. I won’t bore you with another bitch-fest.
No, that’s not the point of today’s post. The last time I sat down and wrote for this blog (about a month ago, whoops), I said I wanted to have fun running. That post didn’t change anything and running was a struggle for the rest of 2020. It was such a struggle that I allowed myself to take an entire week off . Seven days, zero miles.
When I finally suited up for some mileage again on Jan. 1, I cut myself a ton of slack. I walked as much as a ran, and I just tried to enjoy 35 minutes outside. And I have continued that trend for the first two weeks of the year.
I’m basically starting over. Well, not quite starting over (when I started running I had a hard time running for a minute at a time). What I am doing is starting super slow. That first run, I did 3 minutes of jogging followed by 2 minutes of walking. I bumped 3 minutes to 5 minutes the following week, and the last two days those 5 minutes have turned into a mile. I’m still breaking for those 2 minute walks and I start and end each day with 5 minutes of walking.
I don’t need the walk breaks. I could run 3 or 4 or whatever miles without stopping to walk, but right now the only thing I care about is not hating myself when I am out trying to get a little exercise. Walking allows me to get my breathing under control (which isn’t easy with my asthma and wearing a mask) and has limited the ache in my knees and my ankle.
At some point I will mostly ditch the walk breaks and actually start training again, but with no races on the schedule for the foreseeable future, thanks to the pandemic, why would I bother to put pressure on myself. If I want to throw in my headphones and listen to an audiobook while enjoying my time outside, why not? If I want to randomly stop and walk or check out some of the headstones in the cemetery, stop and walk. As long as I’m outside and being active, and not hating myself, well that’s good enough.
I do miss hard training and I do miss racing, but I those things haven’t felt good for a long time. That is my own fault for putting too much pressure on myself, for not taking care of my body, for not getting enough sleep and eating like crap. Those things can wait. For now, I just want to get some exercise and not totally hate it.